Holiday in Bulgaria 2015 - 22: Hiking to Golden Sands (50 p.)

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19 Mar 2007
Vienna, Austria

To the previous part of the series:
Holiday in Bulgaria 2015 - 21: Wonderful Rocks (50 p.)

To the video:

The timetable for this part:
Thu, Aug 6 2015

Listets arr 15:45

Listets dep 16:13 +8  PV 30155

Varna arr 18:27

Fri, Aug 7 2015

Varna dep 22:10  BV 2626

Aug 6 2015

I was travelling on PV 30154 towards Burgas. As it was soon about to meet the northbound train to Varna and I saw the desolate halt of Listets I knew this was the one to get off.

I did not count on it, but the DB Schenker Mega Combi-freight from Germany to Turkey was following suit, passing a local lady of Muslim faith in traditional clothes.

86 016 (former Danish DSB EA 3016) is related to German class 120.

After half an hour PV 30155 to Varna arrived.

Razdelna freight yard.

Strashimirovo on Lake Varna would have been a possible photo spot, but I did not get around to it.

Back at Varna, BV 2611 from Sofia also had recently arrived.

Aug 7 2015

We started the last day at Varna conveniently with a morning swim and breakfast at the hotel.

These memorial posters are a touching Balkan tradition especially often found in Bulgaria.

We crossed the city centre walking to the cathedral where we caught a bus towards Golden Sands.

However, we did not go all the way to the beach resort but got off near Aladzha rock cave monastery.

Via exterior stairs you can visit the caves formerly inhabited by monks on two levels.

After a short refreshment we turned off the beaten path.

A network of marked hiking trails traverses Golden Sands natural reserve. Walking in the shade can be recommended even in high summer, although we came across a patch infested by midges.

After we had rounded the resort finally a panoramic view opened up.

The "Ballermann of the East"...

So we don't come home empty-handed.

We waited at a bus stop where taxi drivers kept offering their services - when the price was lowered to bus ticket levels we agreed and took a taxi to Varna.

The oldest in Varna - Assumption Day Church opened in 1602 - is hidden as Christian houses of prayer were not allowed to exceed a certain height.

At first we refrained from paying the 20 levs (10 euro) photography charge, but after a glimpse of the inside we changed our mind. It was an amazing collection of valuable partly medieval icons we had not seen the like during our trips.

Afterwards I visited the Roman thermal baths, some of the largest in the whole Roman Empire.

At 5 p.m. we reached the city beach.

And sat down at the "pirate ship" restaurant on the pier where a delicious platter of fish and seafood was served.

Not included in the timetable, but visible online, a special treat: MBV (international express) 1004 Varna – Minsk (Belarus) departing at 7:15 p.m.

The Desiro DMU to Dobrich was standing on track 2.

44 127 was hauling the train up to Ruse.

Soon the Desiro departed. Stone fruits, especially plums, are common in this region - and of course often converted to spirits.

The seasonal express was about to depart - who notices the special clue in the picture? :0)

We met back at the pirate ship.

Several naval vessels could be seen at the port.

The frigates had been put in service by Belgium in the seventies and taken over by Bulgaria in the late 2000s.

At each end of the ships sailors waited exactly for sunset to pull down the flags.

While sitting on a bench we were entertained by a comedy routine as a bunch of sailors desperately tried to put up and turn on a chain of lights.

Evening mood, to the right you can spot the station tower. We slowly walked back to the hotel and fetched our luggage.

At the platform sleeper BV 2626 Varna - Sofia was already waiting.

Behind the loco you could find a baggage wagon, then three of the new sleeping cars.

Now it was time to board one of the coaches built in 2012 by Turkish company Tüvasas. After a night of rest we were about to wake up in an entirely different part of Bulgaria. :)
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