We were lucky enough to be in Veliko Tarnovo on Bulgarian Independence Day. Turns out that (as the former capital, or one of them) VT was the focus of the action. The president and PM (and lots of soldiers) were in town and there was a big show on the night and a bit of a party atmosphere in town.
So from Chisinau it was a short hop to Bucharest and then a 6 hour wait for the train through to Bulgaria. Veliko Tarnovo to be precise. A beautiful town in which to break up my train journey to İstanbul. The Tsavarets Fortress is spectacular. Spent 3 nights there in the end. Lots to do.
Oh, and I got a pic of a hummimgbird (below).
Here are a bunch of photos from the highlight: some sort of Communist era monument and conference centre that is near VT. Buzludzha it's called. Very bond-esque. Or a level from Doom. A very eerie and bizarre place. No-one else there apart from me, Nick and Scott. Judging by the amount of horse crap everywhere, normally there are probably a lot of horses too. It's completely abandoned and while you're probably not supposed to go in, it's not hard. It's just bizarre that no-one's done anything with it. One of my high points of E Europe to be sure.
OK, I would have added more but the internet connection is v slow in İstanbul. Plus the keyboard layout is confusing so taking a while to type anything. Will be here for a couple of days then off to Cappadocia. Goreme first and then on to Konya, famous for its association with whirling dervishes, the poet Rumi and Sufi mystic Shams of Tabriz.