Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The town I liked - Veliko Turnovo

Posted by Hippo Bean at 11:34 PM
Finally a fortress with ancient walls and commanding view of the old town. Been in Bulgaria for 2.5 days and havent seen a castle or palace yet. How can an European country be without a castle/fortress? Well finally here, there was one. The Patriarch's Church of the Ascension on top of the Tsarevets citadel had gruesome modern paintings and one of Cyrill and Methodius holding a scroll of cyrillic alphabets being welcomed by King Boris. Then more greek orthodox churches that reminded me of the painted monasteries in Romania. The Nativity church in the village of Arbanassi, another open air museum town with revival houses, had the most brilliant frescoes I've seen. Of course no photos were allowed. Curious that above the entrance of the church, there's a star of David. In the church of Transfiguration, situated on a hill opposite of the fortress, we got good views of the citadel and a chance to take photos of the frescoes on the exterior walls of the church.

In the afternoon we had wine tasting in the oldest winery in the country. The local wine was light like Italian. The merlot was good and the sparkling a bit sweet and very bubbly. We had lunch served at the winery and it was very good. White beans, pork with potatoes in a light tomato sauce, much like how Mom does it, but the dolmades were just rice. So far Bulgaria did nothing for me. Nothing in particular stood out. A lot of open air museums that were replicas of old communities, nothing much was the real thing. The Arbanasi one today was not much more interesting than Etera which we visited yesterday. Dunno. Bulgaria just doesnt tug my heart. Something seems to be missing here.

Back in the hotel at night I just happened to see the light show of the fortress from my hotel room. Red lights followed by green followed by white displaying the Bulgarian flag colors. The sequence then ended with a laser beam towards the mosque. It was quite a display.




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