The plan for today? Take the walking tour of Veliko Tarnovo, and Tsarvarets Castle.
I spent the evening yesterday and this morning hanging out with Timos (Germany), who wanted to go visit Buzludzha 60 km from Veliko Tarnovo. Buzludzha is a monument built by the Bulgarian communist regime in 1981, which has fallen into disrepair and closed to the public in 1991.
Bruna (Brazil), and Alexandra (Chile) also planned on the walking tour of Veliko Tarnovo today, and Buzludzha tomorrow. Timos leaves tomorrow, so everyone juggled plans, Bruna rented a car, and we drove to Buzludzha as an expedition of urban exploration.
Timos drives twice a year, Alexandra doesn’t drive, and Bruna didn’t like driving after three different people navigating drove her crazy, so I drove, staying in the zen of the Bulgarian driver (with a few white-knuckled moments).
There’s closed, and then there’s closed.
So we crawled inside. The inside is disintegrating, but after clambering in we could explore. I enjoy climbing up and down stairs, and wandering in and out of abandoned chambers.
Like any experienced urban explorers (or castle explorer), we brought a flashlight and two headlamps, an absolute necessity in this case, as we worked our way underground, and then 31 flights of rusty iron stairs and ladders up in absolute darkness to get to the top of the tower.
After surviving the experience, hunger required lunch. A drive to a nearby cave and monastery were next on the agenda.
An awesome day, interacting with everyone from different cultures and travel experiences. A fairly long drive meant we had the chance to get to know each other a bit, and discuss difference cultural differences (display of religious iconography was but one example).
The hostel will do my laundry tonight, I’ll take the walking tour tomorrow, and then see how far I can cycle for the rest of the day.
At least that’s the plan.