We had a long chat with our hostess in Plovdiv before we left. The land on which they live was purchased by her husband’s grandparents before the First World War. It was used as a country escape from the city – it is only about 3 or 4 miles from the city centre, but I guess in those days escaping 20 or 30 miles from the city would have been difficult.
During the Second World War Bulgaria sided with Germany, although it refused to allow its Jewish population to be deported to concentration camps.
After the war the land was taken over by the communist authorities, and the family fled to Greece.
After the collapse of communisum in 1989 the land was handed back and the family returned to Plovdiv.
Julia and her husband made their fortune selling TV satellite dishes, and, indeed, installed on the top of their house is a satellite dish NATO forward control would be pleased to possess. The house was built by them in 1997, and they now have four studio flats built within their compound, using the corners of the compound’s 3 metre high walls for two of the triangular studios’ three walls.
We faced a long drive from Plovdiv to the northern part of Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast. Five and a half hours’ driving implies a seven hour journey. We left Plovdiv at 11:10 and arrived at our new Bungalow at 5:50, so all went well. In Varna we faced delays due to road closures. Apparently the EU had chosen Varna for high level meetings with the Turkish despot Erdogan. As we passed the halls where they were meeting I reminded myself of the poem Boris Johnson wrote to win a competition shortly before being promoted to Britain’s chief diplomat: There was a young fellow from Ankara/ Who was a terrific wankerer/ Till he sowed his wild oats/ With the help of a goat/ But he didn’t even stop to thankera.
North of Varna we drove on a three mile section of unmade road, lumpy and bumpy. One day I am sure it will be a very nice bit of dual carriageway- but not just yet.
We have found another fine place to stay. In at least one way, the best yet. A bungalow on the beach with a breathtaking view over a private beach and the Black Sea beyond. Sunshine is forecast for the week ahead, it will make a nice change from all this snow and cold rain.