Monday 28 November 2016

A Christmas exchange

You know how I love exchanges especially around Christmas.
This year I am partaking in three and this one was the first to be completed so I can blog about it!
It was the #secretsanta2016 exchange organised by sweet Zina of Efzin creations blog.
I received a lovely package from sweet Katerina of mindspinfabrica blog.
She had dressed the box in lovely red and white paper with hearts.
She had wrapped everything beautifully.
She made me a fabric and paper book in which I can stitch and write at the same time.
Also a little fabric pouch in matching fabric.
She also made me a beautiful Christmas card and included a craft magazine and some candy.
Thank you so much dear Katerina.
Katerina and I belong to the same crafty group here in town organised by Anna of In My Closet and she knew what I would like most.
I in turn had to make something and send it to Margarita of  mommywiki blog.
I made one of my stones in red which is her favourite colour but it is so Christmassy too.

I also made some chocolate and put it in a tin box.
I added a couple of materials for handicrafts as well as a card.The card is one I had bought last year from the dog shelter where we got Barca. But I added some embellishments on it.

 Margarita liked my parcel and I am glad.
Thank you Zina for the organisation of the exchange and thank you Katerina for the beautiful gifts you sent me.

Saturday 26 November 2016


We visited Bulgaria in the end of October.
It was  again a short trip, one of those cheap ones one can afford and has not too many expectations of.
It was a long weekend here so we started early on Thursday morning in a bus with a group of too many people!
The morning light was gorgeous!
We stopped for a while at Orestiada for coffee. That gave me the chance to remember the last time I was here two years ago for the amateur theatre festival and the award I got! You can read all about that trip here.
As there were too many hours in the bus I managed to finish this book on the way towards Burgas.
Entering Bulgaria I loved the scenery.
And that is the view from our room late in the evening when we arrived.
Our hotel was over the central pedestrian zone of Burgas.Not that there were many people in it.
That's our hotel Bulgaria.We were on the 12th floor.
The pedestrian zone was beautiful.
With lots of sea themed details.
Like those whale  tail benches.
The central train station was nearby but we had no time to see its interior.
There were some beautiful buildings around.
After breakfast we started for Sozopol. On the way there were lots of trees with those nest looking leaves on them.
In Sozopol we saw the remains of old Christian Orthodox churches,
old wooden buildings,
newer beautiful buildings like this post office,
more wooden buildings.
The sea was rough.

I loved this friendly dog with the amazing eyes, one dark brown on the white part of its head and one light blue on the brown part of its head.

We went down the beach of course.
There were jellyfish washed out on the shore.

Then we went to Saint George's monastery in Pomorie (Anhialos)

And then we went to Mesimvria or Nesebar. That one I liked as there were beautiful churches to see
with gorgeous ceramic details on their walls.
And Saint Sophia was so beautiful although with no roof.
Really too many Christian Orthodox churches for such a small space, all closed, only few used as churches, the majority are galleries now.

The Municipality Building.
The view towards Sunny beach.
View from the amphitheatre
The beach at Nesabar
was filled with well worn shells
The municipality building again
Saint Sophia empty

We ate at Uncle George's Italian pizza place. It was the second of the only two restaurants open.

Nice strange pizza with lamb
Returning late at Burgas we only managed a quick walk towards the beach which was beautiful.

There is a 12 km long park sea front and it is filled with sculptures like this metal suitcase filled with shells.
More details from the pedestrian zone in Burgas with huge shells

and metal details.

The next morning was sunny

We went through Sunny Beach with its more than 1400 hotels. All empty at this time of the year.

On the way you can see the difference between the rich hotels and the poor houses in the villages.
Nature was beautiful.

Varna with its huge beautiful cathedral we really liked.

Then we went to Aladzha Monastery which was really strange.

A monastery built in a white cliff

There were some wood carvings we liked.

And a little museum with icons
and mosaics and a beautiful museum shop, the only decent place to shop souvenirs in the area but unfortunately we didn't have enough time there.
In Varna we saw the roman thermae
old beautiful houses,
and streets

and the pedestrian zone

I loved this sculpture

It is unbelievable how difficult it is to read the signs all around as they are only in Bulgarian,this is Piraeus Bank, can you tell?
Happy was the only decent place to eat everywhere in Bulgaria, this one had great sushi but we didn't try it.
We chose to walk the pedestrian zone all down to the sea front
with its sculptures
and pavement grafitti

and then sit at Happy for Chinese spaghetti and pumpkin desert.
Hubby had some great American ribs.
Even MacDonalds is spelt in Bulgarian as if it is needed.
There was a museum but there was no time for it. In general the tour programme was too fast for my taste, and the people in the group too slow and too many to follow it.
Before returning to Burgas we pressed for a short stop at Sunny Beach to see the beach as everything else was closed.

We closed our day with some drinks and desert at Happy bar restaurant as the food was not good at the hotel.
The next morning we left.

That's the book I was reading on the way back.
We stopped for coffee at Alexandroupolis and that was the first time I visited this place and saw its lovely lighthouse.

We enjoyed some coffee and free deserts at El Gato negro,
We walked the beach here too.

I love the sea glass I collected in Bulgaria.It wasn't much.But it was beautiful.
 The famous product of Bulgaria is the rose and they add its flavour and perfume in everything, hand cream, sopa, sweet and sweet delight,
 Of course I had to add some fridge magnets to my collection from all the places I visited.
All in all I wasn't happy with this trip, I am not sure I want to travel to Bulgaria again.