Monday, November 27, 2006
We did a haunted house in the WWII bunkers, going into the ground about 40 feet below ground level and about 1,000 feet in length. We borrowed a super sound system from one of our students and people danced all night long. It was a blast, we sent out some super invitations and probably had about 100 people here at some point in time throughout the evening. My post character even showed up, Judy Garland!
We traveled 3 hours by train from Sofia. Unfortunately, there was standing room only because of the national holiday. We spent our days roaming around the city streets, visiting the Anthropoligical Museum and an ancient Byzantine Castle. About 30 minutes after arriving a local elderly woman offered us rooms in her house. So, for about $12 USD each we stayed at her apartment, the second picture above is a view from her balcony, nice!
During THE Independence Day celebration we were lucky enough to endure a super patriotic speech by the Vice President of the country, of which we understood about 6 works, for example "holiday" and "independence". The marching band was nearly gunned down by overzealous soldiers firing heavy duty artillery. We even witnessed 5 army personnel pass out from standing at attention for so long... such patriotism! The speeches were concluded with a spectacular light show over the Tsarevets Castle, mostly built in 1185.
And thus concludes our Bulgarian Independence Day experience. Where do we go next?
Sunday, November 26, 2006
About 3 out of 5 people that we encountered spoke English. They are very friendly in general, and happy. Istanbul is a touristy area that is very appealing to those interested in ancient cultures and history.
Overall, it was a lovely trip and we had a wonderful time! It was nice to have a break from teaching. We hope to visit Western Europe during Christmas Holiday, including Slovenia and Austria.