PDA

View Full Version : Bulgarian travels and onto......



barnybg
07-09-2008, 17:58
Hi All,Why not try Bulgaria if you have three or more months spare,there are 3 routes to choose,i use VIAMITCHELIN........There's Italy/Greece,Germany/Austria/Serbia or Germany/Austria/Romania.
Since joining the EU in jan 07,Bulgaria is looking good unless you visit the tourist traps like sunny beach or golden sands (great if you like Torromolinos)!
It has miles of unspoilt sandy beaches,nature reserves,mountains and rose valley's,where grapes and tobacco grow in abundance,many a villager will be seen on his wooden cart and donkey,inland it hasn't changed in 70 years or more,the people are warm and helpfull and will give you the shirt of thier back.It's a pretty poor country at the moment but everything is on the rise,average wage for the Month is 300 lev (2.30 lev to the pound) YES a month ,petrol and diesel is approx 1 a litre now(just doubled!) but LPG is less than half that,i just had my 2 litre petrol MOTORHOME converted here to LPG it cost 400 lev !!!!!thats everything new bottle/kit and mechanic to fit it,and it works great.
I can guarantee you will love it here as it so different to France/Spain etc,so much History here dating back over 5000 years,there;s also on the border Turkey and Greece which are easily accesable as we 'pop over' once a month to shop or visit some ancient site/swim in the Black Sea or Med.
Bad points it's approx 1800 miles,thier langauge and writing is different than Europe's,quite hard to pick up,some of the roads can be 'like wide back lanes' the weather can get VERY HOT as high as 40c(at the moment its 35c in Sept)season starts in March till Oct/Nov and then drops drastic in Dec/Jan....but you could travel down into Turkish coast which stays about 14c in deepest winter.
Wild camping here is no problem as long as your courteous and considerate and most places you can pull up right on the beach or harbour (unlike Spain)always take care when 'wild camping' if it's a safe spot like all European/UK areas (use your 'noddle') saying that we have never had a problem..
Some general prices....bottle o beer 1 lev,ciggies 2 lev,carton of plonk 1.5 lev,loaf 1 lev...meal for 2 which was 2 ommeletes 2 chips salad bread beer and soft drink 14 lev (5.50)big bottle of LPG,filled in garage 25 lev,6 litres of drinking water 2 lev,there again there are natural springs on every roadside built (i think) in roman times,near every village for travellers and village folk to drink free water.
Feel free to ask any questions about Bulgaria as i am living here now,finding new places every weekend,looking forward to our trip into Turkey soon as its 20 miles from us (so is Greece!):D

lenny
07-09-2008, 18:27
Hiya,Barnybg, while I was there I visited Old Nessebar and apart from the touristy side of it ,I found it amazing(Like stepping back in time), do you know of it?

Belgian
07-09-2008, 19:03
Hello Barnybg,
Welcome overhere. Thanks for posting. It should be mighty interesting to hear about your adventures in that corner of Europe. How about safety over there? Bulgaria and Roumania always leave us with a ? about it. (Though Roumania should be safe now as all their scoundrels are overhere now :eek:)
I reccon they still have a long way to go to catch on with the west ?

barnybg
07-09-2008, 20:48
Hi Lenny,
Old Nessebar is just a taster of the history of BG,unfortunately i haven't actually been and walked round there yet(seen on internet),pulled up outside where the coaches drop off tourists and was amazed how many people where amassing there,couldn't find somewhere to park and i was 'visiting' actually took wrong turning as i was heading for 'sunny beach' to pick up some friends from thier hotel to take back the 100 miles to our house near Turkish/Greek border.As to the TOURISTY places like sunny beach/golden sands,not my cup of tea.........too commercial but alright for a cheap package holiday,Now Sozopol is a small lively fishing village that has history and more Bulgarian,i have pics when i work out how to post !!!!Check out THRACIAN on the internet and a good site to look into BG is 'mybulgaria' if i'm allowed to say.
Belgian, It's 99% safe out here as long as your 'streetwise' say,like anywhere,even your hometown some places can be little hotspots for petty crime out here i would stay away from loud holiday spots as these attract the 'lager lout brigade' and maybe a pick-pocket but crime is pretty low here as the penalties are high not like leanient UK,as for villages haven't heard of crime except up near Romanian border where the travelling 'ROMA' nip in and out,people are very friendly and helpfull ,we were suspicious at first being not used to openess of the population,it's very family orientated here which makes it feel comfortable while out having a drink or meal,you'll see granies to babies all out watching the world go bye.There seems to be a rumour,well i've heard it back home in Wales that you'll run into 'Mafia types',i dont know where it comes from but i think it's rubbish,it was known for organized crime,a bit like Italy,high up people in politics etc and probably still is but 'us' little people wont be bothered,anyway i think ALL countries have some form of Mafia/gangster,thier just rapped up in 'different paper'so to speak.Like i said it's an amazing place when you actually start travelling around especially inland plus you can make your way down and visit into Turkey and it's coast or Greece/macedonia(Troy,the legend)talking of legends Sparticus was Bulgarian....i bet you didn't know that !;);):D

