In case you missed it, here is part 1.
I am on the move again. Left Sophia and going to Plovdiv. While driving to Plovdiv I had the chance to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Bulgaria’s nature once more. Believe it or not, the driving was very pleasant due to the beautiful scenery. Also, the roads where in a much better condition with less roadworks and 2 lane – highway per direction compared to the previous days. It is around 120 – 130 kilometers from Sophia (opens link to part 1). I don’t remember the exact number but it was an hour drive or so.
This city was, um… can’t exactly pinpoint my feelings but it made feel emotional. I felt nostalgia. Not because it used to have a Greek name or because of the Greek background. I think it’s because of the atmosphere that the city had. Old houses with great designs, classical structures and ancient artifacts / buildings even theaters. Pretty much felt like home. I can’t deny that after I drove around I decided not to park and walk around because I didn’t feel safe. Reminder: back then all my gear was stored outside of the car so anybody could pick it up.
As I mentioned, the city had a variety of buildings but I didn’t locate anything extravagant like Sophia (opens link to part 1). Plovdiv, also has a heavy industry area outside the city. I am not sure if it’s an electricity factory or other kind of industry but I attached a picture. Maybe someone can help us identify the factory. Furthermore the city has some beautiful churches around and especially one, with a huge staircase in the front, that is suitable for wedding pictures or night portraits. On the other hand, the living status looked lower. I saw kids with no shoes playing around in dirty streets, unhappy people staring at me and all these made me little uncomfortable. I wouldn’t trust my car being parked there for no good reason. No beggars came to bother me while I was driving but you get my point. Gypsies and other minorities live in some areas. I felt sorry for such a great city to be in such a bad condition. On the other hand, I come from Greece where things are getting worse and worse, so I get the irony! Being there for few hours, I experienced the traffic jam while I was driving around and also some really nice quiet neighborhoods. Tourist areas are guarded and I believe it’s a safe choice to park in a guarded parking lot.
The streets of the city center and the historic areas, are stone paved with big old stones. Sometimes there are some gaps between the stones so please be careful if you drive a common city car. I had my 4×4 so once more I had no problems at all. The city was elected to be the European Capital of Culture in 2019. I am not sure how old the city is because I know the Greek version of the world’s history but I think its something about the 6th millennia B.C. That means that Greeks, Persians, Romans, Bulgarians, Slav-Vikings, Turks and more were all involved in shaping this city. It has a Roman theater, aqueduct, stadium and more. Typical Romans! Travelling by car or on foot you can easily spot these beauties around the city. You can go the old Roman theater and have a sit, enjoy the sound and feel the amazing atmosphere, take a moment to think about yourself and how many other million people have stood there. Philosophers from the Roman empire were sitting in the same spot as you! It never ceases to amaze me that the old technology is made to last, while new technology has various limitations, for no reason that I know of.
Same here, can’t actually remember the distance between the cities but I drove a little longer this time. I think it was around 1 hour and 15 minutes or 1 hour and 30 minutes. The closer I was getting to Lyubimets, the closer I was getting to the borders. The difference is quite important because you could see all the international transport trucksd driving around. In general I am not scared by the TIR (Transports Internationaux Routiers) trucks. 90% of the time, when I see a TIR truck, means it’s taken good care of. My experience about these trucks is mostly positive. Those trucks have to drive around countries and in most of them they have to pay heavy fines and / or money for occupying the roads in case they break down. In order to avoid the hustle, the drivers have been very careful with their trucks. On the other hand, when I see a truck that is for domestic use only, I try to keep my distance and / or avoid it at all costs! I know they don’t really care about the maintenance of their trucks.
I was planning to stop at a random place to sleep but I heard about a guy from U.K. that he opened a camping site because he fell in love with the city. Most probably it should be an urban legend but there was actually a guy like that! I don’t really know if he fell in love with the Biser city or he just fell in love with a girl from Biser but he was quite interesting and a great host. The camping is very easy to spot. It’s called Sakar Hills Camping. Unfortunately I don’t have any actual pictures from Biser nor the camping site.
While you drive on the main highway and you exit towards Biser, you will be in a secondary road, in a fairly good condition. If you are using a map or GPS, you can look it up. The moment you have the Biser village on your right, the road will make a left turn. Right there you will have to slow down because the there is a sharp right turn that you have to make if you want to exit for Biser. When you will reach the small village, you will know it is not a dangerous place. It’s peaceful, with old people walking around minding their own business. Continue straight and the moment the road makes a little right turn, you have reached your destination! It is a white, 2 floor house, with an open gate and lots of parking space on the grass! The fence is also white and the design looks like it has big windows. If you are lucky you will spot caravans and other campers around.
When you enter, just stop in front of the house door. Inform him about the length of your stay and he will let you know about prices etc. He is really cool and most of the times you don’t have to pay in advance. I was leaving early in the morning so I paid in advance because, as he said, he wasn’t going to get up early! That night he invited me for a beer but I politely declined because I had to drive a lot the next day. The place is really good. There is grass all around which is good. You don’t get dirty and it makes you fell better. There are also toilets and showers with hot water! Yes, hot water! The building is outside and kind of open. I mean, there is a roof and all, but it is outdoors. Nothing is sealed tight nor meant to be that way. The doors have the typical gap on the lower end so you know if someone else is using the shower or not. If you are afraid of spiders or little night flies, just go slowly and with caution. I showered and had a great night sleep. I don’t remember seeing any locks but honestly I didn’t look carefully. This guy is serious about his business. There is a designated space for tents, small caravans or big ones. Electric sockets with electric power for the cars or caravans that are also illuminated during the night so the use can locate them easily. I believe that it’s so convenient when you arrive tired and you just want to sleep.
The next morning, I woke up, had breakfast and drove back to Greece.
Hints and tips about Biser!
Tip 1: On your way to Biser, after the sharp right turn you will make, the roads are really bad. They are a combination of dirt, tarmac and gravel. The whole village has that kind of roads. So drive carefully, kids might be playing around. In gravel conditions it takes a great distance for a moving car to come to a stop.
Tip 2: Another important point is that just outside of the camping site, sometimes police has roadblocks. I was lucky enough not to see any. But I believe that the roadblocks are for one reason only, for the foreign cars to be stopped.
Thank you for reading!
If you have any questions please ask.
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