Sunday, July 14, 2013

Tuesday, July 9. We Disembark the Ship

It seemed the further East we travelled, the poorer the countries appeared. We disembarked the ship in Lom, Bulgaria. From here we travelled to Bucharest, Romania by bus. My first impression of Bulgaria was that it looked like the communists had just left yesterday. We passed grey concrete apartment buildings with broken windows and crumbling facades. Yet it appeared that some apartments were occupied. We were told that there are few government services. It seemed that no maintenance had been done on any buildings in decades.

Probably there are similar areas in the other countries and probably there are some nice restored and more affluent areas in Bulgaria. However, for us the drive through Bulgaria was worst we had seen.

We did have a couple of tour destinations in Bulgaria. We visited the Belogradchik Rocks. This was located in a nice little resort town. We stopped at a modern resort hotel. It's gleaming granite tile floors seemed a world away from the poverty we had seen a few miles earlier.

The rocks formations are quite interesting. The Romans built a fort on these rocks. Later the Bulgarians built a fort on top of the Roman walls. The Ottomans conquered the fort and used it for a few centuries.

We had another stop in Bulgaria at the town of Vidin. Here we visited a 13th century castle on the Danube called the Baba Vida Fortress.

We had lunch in Vidin. It is incredibly cheap. A beer, 1 Euro. A glass of wine, 1 Euro. Bottled water, 1 Euro.

Here is a picture of the synagogue, in ruins since the Second World War.

Here is a picture of a typical apartment building

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