DRS
07-09-2008, 20:54
Hi Barnybg.
Was there myself earlier this year. Found wildcamping a bit difficult till we got a bit of confidence. Found that 24hr petrol stations restaurants with parking and truck stops were probably the best places to stop. Wild camped a few times was moved on by the police who said that it was dangerous once and had a couple of drunks making a noise outside the van one night but other than that no problems. Found it to be a beautiful country and as you said the people were friendly. Well worth the effort to go there. Only word of warning the roads were ok but have potholes that will write off your van all over the place if you don't pay attention.

lenny
07-09-2008, 21:44
Hiya,Barnybg, funny thing happened whilst walking through Nessebar:confused:, I was carrying my grandbairn (1year old) through the narrow populated streets where I met this old local lady sat on her doorstep and she seemed to be bollicking me(pointing at the bairn) for some unknown reason in her language:confused::o, the only reason I could think of is that the bairn was in bare feet,can you shed any light on this?

baloothebear
08-09-2008, 06:44
I have a pal who owns a place or two in Bulgaria.
He says that the drive is very expensive; 300 in fuel.
You can fly by Sleazyjet for 20 each way and, if you must, buy a property out there for very little money: Say three or four times the cost of the fuel
His opinion, and he is not a complete mug, is that you want be extremely careful "wilding" in Bulgaria

barnybg
08-09-2008, 07:33
Hi Baloothebear,
300 is not that expensive to visit 10 countries,go where you want,be your own boss !Surely if you just wanted a 'cheap flight' you'd be trapped and staying in a Hotel....not seeing said countries....and the whole point of 'WILDCAMPING' is to do just that.
Like i said,we have had no problems what so ever and been here a year,like all places you chose where to overnight (drunks?) and we never stay at proper campsites as that's not 'wildcamping'.
It's truly an amazing place,surprisingly green for how hot it is here,with all types of landscapes and nature(tortoises,bear,wild boar,deer,etc) as for the roads well the smaller 'back roads' can have some pot holes (you have steering?)main motorway through country from Sophia to coast (Burgas) but then like all motorways you dont see LIFE just fast tarmac!Some towns and villages have cobblestones but are few,so it's easier to drive in daylight and see the country,that's what it's all about!
As for the old lady,giving you some verbal......lol,sometimes especially from the older Bulgarian (mostly women)they tend to shout and babble on,but that's the way they talk to each other!so i'm sure she was complimenting the baby unless,did you have hat or bonnet on baby in the heat....
Just to add,dont leave a vehicle unattended in quiet car-parks for long periods of time,better at busy supermarket or completely 'middle o nowwhwere and then keep an eye on it,after all it's a lot of monies worth sitting there......would you leave it unattended in Liverpool,Brighton,Cardiff,LONDON !!!!!! ALWAYS use your head and think first...
Oh,and houses,i thought this site was about campers but yes you can buy houses from as little as 4000 that need alot of work as they are very basis (old well and maybe cold water tap in open kitchen,electric wiring 40 yr old etc but yes fantastic with huge plots of land perfect if you want to live the 'GOOD LIFE' both of us are living very comfortable on 5000 a year here,that's all the bills etc,nice to get away from the rat-race but unless you want to start your own company to earn dosh,as you wont find work and would you work for BG wages......300 lev a month !...=2.30 lev =1

barnybg
08-09-2008, 08:46
SO,Anyone going to try the Black Sea Coast,and maybe Turkey/Greece.........

baloothebear
08-09-2008, 18:49
Hi Baloothebear,
300 is not that expensive to visit 10 countries,go where you want,be your own boss !Surely if you just wanted a 'cheap flight' you'd be trapped and staying in a Hotel....not seeing said countries....and the whole point of 'WILDCAMPING' is to do just that.
Like i said,we have had no problems what so ever and been here a year,like all places you chose where to overnight (drunks?) and we never stay at proper campsites as that's not 'wildcamping'.
It's truly an amazing place,surprisingly green for how hot it is here,with all types of landscapes and nature(tortoises,bear,wild boar,deer,etc) as for the roads well the smaller 'back roads' can have some pot holes (you have steering?)main motorway through country from Sophia to coast (Burgas) but then like all motorways you dont see LIFE just fast tarmac!Some towns and villages have cobblestones but are few,so it's easier to drive in daylight and see the country,that's what it's all about!
As for the old lady,giving you some verbal......lol,sometimes especially from the older Bulgarian (mostly women)they tend to shout and babble on,but that's the way they talk to each other!so i'm sure she was complimenting the baby unless,did you have hat or bonnet on baby in the heat....
Just to add,dont leave a vehicle unattended in quiet car-parks for long periods of time,better at busy supermarket or completely 'middle o nowwhwere and then keep an eye on it,after all it's a lot of monies worth sitting there......would you leave it unattended in Liverpool,Brighton,Cardiff,LONDON !!!!!! ALWAYS use your head and think first...
Oh,and houses,i thought this site was about campers but yes you can buy houses from as little as 4000 that need alot of work as they are very basis (old well and maybe cold water tap in open kitchen,electric wiring 40 yr old etc but yes fantastic with huge plots of land perfect if you want to live the 'GOOD LIFE' both of us are living very comfortable on 5000 a year here,that's all the bills etc,nice to get away from the rat-race but unless you want to start your own company to earn dosh,as you wont find work and would you work for BG wages......300 lev a month !...=2.30 lev =1

My bold
Try 800 with a small vinyard

Belgian
08-09-2008, 19:23
My bold
Try 800 with a small vinyard
Better a wine cellar. :) For these Bulgarian wines are not catspiss :eek::cool:

grath
09-09-2008, 05:52
SO,Anyone going to try the Black Sea Coast,and maybe Turkey/Greece.........

Been there, done that, got the T shirt, and as previously mentioned in your Introduction thread, we did it in a tent just under 20 years ago.
7000 mile in 7 weeks, eating out every night and total cost including ferries and fuel was under 2000.
Wish we could do it again, but in the M/H:(:)
Did the coast of Yugo, skirted Albania, went through Greece via Cavala to Istanbull.
Then over the bridge to the Asian side and went to Fenner & Sile on the black Sea. then down to the Med at Antalya and did the whole Turkish coast road back to Gallipolli:)
It was great with great memories:cool:

Rogerde
26-02-2009, 10:37
Greetings Banybg !

Did you ever visit the Rhodope mountains ?
Is wildcamping feasible there ?
I understand that ethnically the population is strongly Turkish and they may have other values ...

And how would the police react if a paraglider landed in the meadow next to their office ?

What's happening with the house prices since the financial crisis ... up or down ... or stable ?

And could I get myself understood with a pocket translator to Russian (Cyrillic !) ... You dont' find Bulgarian translators ...

Sorry for all the questions and thanks on forehand.

I'm pleased to read how much you enjoy your new life ... falso, for a camper this should open tremendous new horizons.

Veel geluk !

