At 09.08 we drove to Solnik where Zdravka, a construction engineer from Varna, and Evgueni, together with his wife Roumi, were waiting for us. The building engineer named Svetlana had to inspect the farm to take aim and form an impression of the place. They discussed back and forth in Bulgarian, and Evgueni translated roughly. Rainwater should be collected in tanks under the terrace, which in turn can be used for vegetable gardens etc. After the meeting we had agreed to eat at Baba Radka in Solnik. Evgueni and the lady had not heard of the place and it was exciting to show them this place. They were pleasantly surprised. Furthermore, Will went to the Bird Farm again, when they had not heard of it either. There we were welcomed again. Here we had a coffee and Evgueni learned a lot about Solnik we think. The rakia were set up, so it was obvious that they appreciated the visit. We took the opportunity to bring several items from the farm back to Byala for storage. Today we also got the sign that we had ordered. This one we have to attach to the gate.
Now that we have got the key to the ‘office’ we can start storing things there. So today we went to Solnik to collect the ‘treasures’, that is, old things we found in the houses. Old glass, vases, ceramics, hand-woven rugs etc. We brought it home and washed it for years of dusty conditions. Four bottles of unopened wine of some kind, and I couldn’t wait. The smell was indescribably good, cherry. The smell was fresh and good, tasted like port wine. It must be old. Maybe 30-40 years? I have to remember to ask Vanja.
We got real thunder & lightning with subsequent splashing rain so we got wet to the skin. But what does that mean when the temperature is just as good. Then we got the sign from the local hardware store. With ‘private property’, It turned out that the boy had grown tomatoes in Solnik next to a job at the bank in Byala, to get enough income. But then he started the hardware business, which looks very good. Always many customers in the store. We think the parents work there too, but today we learned that it is actually the boy himself who is the owner. He has appreciated the value of good service, which we have said we really appreciate. Another fantastic evening in the garden and we enjoy lots of.
We drove from Byala at 09.00 to be out in time for the meeting with Notary in Varna in connection with Roar having bought the ‘office’ in the complex in Byala. For now it will be used as a warehouse, but eventually we will furnish it into a small studio apartment that can be rented out. In Varna it is not easy to find parking, so today we had to look for a while, so it was well calculated time. It is not nice to be late for such appointments. At Notary there is such a solemn atmosphere, with an interpreter translating from Bulgarian to English. Notary herself was an average lady of about 75 years. Not a smile about that mouth no. Evgueni was obviously there, as he is the seller. We had a meeting in the apartment together afterwards to go through new plans now that the status is being changed from agricultural land to regulated land. This gives greater freedom in terms of building, while at the same time moving the road through the property on the outside.
We didn’t want to go out to dinner today, so we made dinner at home instead. Roar has put on classical music, the tea lights are lit, the darkness has come, so now it was so cozy here ?
After the intake of Rakia, Roar was surprisingly early up this morning. I have to have my 7-8 hours of sleep, so we didn’t drive to Solnik before for 12 am. On the way to Solnik we saw a fatal accident. Front collision between passenger car and a tanker. Dead people were on the road so the accident had just happened. Police and fire department were on site, but no ambulance and doctors. No life-saving rescue unfortunately, there was no doubt that the girl lying on the road was dead. Incredibly sad and strong experience?? Our thoughts go to the family who have lost someone today. In Solnik Roar got the fence arranged so that it can withstand a winter storm, and I spray painted ‘private property’ which we were recommended by Tsvetan. We also ordered a sign on the local hardware store with the inscription ‘private property, access prohibited’ so that everyone knows that they cannot take shelter in the house, as they sometimes do in abandoned houses. It was a nice day, but our thoughts goes back to the accident. The road was redirected for many hours afterwards, so we were directed around the road via Obzor back.
We were sitting in the garden in the evenings at night listening to music that we very often do, and not surprisingly it became Robert Plant’s ‘Fate of Nations’ which is our ultimate favorite music.
At 9 am Roy, Riikka and the kids left Bulgaria. They were going to London and celebrate Elisa’s 18th birthday. I was sitting in the garden reading in a book, while Roar walked restlessly around and was bored, but eventually he began to puzzle with the pergola and the plants, and was busy with it for a while. We were invited to dinner to Vanja and the family, something we were looking forward to. Vanja is a very good chef and it everything so nice and delicate, and not least tastes great.
We got a tour in the garden where they grow many different vegetables. There is a lot of work in such a large kitchen garden, so they are incredibly clever. But then they are also self-sufficient in vegetables over the winter, and they sell the leftover. It is always nice to be together and the evening went fast. A little sad to go for now, it will be some time before we meet again. We also got to taste cherry liqueur from the trees in Solnik, which unfortunately were cut down by a fault of Hydromap. The liqueur was absolutely beautiful ?
