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Our route:

06.12.02:
  • Russe
  • Veliko Tarnovo
  • Stara Zagora
  • Svilengrad

  •   Bulgaria
    On this page, we (will) describe our experiences in Bulgaria. Apart from the travelogue for this country you will also find a number of links to useful sites, ranging from general information to embassy homepages.

    Written by: Dorrit

    on the road The border crossing between Romania and Bulgaria (Russe) was a real adventure - an expensive one. The Romanians wanted transit tax, eco tax, tax for the "Friendship bridge" over the Danube etc. All in all EUR 35! Not bad..
    The Bulgarians were even better: next to EUR 35 road tax we were asked to pay a "desinfection tax". For this, we were allowed to drive through some very muddy water. As if anyone would believe that the car is now any cleaner from the apparently much feared Romanian mud.
    On top of this, the Bulgarians asked if we hadn't brought any gifts for a poor Bulgarian border officer. "Aber nur wenn es vom Herzen ist (but only if it comes from the heart)". Yeah right, whatever. Luckily, many Romanians had warned us against this and we were well stocked with "gifts". They refused the English tea, but were satisfied with the German chocolates. The result: nobody wanted to look into our car and we passed the border in no time.

    Coen For the EUR 35 road tax we paid we were able to drive the first 100 km on reasonably good asphalt, but after that (too far from the border to go back and complain?) the road turned into a disaster type "ring Bucharest" again.
    The landscape however, was really splendid: lovely pine forests on white limestone mountains and bizarre anthracite granite formations all around us. What a pity that winter is overtaking us and that we cannot spend more time here (We read afterwards that the day after we left Bulgaria the temperature fell to a freezing -20 C! Good we didn't stay after all!)
    That people here are really poor can be easily seen. Especially the gypsies are living in slum villages, between garbage, stray dogs and laundry. To think that these poor people have to suffer -20 C!

    Somewhere halfway we were driving behind a number of overloaded trucks full of grind stones and yes, one of the stones had to crash into our window of course..
    Fortunately, the front window of the VW LT is made of several layers of glass, so we just look at the bright side of it and consider the star in our window a Christmas decoration. And indeed: the headlights of the cars coming towards you in the dark are being diverted into a thousand directions marvellously!

    The last 40 km through Bulgaria were via a EU-financed E80 direction Istanbul. A lovely new highway without pot holes. Good for us, since it had already become dark and we wanted to cross the border today if possible.
    The border crossing (Svilengrad) was quick and painless. No corruption here. We suspect that the Greek and Hungarian government are putting pressure on the Bulgarian and Romanian ones respectively to prevent corruption at their borders, and that Romania and Bulgaria don't press each other so much. Who knows...

    Dorrit

      Embassy links   Language  
      Foreign embassies in Holland and Dutch embassies abroad
      Foreign embassies in Germany and German embassies abroad
      Foreign embassies in Britain and British embassies abroad
      Bulgarian embassy in Romania and vice versa


      General links   Language  
      Go-East - Bulgarien
      Ost-Europa Reiseziele - Bulgarien
      Lonely Planet - Bulgaria
      MyTravelGuide.com - Bulgaria
      Travel Bulgaria - Bulgarian travel guide
      World Travel Guide - Bulgaria
      Bulgaria Online