A couple hours later we arrived in Koprivshtitsa, a picturesque town from the 1800s. More than 380 houses are from the National Revival period (mid-1800s). The streets are mostly cobblestone and meander up and down hills but they don’t seem to have any particular plan.
I checked out a few souvenir shops....one with an interesting stuffed animal in front.
Koprivshtitsa is the birthplace of the Bulgarian 1876 revolution against the Ottoman Turks. We toured seven houses of some of the top Bulgarian Revolutionaries and the graveyard.
There are a lot of revolutionary statues here.
Most of the houses are surrounded by heavy wood fences or stone walls. You cannot see the houses until you open the gates. Laminated pictures and obituaries of locals who’ve passed away over the last few years are placed on many of the gate doors and walls. Is it this small town’s version of newspaper announcements? We actually saw the flower covered grave of a lady who’s picture was posted all over the place when we were in the cemetery.
We notice that everyone has large stockpiles of chopped wood. Horses with carts of wood traverse the town delivering their wares. (I noticed much evidence of said horses on the street). I can only guess that many of the older homes are heated this way.
The weather was sunny and perfect for touring and there were not the crowds that one would encounter in summer.
Bulgaria is very inexpensive.
Tonight we went to the top rated restaurant in Koprivshtitsa. I thought I was ordering a glass of good red wine for the equivalent of $7.50 and a whole bottle arrives!
Our restaurant was called Chuchura and it had homemade Bulgarian food. John had tarator soup (cold yogurt, cucumber and dill soup) and Kavarma (meat with vegetables cooked in an earthenware pot, similar to the Moroccan tagine). Graham had liver and chicken and vegetables cooked in an earthenware pot and I had tripe with minced veal head with veggies on the side. It was all delicious. The total bill for three including a bottle of wine, a 1/2 litre of beer (John is trying to relive Munich), and all the food and a generous tip came out to $35. Wow, I love this place.
I had a few courses. After the first course I accidentally sent back my fork with the dirty dish and had to ask for another. The second course I did the same and couldn’t stop laughing when I had to ask for a third fork.
Our guesthouse, Bonchova, is from the 1800s. It is lovely and full of character. It had two rooms for the three of us and it was only the equivalent of $35 Canadian and includes a full home cooked breakfast.
I’m now in the restaurant finishing my shared bottle of Merlot as I finish this post.
Ps. There were not many street lights on the way back to our guest house. I suspect that I may have trod in some horse feces. What an awesome day.