Waking up late, eating breakfast at eleven and having no priorities for the entire day has been a long awaited task. For the next two weeks this lifestyle is definitely one I can get used to. To pass time eating, relaxing and talking a walk around the town prove the best activities – especially in 35 degree heat.
One adventure we had was to a local market a short walk away; not dissimilar to what you may see in the UK, the fruit market was sheltered with large high arches, surrounded by small shops and cafes and filled with rows and rows of stalls filled with fruits and vegetables. Melons, tomatoes, plums, peaches, lemons… you name it. Not to mention the incredible mounds of watermelons and tomatoes you’d never see elsewhere. Fresh honey from local hives and tiny pouches of local bee pollen sat amongst a rainbow of ingredients with jars of freshly ground tahini too.
The tomatoes in Bulgaria have to be the best tomatoes you’ll ever eat, naturally, alongside the peaches too; beautifully sweet and juicy yet with a balanced tang perfect for refreshing the self in the scorching mediterranean heat.
The local park my dad used to play in as a child.
Fig ice-cream for the seriously warm walk home.
Each evening was occupied visiting friends and family – a huge difference to my day to day life, i.e. staying in my room alone all evening every evening and trying to figure out what to do with myself. I’ve always grew up with the notion that my family and social circle has never been so big but being in Bulgaria has made me think otherwise – the effects of immigration…
This evening we travelled up to the villa of my (second removed) aunt and uncle who recently took it over from their parents; a tiny house high up in the hills of Kardzhali with a huge garden and allotment space that used to house a vineyard, a tiny orchard, a pig sty, goats, chicken pens, vegetables had more or less been abandoned and has only recently began to be maintained and spruced up once again.
The mini apple orchard remains, as do lemon, fig and walnut trees. A few grape vines spiral around wooden frames around the site and the pig sty that once was is now a big space for gatherings, feasts and BBQ’s – not exclusive of one another. The name has been kept though, the Bulgarian for “pig sty” as an analogy for good times ahead, featuring excessive eating, drinking and general shenanigans – as the pigs in their sty.