barnybg
29-03-2009, 10:31
Hi Rogerde and all,

I live at the Rhodopi mountains between Harmanli and Svilengrad which is 25 miles from both the Greek and Turkish borders.
There are hundreds of spots to park up near huge lakes and dams,the forests are OAK ,not far from us is a huge nature reserve (used to be border barrier land between Greece/Bulgaria)where there are Egyptian vultures,all types of bird,and mammal including Bear and Wolf !!!!But pretty rare lol (i haven't seen any yet)theres deer and hare,and the views are amazing.......
Our village has a population of Turkish Bulgarian,Greek Bulgarian and Bulgarian,all are warm and welcoming,one neighbour to the side of my house is Turkish and the other side Greek lol,but all speak Bulgarian with a smattering of english,but all come under Bulgarian law and values,cultures are slightly different but hardly noticeable with no fanatical issues etc.
Police are strict but friendly,with no issues,if you landed with a paraglider ??Well they would be shocked,intrigued,nosey and ask why,where etc not forgeting PASSPORT,we have never had a problem here with police in the 2 years we've been here,being stopped a few times at 'police check points' when going shopping,docs ,passports and a wave ...
There's a few sites for translation on the net,Russian,German,Turkish and English is spoken here but mainly Bulgarian.
Have i said how stunning it is here,and a totally different destination to 'other' European countries and from here your choice of countries are wide open.There are many 'campsites' here with quite a few small Brit run guesthouses/pitches and not just on the coast (all over Bulgaria)There are over 40,000 Brits living here,weather is warm to HOT from March till November (it didn't rain last year for 5 months solid!)
For travellers heading this way,our house and garden is available as a stopover or base if you wish,say a 5 a night to cover water/electric !!,I will try and put some pics up when i work out how to do it !!lol
Houses and land are still selling but slower,for something basic about 10,000 (might get something cheaper up North near Romania)but its colder up there but you have the Danube lol and some i've seen on EBAY cheap but expect loads of work or iffy area,I have a house and land myself i'm selling near Harmanli for 3000,land has 2000 sq mtrs(half acre) with elec/water but house needs loads of work,most houses in Bulgaria are very basic for anything decent to 'our' standards are 30,000 upwards and much more on the coast,there are several basic in our village of Varbovo for 12,000.
I would not base your views on a country by a 'package' holiday as to me most are all the same a bit like Torromolinos or Blackpool but by a coastal fishing village or inland seeing village life,here we have donkey and carts as road traffic,with the few lorry and cars passing,yes roads in many parts of BG are potholed so beware,dont travel at night but there are many new motorways or direct roads that are excellent,Bulgarian road users are a bit wild and inconsiderate,prefering to take over at bends or hills,but if your a seasoned motorhomer no problems,we haven't had a scratch here (touch wood.....
A nice spot on the coast is Sozopol (search GOOGLE earth/maps) i have put a pic of our camper on there,parked up on quayside of old fishing village,there are still quite a few desolate and natural places on the coast,next to the sea on dunes etc to camp and hundreds inland.
Sorry i haven't replied earlier as we have been busy renovating etc,will try to update,answer questions (of any) and add pics.
STEVE/LINDA

DRS
29-03-2009, 15:53
barnybg,
You've given me a taste to go back there if only I had the time. The Rhodopes are a beatuiful area and a must to return to.

Rogerde
30-03-2009, 20:28
Greetings Barnybg

Nice to hear from you.
If possible I would like to visit the Rhodope this year and will be looking for a base from where to fly and search for a house.
So I would certainly be interested to find camping possibilities at your place. Could you please mail your co-ordinates.
Are you at the Sjazlicka Marica river?
By the way, I expected a problem with cold winters and not hot summers (which you mention). How high are you and how many months snow ?
Are there West Europeans buying houses in the deep mountain areas like Smoljan etc.. ?
Looking forward to hear from you.
Roger

jonsy
27-06-2009, 10:40
Just to say i lived in BG for 2 years and i can say that the tourist resorts ie slantchev briag / sunny beach and nessebur are run by the mafia or another similar group called the muttro . They go round getting protection monies . I have seen it happen.

barnybg
28-06-2009, 19:32
Sorry for not being on here in a while....

Yes we have snow in the winter but as we are down South near the Greek/Turkish border (Svelingrad)and the rhadopi mountains we dont have as much as 'up North' near the Danube and Romania,it snows late Dec /Jan and we have upto 2 ' deep,we're also quite low to sea level in our valley here,but the high mountains near to Blagoevgrad and Smoylan districts is where all the ski-ing holidays are (Plovdiv and Sophia airports)cater for these,Spring/Summer its beautiful there,i can mention many areas/districts but only yourself can chose...Khurdzhali district is stunning in places and there are several new route roads going to open from Kavala Greece through the mountains to there,a max of 2 hours driving for us to the coast of Kavala and Thassos from our village in BG.
There are a number of campsites all around Bulgaria,but i would go for an ex pat place rather than bulgarian as they can be very basic similar to French 30 years ago.
Mafia..........More so in the old days before EU and commi days,but yes they still are about as they are in London and all big cities(different names,different places),they will not bother you !!unless maybe you are a millionare with a money earning business there lol.I hear that 'gossip' alot on the net etc,we have been here 2 years and have seen nothing,we've read about 'mafia'/crooks here in the BG papers,same as you do in UK or any other part of the World,have you met any?
As for weather at the moment and getting warmer it's been around 30 c will reach 40c and will last till Oct/Nov,then we get our winter clothes out (jumpers/coats)wellies Dec/Jan,Feb/March/April is like UK spring April/May shorts again,it's brill.
There are some western europeans settled where you said and some with holiday homes,many more on the coast,many at Yambol/Elhovo and another big settlement in and around Veliko Turnovo/Varna,there are several other groups buying in Bulgaria,American,Canadian,from Spain,Greece,Russia,Romania and Germany.

