Trip to Bulgarian museums in March 2010

Wednesday, March 17: Dupki in the darkness

We just came from the pizza place diagonally opposite of our hotel, well-fed and tired. It was our first museum trip and the longest to begin with (about 220 km). We were at Pernik, Kyustendil and Blagoevgrad and returned to Sofia in the dark. This morning we lost about 45 minutes because we took the wrong road out of Sofia, in contrast to Monday. Therefore, we arrived at Pernik around 10:30.

All three museums are well-equipped with Neolithic and Chalcolithic finds, and we are being received with open arms everywhere and guided through the exhibitions. Veselina Vandova even drove through Kyustendil with us to buy books. Very cool. Unfortunately we did not see much of the cities; especially Blagoevgrad seems to be very nice, with a beautiful historic city centre. Speaking of Blagoevgrad: we researched the address of the museums in Pernik and Kyustendil ourselves and marked them on our maps, but Blagoevgrad was one of the cities that had the museum marked in Google Maps. We realized that there was something wrong when we reached some apartment buildings at the outskirts of the city. Nota bene: don’t trust satnavs in Bulgaria, and don’t trust online route-planners. We found the museum after asking some people, it was located close to the city centre.

In Pernik we also made our first shopping spree for road provisions. Kaufland, where else. It is perfectly signposted at every road crossing, in contrast to other road signs :)

The Struma valley north of Blagoevgrad.

The drive was, despite of the bad roads, very beautiful and, moreover, archaeologically worthwhile since the road follows one of the main routes of Neolithisation: the Struma valley. Still, all these curves are tiring. Lucky us, there will be only two museums per day in the following weeks. The tour today was great, but three cities and all the driving in addition are too much for just one day. Avoiding dupki in the dark is tricky. But tomorrow everything should be fine. We will go to Plovdiv, via Pazardžik, that means: highways. The weather is nice and will supposedly stay like that.

March 18: God in Plovdiv >