Burgas, Bulgaria is 4 hours east of Plovdiv by train
Our second weekend trip was to Burgas, at least this time we were on the Black Sea, and just a little bit closer to Istanbul.
A map of Burgas, Bulgaria:
The train ride to Burgas
We made sure to get to the station nice and early (it’s so nice to only have a backpack when we travel and not all of our stuff!). The station is being refurbished and in about two weeks they’ve finished replastering and are already starting to repaint.
We sit on the old metal benches under crumbling roofs (their former glory was at least 25 years ago) and wait for our train to come. Someone asks US if this is the right place to wait for the Burgas train – she says it in Bulgarian but since we know what “Burgas” is the meaning is clear.
It’s all about tone and manner! Check out this old train that went past about 10 minutes before our train arrived:
As any parent knows keeping the kids entertained is an important, if not vital, job. Bored kids get into mischief! So our best play is headphones with stories on them. Kind of like dad’s podcasts but for kids. Our tickets stated particular seats but we always love sitting at a table facing each other best (we can’t get enough of each other or something!) and no one cared, there was plenty of room in our car. The kids are ready for the 4 hour trip:
Looking down the train car you can hardly believe the outside of this train is a little bit run down. The inside is cool and comfortable. Bulgarians are a bit embarrassed about their own transport system, but I have to say that they are doing the best with what they have, and we have no complaints. One funny thing though, this train car’s toilet had a hole in the bottom so when you went it just splashed down onto the tracks. I only saw one of these, and I’m bummed I didn’t take a photo, but other than that everything works like clockwork:
I snuck away for a second and recorded the sights and sounds of the train to Burgas, from the caboose:
The first day in Burgas, get to the hotel
Our first day we arrived in the late afternoon and we grabbed a cab straight to our hotel, the Atlantis Resort. It was more posh than we’re used to, and about 10 mins outside the city (we prefer to be closer in) but we were keen to enjoy the fine weather! Only Sunday afternoon would the weather pack it in so we were ready for a sunny weekend. Here’s Alice glamming it up:
Again, and just like Bansko, we arrived in between seasons, in fact just a week before the summer season so none of the facilities were working, the pool, spa, or gym but the beach more than made up for it, and was only a short walk away. My goodness we got to the beach and remembered how long it had been since we had seen the ocean and that was Canet de Mar back in February. The beach was a bit treacherous as we were walking off the foot path (some serious thorns in the sand!) but once we arrived we settled in for a couple of hours. Glorious:
We left the beach to go back home for some dinner and sleep, and I turned around and saw this view, pretty ideal:
The water is greenish in these photos, more like New Zealand in the summer than the Black Sea, and I’ve just found out today (writing this 14 June 2017) that there’s an overabundance of plankton that causes the blue/milky colour.
Our kids love the beach, and they beg dad to join them (and he, I, always do) and their mom usually stays on the sand. You can tell how excited they are:
Burgas Day 2, Exploring
The next day we had a hunch there was a bus stop (we weren’t keen on another 20 Bulgarian Lev taxi ride into to town, one way) just down the road and sure enough there was! I discovered with my broken Bulgarian that the bus would be 1 BL each, SO CHEAP. The bus took us all the way down town and we were able to do some exploring. We went to the beach at Burgas, at The Sea Garden, check out the view with more of that amazing green water:
After the great view we sat and watched a kid’s cultural program, full of Bulgarian folk music and dancing. I was really impressed with how in touch Bulgarians are with their folk roots. Some countries avoid or don’t acknowledge theirs, but Bulgaria embraces it as much as possible. I think that’s cool. Here the first group of kids and musicians gets up to play a standard (I could hear some around us humming the tune):
We walked to the city centre and then headed north where we found this amazing street lined with some of the biggest trees I’ve ever seen in any city:
The city centre is hustle bustle, but this street running perpendicular was full of charm, and fewer people:
What a wonderful place, Burgas. We got the train home the next afternoon after some more sight seeing around the town centre then caught the 3pm train home. We were tired but happy, the best feeling in the world is sleeping after a full, amazing weekend. The only regret I have now is that there’s only 2 weeks left for our stay in Plovdiv.
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