Berkovitsa and the Balkans of Vratsa

Diary Entry 6

We are very happy when we leave the big city again and can finally decide for ourselves where we are going with a spontaneously rented car. Finally another road trip!

This time we want to go to the north, where there are some of the greatest highlights for me in this country: The sand cliffs of Belogradchik, the cave of Prohadna and the banks of the Danube attract with impressive pictures on the Internet.

We step into the Vratsa Balkans, which greets us with lush greenery. We drive close to the Iskar, whose bridges invite you to take a look at the river. In addition, there are – of course – caves in the rocks, to which we can spontaneously make a detour.

In the afternoon we reach the town of Berkovitsa, where we found cheap accommodation on the Internet. Our host Zoya and her mother welcome us to their pension with all warmth – and a little bit of astonishment about what we are doing in Berkowiza. There are no tourists here, so this is the place for us!

For dinner, the ladies recommend the Krasteva House, which is said to have the best cuisine in town.

The promise is kept. We are not the only guests in the medieval courtyard. The waitress made every effort to speak English with us, which was unintentionally very charming.

She recommends a wine that will be remembered throughout the trip as one of the best wines we have ever drunk. During research we find that the ” Borovitsa” is actually one of the best wineries in the country. And we just drank this wine here at a bargain price, because the value is twice as high on the Internet.

Again it is extremely hot today and we are sweating in the rivers.

In the travel guide I read that the nearby Klisurski monastery is both worth seeing and offers overnight accommodation. Spending the night in the monastery sounds like an interesting experience, so let’s try our luck. But the day has only just begun and if we want to stay in the monastery we have to stay in the area.

We become aware of the mountain Kom, which is near and on the border with Serbia and promises a great view. We are putting our plan into action. Even if it gets quite foggy in between, at the crucial moment on the summit the clouds move away and we have a fantastic view.

The monastery is really very beautiful, but you don’t want to know about the fact that you should be able to spend the night there. There’s no reception either, so we have to ask the nuns. They don’t understand us and refer us to a fat priest. He doesn’t understand what we want either, but a boy standing nearby understands English and translates for the man. He in turn refers to a nun who is said to be able to speak English.

When this comes she waves it off – all rooms are full. We don’t see anything of that, the monastery seems deserted. We are probably being ignored our lack of faith.

So we need a new plan again. It’s already late, but we’re still on our way to Belogradchik, the city of sand rocks!

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