Veliko Tarnovo – Bulgaria

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.

Just off the bus and venturing the streets of Arbanasi to see the different houses
Just off the bus and venturing the streets of Arbanasi to see the different houses
There was a lot of overgrown grass and plants, and narrow streets with stone walls
There was a lot of overgrown grass and plants, and narrow streets with stone walls
Outside the Merchants house
Outside the Merchants house
One of the rooms, possibly for entertaining
One of the rooms, possibly for the whole family to sleep
Mostly Turkish style in furnishing
Mostly Turkish style in furnishing
The mothers room and bed for the new baby.
The mothers birthing room and bed for the new baby.
The kitchen and stove
The kitchen and stove
This believe it or not is the toilet!
This believe it or not is the toilet!
These stairs are the exit at the back of the house
These stairs are the exit at the back of the 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.

We are all waiting to go into the church. It is quite small but has about four separate rooms. Another tour was already inside and we needed to wait until they had left before we could go in.
We are all waiting to go into the church. It is quite small but has about four separate rooms. Another tour was already inside and we needed to wait until they had left before we could go in.

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.

Waiting for our lunch to arrive :-)
Waiting for our lunch to arrive ๐Ÿ™‚

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 view of the walls from our hotel
The view of the walls from our hotel

The most popular landmark is the historic hill Tsarevets which Robin and Len went and visited and took several photos for us.

Walking over to the fortress
Walking over to the fortress
Some of our tour party following the guide to the fortress
Some of our tour party following the guide to the fortress
Walking in with a view of the wall to the left side
Walking in with a view of the wall to the left side
The wall to the right side
The wall to the right side
The guide is explaining the area from the map
The guide is explaining the area from the map
The map
The map
The ruins of the old fortress
The ruins of the old fortress
Robin wandering the fortress with some others from our tour
Robin wandering the fortress with some others from our tour
Len at the fortress ruins
Len at the fortress ruins
Time to go! Back to the Hotel :-)
Time to go! Back to the Hotel ๐Ÿ™‚
Wandering back to Veliko Tarnovo
Wandering back to Veliko Tarnovo
The view of the Yarna River below
The view of the Yarna River below
Zoomed in to the river and bridge. Look at the houses!
Zoomed in to the river and bridge. Look at the houses!

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.

Judy at the shopping street near our Hotel
Judy at the shopping street near our Hotel
Yes.... it's a selfie!
Yes…. it’s a selfie!

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’ ๐Ÿ™‚

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