Rick Steves Was Right
Check out those less traveled places
May-June 2013

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Rick Steves was right - Check out those less traveled places.

If you’ve seen his documentaries on the Travel Channel, one segment is titled “Surprising Bulgaria” and I agree. 

I was quite surprised – pleasantly so.


I wrote previously that our 46th Anniversary just happened to fall while we were docked in Bulgaria. 

This was one country I knew nothing about nor did I ever expect to visit there.  Yet here we were on a cruise to the Black Sea and Bulgaria was on the way.



We traveled the beautiful countryside.

Ancient castles and fortifications
reflect the history of the region.
We visited a “fortified house” which documented the reality of life when citizens had to defend themselves again invaders
This family lived very well, at least in times of peace.

The local people were very welcoming to us as we toured their country.  In fact, many of them waved to us as we drove by.  Could they really be that glad to see us?

Then the guide pointed out that we had rented the official bus of the local soccer team which had their logo painted on the side.

I wonder if anyone got a good look through the windows. 
We certainly weren’t new recruits.




Once back at the ship, we were greeted by a band playing American music, including the “Stars and Stripes Forever.” 

They definitely want to encourage tourism. 

Our cruise line was one of the few that go all the way to the Black Sea and visit Bulgaria.


After my experience yesterday, I was glad to be able to run on land again until I met some not so friendly locals – 3 loose dogs that seemed to know I didn’t belong there.  They began to bark and stood across the path as if defending their territory.  I walked away backwards very slowly.  Fortunately, in the other direction from the ship I only met fishermen. 

Later I learned that when the Communists moved people from the countryside into apartment houses in the cities (buildings described as “Stalin Gothic”), their dogs followed them, but weren’t allowed in the apartments.  They ran loose and these are their descendants.  Wow, there’s history everywhere. 


Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

(Robert Frost – “The Road Not Taken)