The windy roads continue as we travel to the former medieval capital of Bulgaria, Veliko Tarnovo. A trip of approximately three hours from Sofia. We left Sofia after breakfast and arrived at Veliko Tarnovo with plenty of time to do some sightseeing. Our local guide Yama directed our Tour bus driver through the town and pointed out many historical monuments, and then directed him seven kilometers out of town to a place called Arbanasi.
Arbanasi has a population of around 300 people. It was very old, dating back to the 17th -18th century, and is known for it’s rich history and some very old buildings. We wandered the narrow streets stopping firstly at 17th century merchants house.
We then wandered on to the Church of the Holy Nativity, dated 1632. We weren’t allowed to take photos inside the church, but it was highly decorated on every wall with biblical scenes. It is also well known for it’s enchanting acoustics.
And even though Arbanasi was only a small village type of town, there were about four restaurants on the main street and we all dispersed to have lunch before heading back to Veliko Tarnovo.
Veliko Tarnovo was known to be one of the strongest Bulgarian fortification between the 12th and 14th centuries. The whole place is surrounded by walls as you will see in the photos.
The most popular landmark is the historic hill Tsarevets which Robin and Len went and visited and took several photos for us.
Judy, Teresa and I went and had a look at the shops. It was very hot and we were actually feeling a little weary from the bus ride again. It was nice to just have some free time and wander around. We ended up sitting at a local cafe and just enjoyed doing nothing in particular.
Our Hotel was really quite nice and after a very hot day I went down the three floors to the swimming pool and had a half hour swim before tea.
We had a lovely meal at the Hotel with the rest of our tour group and ended up having a sing along and dance. A super ending to another lovely day of ‘Touring the Balkans’ 🙂