Europe 1987

Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan 2018

Europe 1987

Well, that was a VERY rough night.  Di finally got to sleep at 4:30am and woke again at 6:30am.  It was not the ideal start for her birthday, and I was determined that we would compensate by getting better accommodation that night.  The children also woke early and got up to play on some nearby play equipment, after which we went to one of the hotels and enjoyed a smorgasbord breakfast.

Following breakfast we went for a walk along the beach to the accommodation office, stopping for a while to give Liesl and Phillip a short ride on some dodgem cars.  It was still a grey, overcast day at this stage, which matched our mood when the accommodation office told us it was still too early to make any decisions and to return at 11:00am.  The children played on the beach while we waited, and then as directed we returned to the accommodation office, where we were informed there was nothing available for that night.

With that news and following the suggestion of the tourism office staff, we drove 14 kilometres south to Zlatni Pyasatsi (Golden Sands), another beach resort with an accommodation office.  The answer there was the same as Albena, so we drove another 16 kilometres south to Varna, our last hope to find a room.  We finally found success, a double room at the Hotel Cherno More (Hotel Black Sea) for $US60 – considerably more than our usual daily budget, but affordable as we had REALLY saved cash by sleeping in the car through the previous night.

The room was not available until late afternoon, so with the relaxing assurance that we had secured a room, we returned north to Zlatni Pyasatsi for an afternoon at the beach on what was now a hot, sunny day.  All three children (and even their parents!) really enjoyed it, even though the beach was very crowded (which helps explain the shortage of accommodation), and the long lines of closely spaced, regulated beach umbrellas were unlike anything we had ever seen.

The children were very tired by the time returned to Varna at 5:30pm and checked into our hotel. Like all hotels in Bulgaria, the Hotel Cherno More is government-run, but this one was lovely, taking the prize for our best hotel so far.  You know it is city’s top hotel when its location is on the corner of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin Boulevarde and Georgi Dimitrov Boulevarde (Dimitrov being Bulgaria’s first Communist leader).  The views from our window were fabulous, looking across the city in one direction and the Black Sea in another.

Being Di’s birthday, I decided that we would have a nice dinner in the hotel’s restaurant (which happily had yet another set of great views).  This was a wonderful experience, although as we were waiting for our meals to arrive, we remembered why we don’t often use tablecloths at home – Tim was drawn to every white tablecloth in the restaurant (and there were lots of them) like a moth is drawn to a light, with a keen desire to pull them off the tables and onto the floor, together with all the glassware and utensils that were set out on them. 

There was only one other couple in the restaurant and the food was lovely, especially when it was accompanied by live music provided by a three-person ensemble, making a romantic end to a day that had not begun nearly as comfortably.

Day 21

Albena to Varna

Sunday 2 August 1987