Trip to Bulgarian museums in March 2010

Friday, March 19: Hills and mountains

Did we mention that the hotel in Plovdiv is great? There even was a breakfast buffet! This was a reason of great joy for Matthias, for he’s not too much of a fan of cheese for breakfast. So today no tomatoes, no feta, no cold cuts. Just bread and honey. Yeah! :)

The hotel in Haskovo where we are now is nice, too. Small disadvantage: our room views the street, and across that street there is a disco (actually it is a billard and bowling club, but according to the noise it is a disco). We will see how loud they are going to get tonight! The room is super, however. The bathroom has a separate shower (that is not self-evident here!) and the room is large enough to fit a pool table in here.

Our trip is getting better and better! Just the landscape we travelled through today was totally worth coming back. The Rhodope mountains are magnificent and we took advantage of the great weather (almost all snow has melted away) to make a detour to Perperikon. The pictures speak for themselves. The place is fantastic.


Before that, we were in Kărdžali where Milen Kamarev led us through the small but very interesting exhibition. Most finds here are from Sedlare, and there is a little part of the excavated area, completely reconstructed in the museum, so you get to study the unique, original stone architecture. Furthermore there are some Chalcolithic finds that may point towards a potential local (younger?) variant of Karanovo VI.

The museum at Kărdžali.

After that we went to Perperikon, as mentioned, and then on and on, over curving mountain roads to Haskovo. There we met Stancho Iliev who showed us the conservator’s workshop in the museum (that is momentarily closed, unfortunately). The workshop was full of children who were being taught about archaeology, very cool. We had some coffee conservator-style (brewed in an Erlenmeyer flask) and drove on to Aleksandrovo, about 20 km from Haskovo. Here, the famous Thracian tumulus was presented in a brand-new museum, very elaborately and exemplarily. There are also some Chalcolithic finds, among them a gold find bought from treasure hunters.

Thracian “landmarks”: tumuli.

In a beautiful sunset we drove back to Haskovo. Dinner was Thai, but with a local touch... Šopska Salata and Zagorka :)

March 20: Spring has sprung >