Monday, 28 May 2018

Nothing happening and all change

Hi folks just a quick post to let you know we're still here. Not much has been happening on the Bulgarian front since we purchased our house back in April. All except it is now just over 5 weeks till we head back to Bulgaria and believe you me we are counting the days down.

We have been sorting the dogs passport out for when he comes with us in December, but not quite got there yet as I can't get him to sit still on the seat in the photo booth but I will persevere

We fly to Sofia on the 5 th July for two weeks and after an overnight stay in Lovech we finally get to our house in the 6th July where we will stay for the remainder of the fortnight
It was September last year since we were in the Bulg and it seems like an eternity. How good will that first Kamenitza taste ?

The all change bit is that we were having a beach/ house hunting holiday but as we have now purchased our house we will be staying there and have cancelled the coast.

The house has been renovated but has been empty for about 16 months. Hopefully there won't be too much to do in it when we get there although I'm sure  there will be a few bits and bobs to do and maybe a lick of paint here and there.

Maybe just a lick of paint required
Till next time
Take care.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Swede is cabbaged !!!!!

Apologies to anyone who is not from the North of England who may not understand the title of this post.
In proper English it means my head is full of so many questions that it feels like it's going to explode.

For the last couple of years maybe longer we have been aiming at getting to Bulgaria this has involved researching all we could. Joining numerous ex pat Facebook pages and Bulgarian forums. We pretty much eat sleep and dream Bulgaria.

Now that it's getting closer my head is in overdrive. I have so much running around in there there is not much room for anything else. Below are a few of the multitude of random thoughts I have on a daily basis.

TRANSPORT .  We have a very small car ( Chevrolet matiz) my wife couldn't drive for a couple of years ( not in a drink driving banned way but she suffered from vertigo) so I sold my car and have been using hers. Do we go to Bulgaria in this do we get a bigger car, do we get a van, do we try and buy a left hand drive, do we take a trailer ? Question after question and I keep changing my mind current status is we are going to get a transit van but that will all change again.

RESIDENCY  We need to sort this out when we get there , how long does it take, will  brexit affect it will we have to do it before march, if not will we have to get a company.

will I get over my fear of snakes, how fast are snakes, can I run faster than a snake, if I can't what do I do ?

How many tomato plants do we need

What is a brassica

What does perennial mean

Where will I get my hair cut

Will I ever be able to understand the Bulgarian alphabet , let's be fair I still struggle with the English one

Will I ever be able to count past eight in Bulgarian

Will I ever like leeks

Will I be able to live in 40 degree heat.

What does a cube of wood look like

Will I cut off a body part whilst using a chainsaw

How do you make wine

What will I miss from the UK

does comfrey really smell that bad in water to make fertilizer

What books should I read when snowed in

Will I be able to get the ingredients to make a decent curry

Where will I get my blood pressure tablets from

What's the biggest snake in the world.

Will I wear out you tube and Google with random questions

Well in 7 months time we will start to find out the answers to some of these questions and we are looking forward to it so much.

Anyway I'm off to Google "what to do if a snake bites you"

Till next time
Take care

Saturday, 21 April 2018

We bought a house.

Well we have done it. Last week the sale of our house went through. We are now the proud owners of a lovely house in a village in the Targovishte area but just South of Rousse (about 25 miles).
To say we are excited is an understatement it 's a major milestone in our move to BG.
we stayed in the house on our first trip to Bulgaria in 2016 as guest's . The house has a two bedroom self contained apartment above it which we stayed in as well as living accommodation downstairs. It has a renovated Barn and an outside kitchen with a wood burning oven and has 2000 sq metres of land.

Shortly after we stayed in it the house went up for sale but we weren't in a position to buy it then, but as I now only have a few months left at work and it was still for sale we have plunged in and bought it.I

It feels strange as we have been planning our move to Bulgaria for about the last three years and it's getting closer. We sit here saying " I wonder what we will be doing this time next year ".
When we decided to move we knew we could afford it but as we don't have a house to sell in the UK (we rent) we couldn't afford to get it wrong.
The house was for sale with an estate agent, but it was an estate
agent that had been recommended to us even before the house was for sale. We looked at houses with Monica the agent in 2017 so we knew her too.
So when we decided to buy this house we were happy to deal with Monica.
Her office is in Rousse and all the dealings were done whilst we were in the UK. This meant giving Monica power of attorney but she has done everything she said she would do and more she is a godsend.
I suppose the most unnerving thing (read twitchy bum time) was sending the money from the UK to my Bulgarian bank which Monica had control off, but all went smoothly, Monica even set up internet banking for us so we could see each and every transaction.

