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Day 21: Veliko & Abanasi, Bulgaria

I've been lost now, days uncounted, and its months since I've seen home....lyrics from the song "I'm your Captain" by Grand Funk Railroad

sunny 11 °C

Indeed, it has been quite some time on the ship, and this is the last day and night sailing before heading ashore into Romania for several days. Today was a full day excursion into the countryside of Bulgaria.

As the ship was docked a bit further then planned it was quite a drive to our first stop, namely the town of Abanasi.

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Prior to lunch (I told you it was a long drive as we left at 8:30 am), we visited the Konstantsaliev House which dates back to the 17th century. In its present form, the house is located in the center part of the village and shows the lifestyles of the town's inhabitants from the 19th century. We toured the house going room to room and I have included a few pictures of the outside and inside of the dwelling.

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Following our visit, we stopped for a representative Romanian lunch.

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After lunch we took a short walk past some vendors to the Orthodox Church of the Nativity which dates back to the 15th century. The church is divided into several rooms that includes a men's section, a women's section, and a chapel to St. John.

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The interior frescos date back to the 17th century (you were not able to take pictures inside the church, so I bought some post cards). These frescos depict Old and New Testament scenes with our favorite being the "wheel of life". The wheel looks at the rise and fall of an individual's life and if at the end of your days, if you have not lived a pious life, then you will be swallowed by the demon of hell (yikes)!

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We then headed over to the town of Veliko Tarnovo. Unfortunately, we did not have much time to spend because of the long ride back. We were given a brief history of the Tsarevets medieval fortress that sits atop a hill. The palace sits within the complex and is encircled by a fortified wall with several towers and entrances. The local guide indicated that the complex is not really developed internally and suggested that perhaps a visit was not needed. Still, I provided some pictures of the exterior including the iconic lion that guards the fortress entrance.

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We took a short drive to the town center to explore Samovodska Charshia, a street with many vendors selling handicrafts.

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Following our visit and after a long drive back, we arrived close to 7:00 pm for the Captain's Farewell Cocktail Toast. Although we will all depart the ship in the morning, for many of us that have traveled together it was time to say goodbye. For the next phase of the trip, all of us will travel to Bucharest, Romania in the morning, taking a city tour, but only 44 of us will remain for an extended trip to Transylvania.

Posted by Argenti Travel 23:30 Archived in Bulgaria

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