bulgaria: plovdiv

June 28, 2008 at 4:37 pm | Posted in adventures, bulgaria | Leave a comment

by sandra.

yesterday frank and i caught the train from belovo to plovdiv.  when we arrived we walked from the train station to the center, or main street.  this street doesn’t allow cars and has restuarants and shops lining it.  we were starving and frank was wanting some american food so we decided to eat at mc donald’s.  now you may think that mc donald’s is the same anywhere in the world, but that is not true.  in bulgaria people do not stand in straight lines like they do in america.  rather, they stand in a bunch somewhat lined up towards the different cashiers.  it is not very clear who is in which line so you can easily lose your spot if you don’t pay attention and continuously elbow your way towards the front.  when we got to the cashier frank nervously ordered our two meals.  expecting this to be a pretty simple process, we were both surprised when the cashier asked us about 10 questions before finalizing our meal.  i think the funniest part was when the cashier repeated our order back to us (to verify that it was correct) and frank turned to me and said, “i have no idea what we’ll receive.”  we were successful though, and received exactly what we wanted.  hooray!  unfortunately, however, they did not have any ketchup for our fries and we had to use barbeque sauce instead.

the center: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nerdsinlove/2617888673/in/photostream/

next we walked a bit further to see a roman stadium.  the stadium was uncovered when they were building there, so part of it is exposed and the rest is built around.  it was neat to see for i hadn’t seen anything like it before.  it was also a bit strange for there was an internet club with one of the best views of it. 

roman stadium: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nerdsinlove/2618713616/in/photostream/

view of stadium from frank’s computer at the internet club: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nerdsinlove/2617892167/in/photostream/

after checking our email (only 70 cents per hour!) Frank and I sweated up the hill to see a roman ampitheater and “old town.”  like the stadium the ampitheater was uncovered when they were building, but has been restored better than the stadium.  the ampitheater is still used for concerts, plays and other events, as you can tell from the props and cushions in the photo.  the ampitheater seats 5000 to 7000 people and has the original steep, skinny, and worn down steps.

the roman ampitheater: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nerdsinlove/2617894565/in/photostream/

ampitheater steps (notice the worn down part in the middle): http://www.flickr.com/photos/nerdsinlove/2617896927/in/photostream/

old town plovdiv: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nerdsinlove/2618721266/

while in old town frank and i stepped into a bed and breakfast to check their prices in case we decide to stay overnight in plovdiv later.  outside frank had heard some bulgarians talking about how they charged 30 euros per night and then we watched the clerk charge some other bulgarians the same.  when we asked how much it would be for us, the clerk told frank that it would cost 40 euros.  he asked her if we had to pay more because we were foreigners and so she cussed us out in bulgarian!

as we walked back towards the center and the train station frank and i were caught in a HUGE thunderstorm complete with lightning.  although the rain was a welcome sight the lightning frightened us a bit.  it started raining really hard too and luckily a nice bulgarian woman took pity on us and let us stand inside her shop until it died down.

back at the center frank and i stopped in at a cafe for a bite to eat.  the menu items were written in bulgarian and english, but featured some strange translations.  for instance, chicken breast (we think) was called “chicken foremeat” and there was another item called “fried caca.”  we later found out from our host family that this is like fried sardines. who knew?

on our walk back to the train station i bought some gelato.  i thought the gelato was just cookie and bailey’s flavoured, but as i ate it discovered that it actually had bailey’s in it.  the train ride was even more relaxing than usual!


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