All that remains now is to figure out how to transport ourselves , our dog and two cats to Bulgaria bearing in mind we own one of the smallest cars in the world.

keep tunes in folks for updates

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Trip number three

Our third trip to bulgaria was a quick whistle stop 4 days in Lovech, we had passed through on our last trips but wanted to see more.
The flights were cheap as chips and we booked into The Old Lovech Guest House So after collecting our hire car we set off and after about 2hrs 30 mins we arrived in Lovech after a short stop at a roadside bar for a thirst quenching drink.

Roadside bar
Our accomodation was amazing and I can recommend anyone that goes to Lovech stays here. The place is owned and run by Dimitri who is an ex sailor and he has refurbished the place with the help of his sons. What he doesnt know about Lovech and the surrounding areas is not worth knowing

The Old Lovech Guest House

Lovely Blue Sky

The Old Lovech Guesthouse is in the old town and is surrounded by cobbled streets, its a bit awkward to find but thankfully our sat nav took us straight there, The first time we visited Lovech we didnt even know there was an old town.

Fancy climbing these after a few Bulgarian beers
The town has a lovely square with nice restaraunts and has the river Osam running through it and has a wooden covered bridge over it with souvenir shops all inside it.

The Old town square
We found it ideal to sit with a beer and watch the world go by

Nice cooling beer
Lovech has a fortress and it is well worth a walk up there and a look around it affords some great views over the town.

View over Lovech
We spent the next 4 days just wondering around the town and local area. There are some lovely villages nearby and we had a look at lots again with a view to moving there.
Sadly our time was soon up and we headed back to Sofia and handed back the hire car.

We shall see you again soon Bulgaria

Take care all

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Trip number two

Now that we are half Bulgarian having spent 6 days there we couldn't wait to head back. So as soon as we returned to England we immediately booked flights and car hire. This time we were going for a fortnight again flying to Sofia but driving to Balchik on the coast and back but included in this trip we had arranged to view some houses with our estate agent Monica.
Easy jet delivered us on time and we picked up our car and set off.
We were driving to the Rousse area where we wanted to view some houses as it's a lovely place.
All I can say is it's a bloody long drive after after being up since about 3:30 am to catch a flight and with hindsight we should of split this journey up but you live and learn.
We finally arrived at our accommodation around 5pm absolutely shattered.
We had booked into a hotel in Ivanavo and although the hotel was clean and tidy there ain't much in Ivanavo, again you live and learn. The hotel was full of workmen and backed onto the railway line. Its saving grace was it had a lovely courtyard garden at the back and the workmen were friendly and not too noisy as they sat outside drinking beer every night.
The only place to eat in Ivanavo was our hotel and the lady that booked us in told us it opened at 7pm. So around 7 pm we sauntered down to find the door to the restaurant locked. We were joined by a couple of dutch cyclists who were also staying there and had also come to eat.
I knocked on the door and an elderly lady opened it and promptly shut it in my face.
We all laughed left it a minute then went in to much muttering from the elderly lady inside.
Our meal was delivered to us and we had no choice of what we were getting it was it was some sort of meat burger and rice but was OK.

Nice courtyard garden at our hotel
It was when we were in Ivanavo we met our estate agent Monica.
Monica picked us up from our hotel and took us out for a full day viewing houses in the area.
Our plan was to look at houses at around £10,000 but were livable in for a holiday home then renovate it when we finally moved permanent. We could afford to get 10K together but not much more for another 18 month.
Monica showed us a good selection of houses but it was clear they all needed work and who knows how much work till you start.
I'm envious of people who have the know how to renovate property where as I have to google which end of a hammer to hold, OK I'm not that bad but when it comes to knocking walls down and rewiring stuff I don't know my arse from my elbow and I just know we would end up living in a building site for years not what we want.
The last house Monica showed us was out of our price range but she wanted to show us the difference by paying a bit more what you could get.

The house she showed us was in a village called Karan Verbovka. It was stunning it had a balcony on the back overlooking the hills and on the balcony was a jacuzzi, 2 leather settees, a table and 4 chairs and a running machine probably to hang your washing on.
We changed our minds we were going to buy a house where we could move into it just meant we had to wait.

The view from the balcony of the stunning house

Nearby swimming pool in Opaka which cost us £1.80 a day to use 
We left Ivanavo after a few days vowing to come back to the area to look at more houses in 2018 (and buy one).

From Ivanavo we drove to Balchik on the coast where we had a chill out for a week.
Balchik is great a bit hilly but its like Spain was 30 years ago, no lucky men on the beach no pressure to eat in every restaurant you pass by and not to many Brits although there appear to be more Brits on the coast than inland. But it is the coast after all.
We stayed in a fantastic guest rooms called Yordanovi guest rooms
We are staying here again this year if you go to Balchik you will be hard pressed to find a nicer place to stay with a great friendly family running it. The owner is an ex Bulgarian policeman and his son speaks perfect English nothing is too much trouble for them.