After a tip from Vanja, I realized that my previous attempt to find the place with the waterfall and the water, which supposedly should be very salty, was not right anyway. I used google maps / earth to try to locate where this could be. And this time I found a place marked ‘Водопад Солник Park’, which means Solnik waterfall, if my translation is correct. Roy and the family are sporty people and they really liked to join the trip. And it was a bit of a walk, with some fumbling on which direction we should choose. In open loins it is very easy, but when we enter the forest with several gorges, it quickly becomes much more difficult. But with a little confusing google maps on the phone we managed to regain control and find the direction. Roy had ‘traced’ the tour and it was comical to see how we had gone. 3.5 hours we spent on the trip which could have been much shorter had there been a marked path or knowledge of the shortest route. But we will have a time to find out later. Impressive of the girls of Roy and Riikka who they managed without complaining one second. But the end of the show was that we had followed google maps location to the top of the waterfall and it was dangerous to start going down to the bottom from there. It was already getting late, so we decided to go back. But next time it will be easier to find the right path to the bottom. Anyway, it didn’t seem like there was running water from the top, but there may be other waterfalls on the spot that we didn’t see where we stood.
We were going to try the fish restaurant tonight, and you can say it was varying how good the seafood was. We waited, waited and waited for the food, to too high cruel 90’s music, that ruined a bit. Probably no more trips there. Elisa’s tuna salad was too sour. The chef had gone crazy with the lemon. Roar only got fish when they forgot the accessories. My mussels were lovely. Riikka ordered salmon and it was good. Roy’s seabass (perch) was ok. Charlotte ordered the burger which looked very good, but that got the strike character unfortunately. But good company outweighs everything, so the evening was fine anyway ?
Today all of us went on to the beach in Obzor. There aren’t many beach days we’ve had here, so it was lovely. Not easy to find parking in Obzor, as it is a popular place. Especially because of the long beach and that it is easily accessible. We found a parking place we were a little unsure of, but took the chance. We shouldn’t have done that. When Roar went to check, there was set wheel lock on one of the car deck. Kr 100.- in fine. Not exactly the biggest fine, but we just had to look for new parking place before eating at Hotel Dukov.
Today I decided to go to Solnik to find the famous stone from which Solnik has its name. This is a small mountain part that is very salty. The words Sol (Сол) in Solnik means salt. Since no one felt the urge to be with me, I went alone, but agreed to meet the others on the road to Varna. It was a city trip in Varna that was at the top of the wish list for the others in the group. We was told that there will also be a waterfall, but it was reasonably dry there now, certainly after several months of drought.
To get there I had to pass the barbecue area, which is just below the farm. It was a sad sight that met me. This is a barbecue area that former owners of the farm made and made available to all the inhabitants of the village, and some have chosen to empty several loads of building stock on site. Very sad that someone chooses to destroy the space for everyone else.
In Varna, it was first lunch before the ladies rushed all the shops in the area. Charlotte became very concerned about the man without the head, we just had to take a picture of her and the man. Roy and I had still some brain cells left to find a water hole while the ladies finished.
Roar went early to Solnik to remove more thorns, while I got up later, read in my book, cleared a bit when we were expecting visits by dad, Bjørg, Bente, Sarko and the children Maria and Julian. They came around 13 pm and I joined them in the car to Solnik. After a tour on the farm we went back to Byala to eat late lunch together, before they returned back to Primorsko, where Bente and Sarko have holiday apartments. In the evening we went to Obzor to ‘Salt & Pepper’ for pizza with Roy, Riikka and the kids.
Today we had a nice morning at the pool before all of us went to Solnik, where we had an appointment with those who run the poultry farm in Solnik. We wanted to show the nice birds to our guests. Took a stop on the road to take pictures by the sunflower meadow. We had a great time there in the yard where we bought coffee, soda and water. It resulted in some toilet visits before returning. Riikka was unlucky when the door lock wouldn’t open again. There we were without an interpreter, but we manage to guide the owner to the place and the problem gradually became self-explanatory. The owner took a phone to call for some help, but the door was and remained locked. Luckily there was a small window on the toilet, and since Riikka is a slim lady, we got her out through the window. Roy and Roar lifted her out. What a vision. I just had to take some pictures of the session. Riikka took it all in a good mood and we were allowed to post a picture on the blog.
Afterwards we went Solnik Garden so that they could see how it looks. There they were harvesting the grain with large machines. There is activity in the area and it is good we think. The evening was spent in a cozy restaurant, before strolling home and taking the night. You get sleepy after a long day in Bulgaria. Both the sea air and the early dark evenings have some significance.
