May 29, 2016: Tsarevets in Tarnovo

I was up long before everyone else this morning so I went out for a long morning walk on my own to do some exploring.  I can walk so much farther than everyone else that this just makes sense most days.  Today I started by going down and finding the footbridge that goes from the new town over to the peninsula where the giant monument and the art museum are.  It was a good walk and I got to see some neat stuff.  I walked back on the peninsula and found a massive staircase that just went up and up to the top of the hill and started a nature trail there.  There was even a playground at the top of the hill, but far too much walking to consider taking the girls there.  I have no idea who would use that playground.

It was a long walk, over an hour, maybe close to two, by the time that I got back home.  I got some good pictures, though.  And I got some serious exercise.

Once home I showered and we all went right across the “street” which is car free, just a pedestrian way, to the Alegro Hotel and sat outside and had a late breakfast or early lunch.  The girls loved that a cat came and was all over us while we ate and even hopped onto the middle level of our table and made itself at home there.  Restaurant cats are their new favourite thing.

Alegro Restaurant Cat

After breakfast we found a taxi to take us to the Tsarevets Fortress which is the focal point of the city.  This is the old fortress of the tsars of the Second Bulgarian Empire and a major historical site.  We could have walked but that would have left us very tired before we even got started for the day.  It was already getting close to ninety degrees and full on sun when we started so this was going to be very hot and our clothes are all rather heavy as we had no plans to be anywhere that wasn’t relatively cool for our entire cycle in Europe this winter and spring.  So we are melting.

The tickets to the Tsarevets were very cheap.  It is all outdoors and you just walk around.  You take a long bridge over the ravine and then climb into the old fortress.  It was really cool.

Tsarevets in Tarnovo, Bulgaria

The girls enjoyed it but it was a lot of walking and, more importantly, a lot of climbing over rough terrain and ancient steps for a long time.  We were all exhausted and hot by the time that we got up to the top and I had to carry Luciana for a lot of it.

There was a neat, recreated church at the very peak which we checked out.  And we walked all over the grounds.  It was a good, historical experience.  It wore on the kids, though.  We are very glad that we did it, but we were tired quickly.

Liesl is defending the Tsars!

After we were done in the Tsarevets, it was probably two hours there, we hit a nice restaurant right at the entrance to the bridge to it and had a nice meal of traditional Bulgarian food.  Light stuff that was refreshing and we were quickly feeling better.

After our meal we decided to skip the taxi and walk back.  It really was not all that far and it took us down the old town shopping district again.  We stopped and got candy again for the girls.

Before getting back to the apartment we stopped and got steamed corn again.  The girls love it.  Nothing like steamed veggies as a street food snack.  This is awesome.

We relaxed at the apartment for about an hour and then went out and got take away falafel from the Bulgarian chain place Aladin Foods which turned out to be awesome.  Their falafel was so huge and filled with French fries and all kinds of stuff, it was great.  And the price was insane.  We bought way too much food for the four of us for just over three dollars!  We could have pretty easily eaten for just over two dollars had we known how big everything was!

After we ate, Luciana and I went out for a walk together to try to find more steamed corn but they had packed up and left by the time that we got there.  It was a nice little walk together, though.

Off to bed full of falafel.  This is our last night in Bulgaria.  Getting the train tomorrow and going back through Bucharest and on to Transylvania all in one day.  That is going to be one long day for us.