A Travellerspoint blog

Bulgarian Orthodox Easter Sunday

Veliko Tarnovo

View Teaching and Travelling Abroad on 3Traveller's travel map.

The first excursion we went on today was to the fruit and veg market; I needed to buy some vegetables for dinner and I knew Emma was curious to see it anyway. She kept an eye out for quinces to take back to Mum, but there weren't any. Lots of salad vegetables, courgettes and peppers available. Only about half the stalls or less were occupied, but it was enough to give them a good idea of what it's like normally.


We had to stop off at a bakery on the way home for a Bulgarian Easter essential - Kozunak, which is basically a huge fat sugary bun a bit like an oversized, puffy, round and not so tightly wound Chelsea bun. We bought an absolutely huge one to share later.


When we got home Emma and Mark hung out some laundry they'd put in earlier, while I got lunch ready. We had mozzarella, roasted red peppers from a jar, pesto, snezhanka (essentially a more solid version of tarator, make with strained yoghurt), a long string of preserved sausages, bread, and cheese triangles. We ate out on the terrace since the weather was gorgeous.


Next, we headed out to craftmen's street. Emma had a hankering for a cowbell, so she bought a small one from the same shop I'd bought her St George and the Dragon icon from on our birthday. Mark bought a couple of colourful finely woven table runners - one for him and Emma and the other for his family - and a pair of dangly leaf-like copper earrings for Emma from the coppersmith's workshop.


After we'd made our purchases, we stopped off at Stratilat Café for pudding. Emma and I had Bulgarian rice pudding (which, by the way, isn't served hot like it usually is in the UK, but cold - it's beautifully creamy and sweet), and Mark had a decadent looking slice of banana and chocolate pie. Emma also had a strawberry milkshake and I had a frappé.

After a brief stop-off at the flat to dump their purchases and take in some laundry, we wandered down to Tsarevets Fortress.


I'd been there three times before, so while Emma and Mark went up to the Patriarchate Tower first, I walked round to Baldwin's Tower, the part I hadn't seen before.


When I met back up with the others, lower down the hill from the Patriarchate Tower, they raved about the views they'd got of the whole town and beyond, not just from the top of the tower but at every turn on the way up as well. After that we continued to the overhanging Executioner's Rock, where photos had to be taken of us standing, and climbed along the outside walls before finally making our rather sun-burnt way back into town.


Emma and I went home while Mark made a detour back to the craftmen's street to buy a couple of very colourful painted glass bottles that had taken their fancy earlier.

'F' came round for dinner in the evening. The others chatted and drank hot drinks while I made a chicken and vegetable sauce, then while that finished cooking, I went down to the plaza with Emma and Mark for the sound and light show at Tsarevets. This happens on a regular basis, but usually the soundtrack is reserved for paying guests only (excepting the bells). Today though, since it was Easter Day, the mayor had paid for it to be available for everyone. Great timing for Emma and Mark! I've seen the show plenty of times, but not with the soundtrack until today. It lasted about 20 minutes and was extremely dramatic. It tells the history of Veliko Tarnovo, which evidently involved a lot of bloodshed and gunfire, judging by the wails on the soundtrack and the large amounts of red light and sudden flashes.


After going back for dinner, we went round to 'F's to attack the Easter Bun and some wonderful chocolate brownies that she had made. We stayed there for a long time just eating and chatting, before reluctantly going back so that Emma and Mark could pack for their trip to Varna in the morning.


Posted by 3Traveller 23:41 Archived in Bulgaria Tagged market sisters bulgaria veliko_tarnovo explorations fortifications tsarevets_fortress bulgarian_cuisine easter_celebrations

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comment with:

Comments left using a name and email address are moderated by the blog owner before showing.

Not published. Required
Leave this field empty

Characters remaining: