By Vesi Maslenishka
Summer is ending and if like us, you’re already feeling the holiday blues, you can always get away for a long, yet affordable weekend this September. The place I had in mind was Bulgaria. Not only because that’s where I’m from, but the weather there is still averaging in the mid 20’s so you can still enjoy some sunshine.
I would recommend flying into Burgas – also known as Bulgaria’s Sea Capital – the second largest city after Sofia. Now, for those who know the geography of where this city is situated, I know what you’re thinking – are you sending us to Sunny Beach? The answer is no. You should spend some time in the city, enjoying the beach and weather, and of course, a must visit spot is the Burgas Sea Garden – a beautiful stretch of well cared for flower gardens, right by the sea.
Now, if you want to escape the city, I would recommend heading 30 minutes south to Sozopol – a beautiful ancient seaside town. In September, the town is famous for the Apollonia art and film festival, during which time visitors can enjoy over 70 events – plays, open-air concerts, chamber music, jazz concerts and of course, film. Every year the festival includes Bulgarian film and documentaries. The art gallery in Sozopol’s Old Town organises exhibitions and literary evenings as part of the festival.
The town itself is breathtaking. You can enjoy the charm of Sozopol Old Town by walking through the cobbled streets and the scenic architecture. You will find small shops dotted around selling souvenirs but if you really want to take home something authentic, go on an evening walk around the more residential areas and you will find locals sitting outside their front door, selling delicious homemade jams and marmalades.
You can also take a walk along the coast, along the towns ancient fortification, where you can find restaurants and enjoy the lovely view. For a more intimate dining experience, I would recommend restaurant Morski Skali, which translates to Sea Cliffs. They’re one of the few hidden gems. You can’t find them online but if you take street ‘Morski Skali’ you’ll be able to see the restaurants small modest sign on the sidewalk. Now, you might be fooled into thinking there’s nothing there but if you follow the signs you will discover a charming little family owned restaurant on the cliffs. You should order the calamari, bobbies, a Bulgarian salad and a bottle of Katarzyna Halla Chardonnay & Pinot Gris. The wine is crisp, refreshing and compliments the fish to perfection.
Before you head home though, make sure you’ve had at least one corn on the cob (you can find these everywhere!) and a pancake. I would recommend The Workshop of the Happy Pancakes based on ‘Kiril i Metodiy’ street. Their pancakes are incredible and if you go at peak times of the day, you can find yourself queueing for up to an hour, they’re that good. Grab yourself the blueberry, cream cheese and basil pancake and homemade elderflower juice and you’re good to go.