Today we meet in Solnik Garden at 08:00 and an excavator and a lorry showed up just after. They meet at agreed time :-). Vanja and Galin also come soon after. We need a translator between us and the work person. After driving away all the harvest from last fall, which we have already drawn up in several piles, the demolition of the old shed that stood below the house started. Unfortunately, a piece of history disappears. It was a long day and they stayed on until about 15:00. There were eventually about 6 or 7 runs with the lorry. I came a little out of the count. Very good job and teamwork of these two workers in their vehicle.
After that we went home to play with Charlotte in the pool. Then out in Byala center to eat and then a small promenade to the sea at the end.
We met Vanja and Galin in Solnik when they had arranged workmen to help us remove all the trees we have pulled out. As well as tearing the old shed. We agreed to start the next morning at 8:00. Due to deaths in the village, the festival was canceled, so Vanja suggested that we stop by a cafe when we first were there. And what a place! Behind the fences it hid a fantastic world, with ostriches, turkeys, pheasants, chickens, and roosters of various kinds. Fantastic!! We were welcomed by an elderly lovely 84-year-old lady and her daughter (we believe). Small quails lay eggs while we are there and we bring with us 4 small eggs, as well as two chicken eggs that are light blue in the shell. We will bring visitors from Norway here. That is for sure. The talk goes and Galin gets a great job of translating everything. What should we do without him? Galin and his brother Plamen are important people for us, as they speak English. That make it possible for us talk to Vanja and Gergio. Great youth! But as Galin says, I didn’t know that. He gets first-hand knowledge of the history and family he didn’t know before. Very good he something back from all the work of translation. It gives us a little better conscience 🙂
After that we went to the apartment and waited for Roy to come with family.
At the time of writing, I sit in Byala with a glass of Martini Bianco and think that I am lucky to have this opportunity. To be able to plan early active retirement life in Solnik together with Roar. It will be good ? The last trees behind the mill are taken out, tired, dirty but satisfied we took a selfie after the day’s work. There will be dinner at home today, don’t want to go out to eat. Tomorrow evening, Roy and Riikka with the children Charlotte and Elisa, will arrive to Byala. They will stay in the apartment complex and be here for a week. We look forward to this ?
Today I had to get my work clothes out from the washing machine that stopped working yesterday afternoon. There are many who wants to wash their clothes and bags of clothes is standing in line. I thought the fuse had gone, but the service man called my doorbell this morning and wanted me to take out the clothes from the machine. I tried to ask on my “Bulnorsk” language if there will be a new one? But no, here was the answer Kaputt, Service. A little different mentality here than at home in Norway, although I thought it could have been replaced with a new. But we should be better at repairing things, as it was in the past. So I just had to get on with washing the clothes by hand.
We are now beginning to see an end of the twig waste that was made last fall. It was hot to work today, but in return we had brought grilled chicken and cold drinks. That kept the forces going. The drink remained cold in a bag of ice cubes.
Not surprisingly, we spent most of the day in Solnik. We must take advantage of the weather when it’s not too hot. In the next week, it is reported considerably warmer, and we also get a visit and then there will probably be less work. By the way, we found out who is in the house as well. It’s a weasel. Got a good glimpse of it with a pear in his mouth. I thought for a while there was a small fox because of the stool. But now we know who is rummaging in there. It is part of the house that is separated so we hear it when we are there. Exhausted but satisfied we spent the evening in the garden in Byala. Life is by no means the worst here in Bulgaria??
After a late breakfast we went to Solnik again. Anxious to open up the landscape around the houses. The thorn bushes is a challenge for legs and arms, so I mostly drag the trees that were cut down last autumn out till the truck coming on Sunday can bring them away. It is not very nice with legs and arms that look completely scratched out when going in dress and shorts.
The weather was perfect to work in, a bit cloudy and not too hot. There are three horses grazing on the property and they were standing near the houses, but were quick to leave when we arrived. They like to eat apples and pears that fall by the house.
Roar was so happy when he found grape stock among the wilds. He must clear the weed without harming them. Imagine that they are still alive ? At the restaurant in Byala, which we ate this evening, there was folk music and dancing. It was great to see and hear. Bulgarian at it’s best.
Today, there was a meeting with lawyer Tsvetan (left) and architect Evgueni (right). We lacked Zdravka in the picture, she will do all the detailed drawings and get the plans approved with the municipality and necessary agencies. We do not want any problems in retrospect.
