Prijatno mi e

Our view during our lunch of the northern ancient entrance to the fortress of Sozopol

And yes it was … Nice to Meet You – in Bulgarian.  So a little more about this interesting country.  Sylvia and I decided to rent a car for three days so that we could get away from the tourist trap of Sunny Beach.  Although I have to say, we got a very nice car, but Bulgarian drivers are crazy.  The drive right up your butt and then pass you on switchbacks and hills when they can’t see what is coming.  After our three days of driving we finally saw a 5 car pile up likely caused by this crazy behaviour.  It really was crazy stupid driving.  But we were careful and fine.

One of the historical houses in Sozopol in its typical architecture

So on our first day out we decided to head south.  Initially it was to find a nice secluded – or at least quieter beach where we could relax without the same level of crowds.  We found a beach off the point of Pomorie.  It was not a quiet beach per se but we did meet two Bulgarian woman who now (and have been for awhile) living in Toronto.  So that was pretty cool.

Sylvia stealing some grapes ... :)

After awhile we headed further south, south of the large city called Burgas, to a really sweet town called Sozopol.  This was definitely both of our favourite place we went on the entire trip.

A bit more character and colour

Sozopol is an ancient seaside town located 35 km south of Burgas. Today it is one of the major seaside resorts in the country, known for the Apollonia art and film festival (which takes place in early September) that is named after one of the town’s ancient names.  It is one of the oldest towns on Bulgarian Thrace’s Black Sea coast. The first settlement on the site dates back to the Bronze Age. Undersea explorations in the region of the port reveal relics of dwellings, ceramic pottery, stone and bone tools from that era. Many anchors from the second and first millennium BC have been discovered in the town’s bay, a proof of active shipping since ancient times.

An obvious downfall of building with wood

The current town was founded in the 7th century BC by Greek colonists. The name was soon changed to Apollonia, on account of a temple dedicated to Apollo in the town, containing a famous colossal statue of the god Apollo by Calamis, 30 cubits high.  Ruled in turn by the Byzantine, Bulgarian and Ottoman Empires, Sozopol was assigned to the newly independent Bulgaria in the 19th century.

Hey little fella

So it was pretty nice to wander the town and see the existing historical homes and cobbled streets.  We found a lovely restaurant over looking the ocean and had a tasteful and amazing lunch.   The other nice thing about this town was that it was not overrun by tourists.  So I highly recommend if you get to Bulgaria to make sure that Sozopol is on your list of places to visit.

Behind that window a world awaits.