Monday, September 7, 2009

Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Veliko Tarnovo is a hill town in central Bulgaria. I chose to visit here in order to escape the large city and also to experience old architecture.

The town is filled with 19th century wooden homes built in the Bulgarian National Revival style. The scenery around town is extremely picturesque as many of these buildings are on a hill and appear as if they are stacked on top of one another. Add a river and a fortress and you have got a picture-perfect town.

In fact, I was surprised to learn that Veliko Tarnovo was the first capital of Bulgaria back in the 12th century. The czar at that time ruled in the still intact Tsarevets Fortress, which has spectacular views of Veliko Tarnovo.

I took an overnight train that day to Bucharest, Romania. As usual, it was at least a 2-hour wait at the border, making a simple journey into a complicated one (the train ended up to be 1 hour late). However, there were few people on board and I got to lie down. I also had a good chat with Ross, a British traveler who has been to several former Soviet republics before and was heading to Transdniester, a separatist region in Moldova.

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