Our interpreter Eve follows closely and translates everything that is said in Bulgarian into English. It was a very productive meeting that resulted in some important changes that could be very good for the final solution. Two steps forward and one back. But we realize that the time we spend now is very important for the end product.
After the meeting we met Roger at Happy in Varna. Always nice to meet Roger for a good chat. Then we got a decent lunch at Happy at the same time.
Today we drove to Solnik and then to Obzor for a lunch at Hotel Dukov, where we have been staying many times while searching for a place to buy in Bulgaria. Very nice that the owner of the hotel came and says hello to us. We can only recommend this hotel for new tourists. This hotel is one of the few open in Obzor all year.
The castle of Ravadino is probably the only castle in Europe, constructed by one man only. It is spectacular attraction which is situated just a couple of kilometers from Sozopol. In 2016 the Bulgarian attraction won the prize for tourist attraction number 1 in the world.
Just off Sozopol, a short drive from the main road south from Burgas towards Primorsko and Turkey, lies this magnificent castle. This man alone, here in white coat, has been responsible for the construction that has taken place over a period of 20 years. And yet it is being built on the castle. We learned that some of the castle was shut down due to preparation for movie recording. Which movie is not known. You can read and see more about the castle below.
The castle of Ravadino is probably the only castle in Europe, constructed by one man only. It is spectacular attraction which is situated just a couple of kilometers from Sozopol. In 2016 the Bulgarian attraction won the prize for tourist …[CLICK TO READ MORE]
Today we started out with our family from Bulgaria to an island outside Burgas called “Saint Anastasia”. This is a boat trip of about half an hour. Halfway through the trip we could see a small island that was our destination. The first thing we noticed at landing was an anchor that was turned upside down. Jorunn and I got a little over this and joked a bit that it had to be a misunderstanding. But without saying anything, we were told that this was made conscious of asking ships and boats to stay away from anchoring on the island. Why: Well, because this was formerly a prison, and it is quicker to understand the cause. In 1925, a group of 43 political prisoners (communists and anti-facets) settled and escaped from the island to the Soviet Union. Because of this, the island was called “Bolshevik Island” when the Communists took over in 1945. Today the island is protected and contains a church, museum, restaurant and guesthouse for those who want to stay overnight. The island is also sought after for ceremonies, weddings etc. A small island with great history.
Today we had to travel to Burgas Airport to change car at Top rent car hire. The plan to buy a used car was canceled, so it was only to rent a new car until traveling home. On the way back we drove by the farm in Solnik and met Vanja, Galin and Georgio, the uncle of Vanja. They are helping us to find someone who can help us clear away waste after cutting grass and torn bushes.
Today we started the day to arrange the climbing plant (clematis) over the pergola. We asked the gardener to remove several branches of the big trees that had grown over and shadowed the creeper plant. A little self gardening work was necessary. It was fine in the end. While Jorunn relaxed in the apartment I went to Solnik and did some more gardening there. Some neighbors came walking and offered to help. When using a translator on the mobile I learned that they lived some houses beyond and that I could just stop by if I needed help. Here I have to say the technology is of great help, although I would rather think 100 years ago ?
The night was interrupted with a crash. Are the building raging together at the neighbor’s house, where we know are doing some construction work. Roar was out looking and observed a lot of people on the street as well as an ambulance across the park. We fell asleep again, but wondered what had happened. At 09.30, Evgueni arrived with new drawings and the latest changes. A good meeting where we also got discussed through heating, pool etc. Since the weather was overcast, we jumped into work clothes and drove to Solnik. Got cleared a lot, but realize that we need help to get rid of trees, shrubs, etc. But when we got out on the street we saw what had happened at night. A car had crashed in a tree, torn the lamp post. Really hope it went well with the driver and any passengers. Here has been great speed. Straight and nice stretch. But they drive very fast here.
When we returned back to the apartment complex, the “gardener” was busy cutting dead branches from our garden. Language intricacies are a whimsical thing. But we got explained with body language and the little we can in Bulgarian how we want it. On google translate we found the translation to Bulgarian how to tell him that we went to eat now, but the gardener thought we invited him to dinner and responded with saying ne ne. Fortunately, I must say, we had nothing to offer him other than bringing him with us to the restaurant.
Today we were invited via Vanja to Baba Radka (babaradka-solnik.com/) Who has about 150 guests each day with three course meal, home-made food, rakia and wine. Folklore dance where also the guests get dressed in party clothes and participate in the dance. There is only one thing to say: Impressive. Solnik is on the countryside far from the main road, and she and her family have succeeded in creating a success for tourists who come by buses from the major tourist resorts. Today there were two German tourist buses there. A great experience, and very nice for us to get to know her and her son in Solnik.