Spring has sprung, but winter is having one last hurrah here is Plovdiv – we are extending our stay in our secure accommodation from four to eight nights.
On Monday we took a rare trip to a shopping mall and bought some new electric toothbrushes to replace the stolen ones, then some new clothes for the ever growing Ben (Jack gets Ben’s old clothes) – and to our delight it had a supervised children’s play area. We signed in Jack and Ben and ran to the van, dumped our shopping and headed for Plovdiv’s finest restaurant for Lunch. Not since we were in Tallin on 23 July last year had we been able to escape from Ben and Jack and dine together.
We sat down and the waiter brought us the menu – in English, and we were just about to order when Clare’s phone started to bleep. It was the children’s play area. They had just discovered that Jack was under 3 (by two weeks) and therefore too young to be left unsupervised. Damn – had we known about the age limit we would have lied in the form.
So instead of a romantic meal for two in Plovdiv’s finest restaurant we spent the next 90 minutes taking it in turns to sit in a children’s playpen surrounded by screaming children while the other had a sandwich from Subway.
Plovdiv boasts a rather nice children’s railway.
By popular demand we got on the carriage with a grasshopper on the door. The train chuffed up the hill, stopped, then chuffed back down the hill. For 1 lev each it was value for money, and Ben and Jack certainly enjoyed it, but it won’t make one of my top ten train journeys.
We spent the remainder of the afternoon in the park and met several Bulgarian families who all spoke very good English. Following a recommendation we headed for a restaurant called Restorant Trompeta. Value for money was our criteria, and it was certainly that. Chicken and chips for the boys, salad and main for us. One beer, two glasses of wine and a large bottle of water for 30.50 Lev, equivalent to £13.50. Perhaps not on the same scale as a bargain as the £2 a net-friend paid for 4 pizzas, puddings and six bottles of wine in Sofia in 1998, but still excellent value. We would have paid 60 Euros for the same meal in Italy.