Monday, 27 August 2012

Sozopol A Wonderful Holiday

After too many years of not getting away on our own for a holiday we took the plunge when friends said they would dog sit for us. I am soooooo happy, first that we know lovely people that would do that for us & secondly to get Nige away from the house, as if he is home he always has something to do, fix, build or make! It's one of the downsides to owning a large property which is being renovated as we live in it. It's a long slow process as he needs to work to earn the money to live but then there is no time to renovate our house, except on the weekends!

So I looked on & found a good deal in Sozopol. An Aparthotel with breakfast, Wi'fi, Aircon & Sat TV & best of all a pool with rooms that open up direct onto it. I sent a nice message requesting one of these & hoped they would be kind to us.  I have wanted to visit Sozopol as it's one of the better resorts, (I had heard).
We had a very eventful journey to Burgas, in fact we ended up doing half of it over passes where roads had been dug up for resurfacing, not good, not good at all! I spent most of that part of the trip very stressed as all I could see were huge chasm's where I imagined us careering down to our deaths, Yes I know I am a drama queen ;-D
All was good though when eventually we reached ground level again haha . As you all are aware I love, love, love Bulgaria & when we do a road trip I end up loving it even more. Bulgaria is so, so, so beautiful, no matter where you go her beauty never fails to amaze. The scenery is just gorgeous & driving through the pine forests is lovely. Even the dreadful roads (which are being repaired) did not take away from her looks just added a different dimension as the tree's were covered with the dust from the roads, giving them an unusual hue. The weather was yet again fiercely hot, but Nigel had the Aircon in the car re gassed before we left, which helped rather. We stopped at the good old OMV stations for lunch & a couple of drinks to keep us going & were very pleased to find one had Wi'fi so we could find the map to the hotel.
The first sight of Sozopol is a good one, a panorama & I felt excited about what we were about to find
 Well so far so good. Yes it is a tourist area but it's managed to keep it's character in all the madness of tourism.
Loved our location to the pool 
It was such a blessing to have the exact room I imagined given to us. It opened onto our own little terrace & the pool. We had the fortuitousness to get the one & only umbrella, (which was the first of only two negative points), on each day. The weather here is code orange & has been for over a week, the temp's are dangerously high & to not have sun shade is a bad thing. But I would guess the Russians & Bulgarians, which make up the lions share of tourists in this resort, do not spend much time round the pool. We were for most part the only ones with a few people visiting for a dip then off again,
The beaches by way of comparison were full to exploding, not our cup of tea at all!!!!! Crikey it was like looking at a factory of human's waiting to be encased in tins! All with their little postage stamp size of shaded hot sand, the sea however did look good & the sand was a beautiful shade of gold. 
At the end of each day the beach was cleaned of all rubbish left behind & a big machine was driven over it to rake it & then level it out. 
Yes Sozopol looks after its lovely beaches & I would hazard a guess that out of season would be a great time to visit it :-)

We could have found local restaurants that were not so expensive but we were intrigued with the beach side market with all the eateries lining each side nestled amongst them little tourist shops fruit & veg stalls, mini marts as well as the little independent sellers of pancakes, doughnuts & waffles.
I loved it so much, it was so reminiscent of Bali, the feel, smells & layout.
Tthe Hedon bar was a great chill out place, overlooking the beach & the sea views were gorgeous. Little cabanas to sit in with curtains that flapped in the breeze or the tables & chairs that nestled under large cantileaver umbrellas giving shade from the incessant sun.
The waitresses wear swim wear during the heat of the day & miniscual shorts in the evening, all part if the uniform to attract the younger crowd I would guess. The atmosphere one of relaxation & chillout music playing helps a great deal & reminds us of happy carefree times in Bali & Goa. It's a great place for a cocktail but watch out it is pricey!!! Great for relaxation, breeze & beach side atmosphere
We stumbled apon the old town on our last night there. We wanted to stroll around it & headed in a direction we hoped was correct. It was quite a walk in the heat but we kept going & when our instinct waivered we followed the few people that looked like they knew where they were going. It turned out to be the long way round but we eventually ended up in the town where shops were still open an eclectic mix of clothes, shoes, tourist bits & bobs, furs, leather & the all important food :-)
I love that he is teaching this little girl :-)
Our taxi home, bit scary as he raced along the main road! fare went from 50 leva to 15 leva
Eventually we turned a corner & found a back part where no one was going so we thought we would be nosy & found where all the locals purchased their food, little mini markets & fruit & veg stalls. A fresh fish shop & even a  style booze shop.
We were wandering around & found the main night market come entertainment area the start of the main old town experience.
Please excuse the photo's but it was getting dark & as both our good camera's are no more we are using a 11 yr old faithful which just cannot do night time :-(

Holiday at an end, we were both very sad, we had a brilliant time away & found an idyll tucked away in Bulgaria. What can be better than exploring different areas of our adopted country & finding a blissful place. We have been told this is the prettiest coastal region by many Bulgarians & I have to say we are in agreement. We have holiday'd in Golden Sands & Albena, been to Varna, seen Sunny beach from the beautiful Nessebur, which I recommend a visit to, spent a couple of days nr Borovets which is gorgeous, driven all over Sophia, which I hate & stayed the night. I can honestly say, but we have many more places to visit, & next year who knows ;-D  So far Sozopol hits our spot & we are going back for a week. I will endeavour to get some daytime shots of the old town & harbour on this trip also if we are very fortunate we will get a boat trip or drive over to Turkey. Can't wait.........

Sussex Coast & Reminiscing in England

I am missing my home big time. I need to feel wanted, I need to be accepted for Joanna not naughty daughter or mum who is not here any more or annoying sister lol but as a wife or life partner a friend & a person in my own right. As you can see I am still .feeling very vulnerable, stupid I know but I have always felt like this when I'm out of my own environment or without Nigel, Nige is my rock & holds me up! People who know me will be thinking, "what is she going on about", as I come across as a strong woman, what I really am is a fighter!
I am the proverbial black sheep of the family, as was Nige, which makes us a great match, but I am fed up with having to fight, so just spirit me home where I will feel safe & more in control of what happens to me :-)
I have had some great times in England, so please don't get me wrong, but I am truthful, so I have to say I have been here too long & I am pleased the trip is coming to an end. All the women in my family are independent, "strong" & busy, so we all like our own space & want to get on with our own lives. This trip has made me realise that a couple of days with each is perfect, after all isn't that why we all leave home, our birth places & for us ex pats, leave the country????  My mum is on the mend & raring to go, which means I am now in her way lol, so I am off to Tonbridge Kent, the place of some of the happiest times of my life, the start of my married life & motherhood & the birth place of all my children. I love Tonbridge, it holds so many wonderful memories & also can make me very sad to remember what was lost. I had some great times here, laughed a lot, grew up & some of it was idyll!
I am going to stay with my sister (in law) it will be lovely to just sit, relax & catch up on the past, our lovely times :-)
But first it is the Diamond Jubilee weekend & we are off to a party on Monday to celebrate such a wonderful occasion in English history, I am so pleased I am here to witness this as I love the queen for what she does for our country & if there is anything to be proud of in England/UK it's her!!!!
Fish & chips At Maggie's on Hastings beach, a small portion
The fishermen's beach where Maggie's fish bar is situated wonderful freshly caught & crisp
The best meal in Hastings is here, the batter & chips are crisp with no oozing fat, the fish is thick & flakey & perfectly cooked by Maggie herself. If you go to Hastings you really must eat here, but be aware you must book as it is always full.