Back from Bulgaria

We are back, tired and happy, from our vacation to Bulgaria. The purpose was a change of pace– to get away from it all, and we did. We didn’t see very much of Bulgaria and we didn’t learn very much about the people, but we did have a nice time. I couldn’t help but compare it to the type of tours we provide at Shai Bar Ilan— where we give our travelers the history, culture, folkways, legends, customs– the richness of the people we visit and we fill every minute with amazing experiences. This was not that type of trip.

Our first full day it rained. We traveled to Balchik where we visited the palace of the Romanian Queen, Marie, and the gardens that surround it. Her unpretentious home was built on a hillside by the Black Sea. It had a tower, but aside from its location on a bluff by the sea, it was not very noteworthy.

Palace of Queen Marie of Romania

Palace of Queen Marie of Romania

Romania extended into Bulgaria at the time she ruled and Marie so loved Balchik that in 1921 she decided to have her summer palace built there. She called the complex she had built Tenha Yuva, or the Quiet Nest. When she died, in accordance with her will her heart was buried there until 1940 when it was reclaimed and reburied in Romania.

Adjoining her palace are lovely gardens. She was the first monarch to declare herself of the Bahai faith and her gardens are reminiscent of the Bahai gardens in Haifa. Here are two pictures:

Garden in Balchik

Garden in Balchik

Queen Marie's Garden, Balchik

Queen Marie's Garden, Balchik

Over to the left of the garden was a garden of cacti. I wanted to photograph them too, but I was not thinking too clearly and tried to get there by walking across a cement drainage ditch. The problem wasn’t the water; it was the algae that were growing in it that were very slippery. As I lost my balance and fell hitting one- two – three parts of my body, another woman tried to help me and she too fell. Neither of us could get up because there was nothing to hold onto and I was pretty sure that I would be there until the sun came out and dried the place up in a few days or longer. Fortunately a very brave and apparently very strong man appeared out of nowhere and was able to help both of us onto our feet. We were bruised and shaken, but otherwise just wet. The pictures of the cacti? … well, I think I would have done better had I thought of this

More Bulgarian adventures next time…

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  1. I hope that the only thing that you hurt was you dignity. I really enjoy your photos on the Kosher blog. You have a talent for getting great pictures.

  2. How interesting, a Romanian monarch declaring herself to be Bahai! And um, just her heart was buried there? ew.

    Glad you didn’t hurt yourself too badly in the fall!! And that there was a strong man to come and save you 😉 Although, I have to admit, I pictured you lying there quite serenely, planning your next vacation…

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