Garden area and bbq
Our hire car and view down to Balchik

Balchik in the evening
From Balchik we started to make our way back across the country towards Sofia and stopped for a couple of nights in Veliko tarnavo or VT as its called.
VT is nice and worth going it has lots of nice bars and restaurants and an old town which we stayed in but it's busy, touristy and more expensive or at least more expensive than other places we stayed. It's just not our cup of tea.


Everywhere in Bulgaria has statues

Courtyard restaurant

Cobbled streets

Nice quirky bars
After VT we made our way back to Sofia and back to Blighty.

We just had to go back

  • Till next time take care

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Our first trip to Bulgaria

Our first trip to Bulgaria was in November 2016 where we hired a car and drove around for six days 2 days near Stara Zagora, 2 days in Targovishte and our last 2 days in a village near Lovech.
Since this we went back in June 2017 for two weeks where we drove from Sofia across country to Balchik for some beach time and back, having six days in Balchik.
We went back in September 2017 for 4 days and stayed in Lovech town.
Our next trip is July this year and another planned for October before finally moving permanent in December this year all going to plan.

We fly on those big orange planes from Manchester to Sofia which takes around 3 1/2 hours and the flights are about £70 to £80 return which is really good value.

Easy jet at Sofia airport.

On our first trip we picked up a hire car and set off towards the Stara Zagora area, leaving the airport we thought bloody hell where have we come to as there is a large Roma area with houses built out of all sorts of bits and bobs with corrugated iron roof's. The car doors stayed firmly locked. But as we drove out of Sofia in front of us were gorgeous mountains in the distance.

Stunning scenery ahead.

We arrived at our first hotel about 3 hours later just outside Chirpan we stayed at Hotel trendafiloff and at £12.50 a night each for bed and breakfast was another bargain. The hotel is just out of town but has a lovely restaurant and bar

Nice view from our room

Rush hour just outside Chirpan.
The following morning we met Minty and Pete who live in that area and write over a coffee we picked their brains and gathered what we could in a short time. They are a lovely couple and we wish we had stayed longer talking to them but we were just mad keen to see some areas of bulgaria after what had been a full on day of travelling the day before.

We spent the next two days looking around the area and saw some lovely villages.

From here we moved on to the Targovishte area driving over the mountains. Bulgaria was growing on us it really is a beautiful country with friendly people.

Busy roads 

Shops for the fashion conscious
Friendly locals

We spent the next two days looking around this area which again is beautiful and where we are buying our house. Bulgaria is abundant in hills, forests , national parks and has the advantage of busy towns and cities on hand if you need them.

Fruit n veg market in Ruse, Rousse,Pyce all of which are different ways of spelling the same thing ?
The Blue ????? Danube which separates Bulgaria from Romania. Romania is on the other side of the river

Nice easy to read menus, 
After two days in this area we started to make our way back towards Sofia staying in a little village called Golets just outside Lovech for 2 nights.

We couldn't find our accommodation in golets  so asked a man with a horse for directions. Of course he spoke no English and all we could say in Bulgarian was " two beers please". So after a couple of minutes of charades and showing him our booking form with the address on he took us straight there, him and his horse. Just so friendly.

The lovely log fire in our accomodation
So pretty soon our six days were up and we had had a whistle stop tour and driven about 800 miles around Bulgaria.

One thing for certain we would be coming back the place fascinates and intrigues us. I'm sure there are some bad bits and some really shitty bits. But we love it. We saw some stunning sights, some beautiful sights and definitely some strange sights .

Until next time 

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

New Beginnings

We are a middle fifties husband and wife who are planning our move to Bulgaria.

Hopefully by this time next year we will be living in our new home in rural BG.

We have had enough of the UK ,had enough of the rat race we live in, the constant daily grind of Get up go to work come home and repeat. Had enough of walking down the street past gangs of feral youths with their hands down their pants so their knobs don't fall off. Had enough of Christmas starting in September and easter eggs in the shops by boxing day.

We just want a more simpler life away from the stresses and commercialism of England while were still young enough to enjoy it.

After a few trips to Bulgaria and lots and lots and lots of miles driving around we have chosen the area of Targovishte to call our new home. Although we liked lots of places this is where we chose. Simply because we had to chose somewhere as we were getting fed up of looking. It has most of what we want.
Its rural
Its not too far from civilisation (Rousse)
Its got national parks everywhere
The locals seem friendly
And not too many Brits compared to other places

We did see some other nice places

The Krushuna waterfalls

Some great little bars

Some restaurants with fantastic views

We are currently in the process of buying a house with 2000 square metres of land which in old money I think is half an acre.

Our plan is to grow our own fruit and veg ,keep chickens possibly a pig non of which we know anything about, live in a country where we don't speak the language and a country that seems to have a slight alcohol issue. What could possibly go wrong ?

Cheers or Nazdrave see you soon.