barnybg
29-06-2009, 11:18
Rogerde,Try the campsite (Brit) Sakar hills .......on internet,they have a good webpage,cater for everyone and do bicycle tours too !!
They are not far from us actually near Harmanli at Bizer,and although we would like a bit of pocket money,we are not a 'campsite' just a grassed garden (half acre) with water,electric and somewhere to empty !!We are off the main road from Harmanli to Svelingrad which joins both borders of Greece and Turkey,which was the main 'silk road' back in ancient times,our 'main road' runs alongside the Rhadhopi mountains,and heads in the same direction but more quieter and a scenic route (if your not in a hurry,always take the smaller roads)thats anywhere in the World,you miss so much going on the bigger roads or direct routes.Our road heads for Mahdjorovo too,where there are Egyptian vultures and Eagles nesting/flying,watch out for crossing Tortoises,lizards and the like or the donkey and cart,cow or heards of goats!!!
For anyone who hasn't been to Bulgaria,it's a must seeunforgetable with incredable landscapes,wildlife,people,sadly it is changing to catch up with the rest of the World,so come now !!!Spain/France even Morrocco dare i say it,is 'normal' even boring yes handy because by now everyone speaks English and you can get your McDonalds etc but nothing specialHere you can see so many different religions,speakers,cultures,lifestyles Bulgaria has Greece and Turkey one side Albania,Croatia and Serbia,also Hungary/Romania the Danube,several seas,what more can i say.
Is it safe you say........As safe as anywhere else you care to travel and 'wildcamp',as long as you follow the rules and tips like on here,in fact you will be welcomed moreso than in 'ENGLAND' lol,even given gifts of food and drink although the small 8 million people are poor and mostly agricultural folk.

Rogerde
08-05-2010, 08:58
Greetings barny and sorry for late reaction.
I do not come here very often.

Could you let us know what the house prices are doing since 2009 ?

Did they go down after the finacial crisis or is there a significant increase since the last years.

Thks in advance for yr reaction and enjoy the coming summer.

Roger

barnybg
07-06-2010, 06:22
Ok,to answer that question regarding house prices,up or down,mmm hard to say to be honest as their so cheap to start with.There are Brits selling their second homes here in Bulgaria but more like ' one of the houses they purchased back pre 2007 (EU joining) since then prices have steadily raised,mainly because of the influx with foreign buyers and not just Brits but Europeans and Russians !!!
I suppose this last year because of the worries of World recession,prices have froze and some have had reductions but i think mainly by agents asking too much to start with !Agents have been asking as much as 50/70 % more than what owners are asking,trying to make a fast buck on the back of owners.
Bulgarians selling tend not to worry or even dont except ' offers' like in the UK,in fact some by hearing the accent will hike the original price up (as they think we are all millionaires)Or a lev price house will turn into a EURO price,which is craftily double !!
Houses can be purchased here from 3000 to 30,000 unrenovated,Bulgarian standard of course,so would need EU standard renovations...inside toilets etc unless you like the 'quaintness ' :)but as i have stated before ,a great stepping stone/start base for other adventures from here,a stunning beautiful country,cheap,can only go up in price to catch up with Europe.
I have three properties,two i am selling for a bargain 3000 and 8000,one overlooks a 36 km lake,and both close to the Greek/Turkish border (20 miles).
So who's coming for a look around,who's visiting/camping in my garden ?room for 6 motorhomes, or a stay in a caravan or the two family size tents ?jump on a plane with a rucksack,hire a car or catch a bus or even ' drive over' for a few weeks,your welcome.
please let me know anyone,if you are driving this way as i will keep my eyes open for you,also the coast of Kavala Greece,if you see my camper,come and chat,i'm friendly but watch for the dog...

barnybg
19-11-2010, 10:31
Hi ,just a quick update,it's still sunny,blue skies and 20 c getting cold in the nights though...started to rain sometime in the nights too,just now and again ..lol
Weather has been great until couple of weeks ago when we had some terrific gail force winds for two days and very dark,but gone back quickly to what we're used to here.
Expecting by December for temperatures to fall,and by the 20th Dec without fail it usually snows and snows till.....January /February :) ski-ing sledging or cwtched up in front of the log fire till March/April,or venture further away.Athens reporting 20/22c,same or a bit more for Turkey.


CLICK HERE TO REMOVE THESE ADVERTS