Friday, May 01, 2009

The Worst Road EVAR

These pictures are of the -good- part of the trip from Varna to Plovdiv. We did all the prudent things - we had a map. We printed off directions from google. Everything should have gone smoothly, right? Nope. We got lost. Actually, we took the right road ... it was just a goat track. So. Here's the good part: we stopped for lunch just north of Shumen at this place. The owner didn't speak a word of English and we didn't speak any Bulgarian. From deciphering the menu written totally in Cyrillic, I was able to order us chicken soup and shop salad for lunch, along with diet coke and bread. It was excellent!
Here's a picture of the soup. It was obviously homemade and very full of bits of chicken.


This is a typical shop salad plus a few extras - the local feta-type cheese, cucumbers, and tomatoes. There were olives and onions in this one too. We ate the whole thing. This salad is normally served without dressing.


As you can see, the owner keeps this restaurant in the middle of no where in immaculate shape. The local shepherd was enjoying a midafternoon beer, his flock across the road, while we were eating. Anyway, we'd gone too far on this road and we were on the way to Romania instead of Bulgaria when we passed here. We turned around just after and got onto the "right" road. BIG mistake. I was driving, my first time driving in the Balkans (another story there), and we ended up on a road that was washed out in one direction and full of potholes in the other. Lucky for us, we were supposed to take the pothole direction - over a several thousand foot mountain behind a logging truck on basically a one lane, two way dirt track. I drove it all, though, and my companion didn't complain about my driving once. It was still scary! No photos of the road - we were so busy driving and trying to stay un-wrecked that pictures just didn't cross our minds.
What was supposed to be a six hour drive took almost double that. I'm just glad that we got a good lunch and a warm welcome at the hotel in Plovdiv when we got there. Never, ever take Route 7 in Bulgaria. It's a nightmare.



7 comments:

Deb said...

But what an adventure, right? And it looks like you had a wonderful lunch! Part of the fun is the unknown!

Lana said...

Wow! I woulda been freaked out!!! I hate driving anyway then add weird driving conditions like crazy roads! Count me out! I did like the lil' place you had lunch at, seemed nice!

Cyn said...

Hi Meg,

What an adventure! And I'm glad to hear that everything was fine.

The lunch looks delicious! :-)

Cynthia
Windy Meadow

Front Range Stitcher said...

Hi Meg, glad you two are fine. I'm sorry, but I am laughing a bit. I can just see you now terrified at the rickety roads. Been through this myself. The US has "hinterland" roads too, I have had the unfortunate experience of knowing this first hand, more than once. We survive and it makes a great story. I loved the little out of the way roadside restaurant. The food looked yummy too. More pictures please. :) Thanks for taking us on your adventure.

Sherry said...

What an adventure for you! The lunch looks wonderful.

AMW said...

The food was good, even if the road was not. I still get surprised sometimes just how well people who speak no common language can communicate certain things. The big problem with the road is it's marked as a "highway" (would be like a state highway in the US, rather than interstate) so we never though to worry about it...

Meg said...

Yes, it was an adventure and something we will refer to for the rest of our lives. As AMW said, this road was marked as a secondary highway on the national maps. It -should- have been better than a goat track. I survived, though! The lunch place was beautiful. Thanks for the comments.