Saturday, 22 September 2018

Nesebar

All over the world the seas create islandic or peninsular forms. People tended to settle in such places for thousands of years, because they were easy to defend, great for fishing, trade and travels and very picturesque. 


Today we will visit a place like this that lies on the Bulgarian coast of the Black Sea. Ladies and gentleman, welcome to Nesebar.


It is a city that is inhabited for more than 3 thousands years. Thracians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Bulgars and Ottoman Turks have lived here. Please take a look on the three dimensional plan of the city. We will enter through the man-made isthmus on the right.


This is how the Nesebar's Old Town looks from the main coast. Do you see the wooden building on the left of the road leading there ?


Yes, you are correct. It is a wooden windmill


And here are the ruins of the city walls and the main entrance to the city. Have you noticed the table on the right ? 


There are various reasons why Nesebar is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. One of them is that it has highest number of churches per capita. There are 40 churches in the old town and there were moments in the city history when less than 2000 people used to live here. 

The oldest church in the city is Church of St Sophia or the Old Bishopric (Stara Mitropoliya) bulit in fifth and sixth centuries.


If you look for a church with a roof, let's find something more modern. The one below is called Church of St Stephen or the New Bishopric (Nova Mitropoliya) and comes from the tenth century.


Although to be precise, the mural paintings come from sixteenth century.


The paintings outside are quite impressive.


Let's go inside.


The paintings inside make huge impression.


Have you noticed similarity to the King's Chappel in Lublin? And Nesebar is over a thousand kilometers away from Lublin!


Please also admire the medieval pulpit.


The church below is the best preserved medieval church in whole Bulgaria - Church of Christ Pantocrator, from thirteenth and fourteenth century. The facade walls are decorated with various geometrical patterns from bricks and stone cubes, which is called ceramic plastic style and it is typical for most late medieval churches in Nesebar.



The building in front of us is Church of St. John's Aliturgetos. Aliturgetos means "not consecrated". The legend says that one of the builders fell down and was killed. The church canon did not allow a place where a man had been killed to be used for worship. In my opinion it is the most beautiful church in the city, at least from this side.


Because from the other side it does not look that impressive. Please look at the top of the stairs.


But Nesebar is not only about sacral buildings. There are also civil ones, like the Ancient Theatre.



Medieval Battle Tower.


Picturesque small streat giving shadow during sunny days.


Or modern oficial buildings like this city hall.


But let's not forget that the warm and calm Black Sea is everywhere around the island.


There you can spend whole day lying in the sun under umbrella.


Talk to the seagulls.



Or eat a lunch in a family restaurant where you can be sure the hosts speak your language, whatever it is, English, German, Italian, Bulgarian, Russian, Polish, etc. At least a few words.



But since the sunset is coming let's go to the next fantastic Bulgarian locations.

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Life in a bunker

Travelling through the Bulgarian coast you can find interesting buildings from different historical times. Some of them are over 1000 years old, and some just 70 years, like the coastal defence bunker below. It was built to protect the seaside from the Soviet marine attack from the Black sea.


The entrance is from the land side. It is not straight to protect the soldiers inside from the fire of the potential attackers that could surprise them from the rear. Let's go inside, obviously holding our fire.


There is pretty much space inside and 2 meter wide walls ensure nice temperature even without air conditioning. Please note the metal curtains over the shoting windows. Closing them would ensure protection even during sleep.


On the walls you can see the original equipment from the Second World War: rifles (just with eliminated shooting mechanism), helmets, canteens & bags.


And a gas mask of course.


Unfortunatelly they are not my size. 


So I've asked my human friend to show you how Darth Vader looked in Second World War times.



We divided our duties. My friend was monitoring the beach through the binoculars.


And I was ready to fire from my light machine gun DP-27.



So beware and behave on the beach!

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Aquapark

Any sunny vacation in a nice and hot place would not be complete without a visit to an aquapark.


Safety first! So please check if you meet the height criteria. You need to be at least 130 centimeters high to be allowed to take all the slides.


Here comes the plan of the slides.


Why don't we start with this triple multicolor slide?


We take the blue one and you can take the green. When you look down you can quickly realise that it is not really steep.


As we get closer to the pool the slide gets flattish.


And hop in the pool!


When you turn back, you will see that the green and the red slides are much higher.


If you take the green one, you will go really fast.


If you take the red one, it will be fast and on top it will be dark. I hope that you will excuse me if I do not join you on that one.


So maybe we will try the blue one? It turns several times but the turns seem mild.


Ready? Then let's have it moving!


That was quite a ride!



All those of you who require some rest now can spend the rest of the afternoon in this fancy pirate ship. Or on one of the sunbeds next to it.



Saturday, 1 September 2018

Obzor

I have received lots of e-mails telling me that such an extensive program in a such a nice country on such a warm summer is unhuman. Or unequine. So I propose we take a short break in the nice small town of Obzor, half way between Nessebar and our next attraction, and enjoy the Black Sea at its best.

In late Antiquity, the West coast of the Black Sea belonged to the Eastern half of the Roman Empire, better known as Byzantium. Obzor was one of many coastal fortifications, located mainly in bays convenient for landing. The little town included various trades as well as a small industry. In 2011, a kiln for construction ceramics was discovered. The remaining part was not too well preserved, as the picture testifies.


But the smart Bulgarian archaeologists managed to reconstruct the kiln.


They say that it was used to make roof tiles and bricks. The production was possible thanks to the abundance of clay, fresh water and presumably manpower.


In the contemporaneous Obzor we can still find some of the old ceramics, not only those used by the construction industry.


Otherwise, this is a nice, sleepy town. Close to the main square you will find a clock tower.


Then comes a war monument.


We cannot miss the church of Saint John the Baptist. A Greek Orthodox Church of course. The interesting thing is that in Bulgarian he is called Ioan Predtech so literally speaking - John the Predecessor, so the one who came immediately before Jesus Christ.


The church is rather small. A service is being held there now so we will not be peeping inside.


Next to the church you can find two interesting constructions. One, pretty common, is a fountain.


The other one, much more unusual and much more interesting, is a public book shelf. Bring one - take one. And enjoy new read regularly. There seems to be books inside so people of Obzor must be honest and trustworthy!


Now that we have paid our respects to the past and the present of Obzor, I propose that we focus on the 3S. The ancient Romans knew that the place is fantastic because of the Sand and Sun.


While you are there, you can work a bit on the towers of this castle.


Or you can befriend the Sea.


You tell me that Bulgaria lies on the shores of the Black Sea, not on Cote d'Azur? Well, it is all a matter of right time, place and perspective. Good night my friends.