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5 octobre 2009 1 05 /10 /octobre /2009 09:19
I am starting to write this article with the view over the Black Sea. It is 6 o'clock in the evening, the sun will be going down shortly, which will provide us a splendid sunset. We stopped at a fishermen village called Ravda. We arrived in Bulgaria on Friday the 25th of September 2009. We left from Bucarest drove around 65 km and crossed the border of Rumania and Bulgaria at a town called Ruse. Actually the Danube river is also a natural border between these two countries. We had to pay 6 euros to cross the bridge that will take us to Bulgaria.

Ones in Bulgaria..........., wow, culture shock. We stopped at Ruse to change money and also buy the indispensable conversation guide. We only found a dictionnary and to realise that we will not be able to pronounce anything in this language. The bulgarian language uses Cyrillic alphabet. So if you don't know this alphabet you can't read. The lady in the shop explained us how to say "hello" and "thank you", but I am unable to repeat after her. In any case they also say "merci" for thanks, so piece of cake!!!

The first night we stayed in the Pricoden Park Rusenshilom. It was nice and quiet and we could relax after the busy city life of Bucarest. On the next day we drove in direction of the coast. We celebrated our 5.000 km milestone in a village called "Opaka". I thought that the scenery in Bulgaria was nice. There were high stones cliffs and quiet a lot of valleys. Later we understood that the region of Ruse is filled with caves were monasteries used to be settled in the middle ages

This country is the first one were we decided not to go to the capital. Sophia is situated in the west of the country and it would mean a big detour to come back to he east and go to Turkey. This choice was made, because we were very much attracted by the sea.

On the Sunday we arrived in Varna, which is the second biggest city of the country and is right on the coast of the blank sea. We decided to stay the night in a youth hostel that is very much recommended. X-Hostel (Waikiki) is not situated in the centre of Varna, but in a quiet neigbourhood at a 15 minutes walk to the beach. I was seduced by the garden of the hostel. A nice garden with bamboo trees and all kinds of fruit trees (grapes, kiwis, apples, kaki, etc) Daniel, the manager of the place make you feel at ease upon arrival. We spend a very nice evening there and slept as two roses. There internet site is www.xhostel.eu where you can find all information about the hostel.

The next day we spoke with Daniel and Adriana about our project to see if they knew any musicians we could meet. They spoke to us about their neighbours, Jordan & Sylvia Stoyanov that we met with later on. They also mentionned this other hostel in the centre of the city that often organises musical events. With that information, off we went in search of Bulgarian music. The same day we got a chance to take a wonderfull swim in the Black sea, wow nice moment.

Arriving at the other hostel, YoHo Hostel, the manager Stephan told us that he had some friends from Sophia staying in Varna that are Rap artists. We thought it could be a good opportunity to record rap music, as it a genre we didn't have until now. That night we were at their private party in the hostel, but unfortunately no Rap nor beat came out of the guys. Apparantly they were so exhausted of partying for the last three days that they didn't have the energy to continue for us. Nonetheless we had a nice evening and some interesting conversations with the guys.

We really liked Varna. Offcourse because of the sea, but also because the city is not so big, there are lots of trees everwhere and there is a good ambiance. We decided to stay two more days and get the chance to record Jordan & Sylvia who were performing on the Wednesday night in a restaurant. We didn't regret those two days, they were mostly about sea and relaxing. We even found a natural spring water just next to the beach with very hot water. They build a pool where mostly old men were dipping in the hot water. The first day we couldn't put more than our feet as the outside temperature was warm too. But the morning after it rained a little bit, so we stepped in easily. Very very nice!!!

There are lots of resorts at Varna as it seems a very touristic place. The Wednesday night we went to Riviera Beach Hotel Restaurant, where our friends Jordan & Sylvia were playing. Sylvia was on the keyboard and Jordan was playing an electric guitar and both of them were singing. They had an international repertoire of songs, in order to please the tourists (french, german, etc) in the place. The acoustics in the restaurant were not so great. It was a big room, but marber floors and big glass windows, so nothing was preventing the sound from escaping.

Later on we continued to the Classical Royal Piano bar that Jordan & Sylvia spoke to us about. There we met with Nelko Kolarov and Georgi  Shopov. Nelko was playing extremely good the piano and Georgi was singing with a very nice voice. They agreed for us to record them. They played different songs and we recorded some covers of Deep Purple, a Russian song, a Bulgarian song and an instrumental one.
We have saved in a seperate article on our blog one of their performances for you to listen and enjoy!!
In a conversation with Nelko we understood that he playes for seven years with Robin Gibb (one of the BeeGees). He told us that he toured allmost the whole world giving  concerts. He confessed that he didn't go to France and to my astonishment he mentioned even Aruba. I told him that I forgive him for being so close to Curacao and not going...............

Georgi told us that his profession is painter. He gave us his myspace where we can listen to his music and also see his works of art. Myspace.G_Voice

Before leaving Varna, we visited the Aladza Monastery that dated from the 13th century build in caves.  After that visit we headed in direction of the south to the city called Burgas. In Burgas our mission was to find the Burgas Hostel, the guys of Varna told us about. When we found the hostel, we entered to ask for the rap artists we were told about. After something like 30 minutes we met the two Ivan's: Ivan Gaydarov and Ivan Perckemliev. They are the managers of the hostel and also the two rap artists of the group called Nokaut. After explaining them the purpose of our visit, they agreed to rap for us later that evening. Later on we returned and benefit from a private little concert of Nokaut. Even if the acoustics were not ideal, we still succeeded in recoring nice tunes. Obviously we were not understanding a thing they were rapping about. They explained to us that they were part of Old School Rap and that their lyrics are not commercial. They rap about their beleifs and have a politic stand about things in the society. You can listen to one of their rap songs we put in a seperate article on our blog.
The next day they had a gigg (Rap jargon to say Concert) programmed in another city. We declined the offer as it would have mean a very big detour for us, who are heading to the south east and not to the west. You can listen to their songs and also download freely from their internet site: nokaut.cult.bg The guys invited us to stay one night for free in their hostel after having spend a very nice evening with them and their friends. 

On the Saturday we left Burgas in direction of the southern end of Bulgaria. We had the impression to be in Britanny in France.
The weather changed completely becoming grey and with rains. The coast was more rocky, less beaches with white sand as we were used to in Varna and Bulgary. We visited little towns like Sozopol, Tsarevo. We also visited two little towns were sometimes there are rituals of women dancing on fire. Kosti and Bulgari were very quiet now, as the rituals occur in june around a christian holiday.

The Sunday we drove in direction of the direction of Turkey. The distance was not so long, but the road was full of holes. When you thing that they make you pay a road tax, you sometimes ask yourself for what? It is a good thing that we didn't pay this tax, playing the tourist that don't understand........... We were also driving in a mountaineous area with a lot of fog, so driving through that was very tiresome. After driving for about 80 km we had the impression that we drove for miles. We spend the night in a town called Markilovo, before heading for the other side of the border.

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