Living the semi-charmed life that I seem to do, I managed to get through customs, walk from the arrival terminal to the departure terminal, check in and get to the gate in Bratislava all within the 20 minute time window between flights to make my connection to Bulgaria.
I arrived in Bourgas, Bulgaria on Tuesday night and took the 30 minute taxi ride to Sunny Beach.
Sunny Beach was a very small little resort town only about 10 years ago, but since then, hundreds of hotels have been built and it has become a fairly major destination, with flights arriving from the UK, Finland and other colder climes during the summer.
The town is unlike any I have seen before… it is very eclectic. The first thing I noticed upon arrival was how Russian feeling it is here… their alphabet looks the same as russian and their language sounds russian to me, with their ‘da’ for yes and ‘nyet’ for no.
If you are looking for a nice, quaint, relaxed Black Sea holiday, do NOT go to Sunny Beach! Most of the people here are hooting and hollering, drunken Europeans… the clubs all stay open until morning and it appears to be just a 24 hour party place. But unlike a place like, say, Ibiza, it is a lot more college-crowd style… very downmarket… no one seems very cool… actually, 95% of people are irritatingly un-cool… and then you combine that with some of the local people such as the ubiquitous mafia guys and your random gypsy and this place has almost a low-brow, carnival like atmosphere…. very odd… but interesting to experience!
One of the more laughable moments were when a friend and I ordered two shots of tequila… we drank it, then we looked at each other, perplexed, and my friend says, “was that tequila?”… we asked to look at the bottle, and it was called something like “Mexican Express” and then it said, “Tequila Flavored Mixed Drink”… super!
I hooked up with a friend here who I have never met in real life but we met through another friend through email and had always stayed in touch because we have similar interests… this guy was the most interesting part of my trip! He may be the craziest person I know, and that is saying a lot! The entire 3 days I saw him here, he was never without a beer in his hand… he got into a fight with some bouncers at one bar (my buddy is a big guy too, which made that all the more interesting)… I got used to finding him in a club by following the trail of people who looked shocked and stunned as he would accost almost anyone who came in his path. In his defence, not that there was anything wrong with the way he acted, he is headed to Iraq on a contract next week for 3 months and he is trying to enjoy every minute now because he doesn’t know when or if he’ll get that chance again!
So, what would have been an otherwise fairly boring stay in Sunny Beach was definitely full of interesting times and some good stories!
Him and I are going to take a taxi to Istanbul, Turkey today… it’s a bit of a long story why, but the taxi appears to be our best option to get to Istanbul from here in a reasonably economic and quick way…
I am looking forward to Istanbul… it sounds like it may be more my style, from what I’ve heard. Actually, now that I think about it, any ‘vacation/resort’ place I visit, I usually don’t like too much… something about the crowd… I prefer a bit more upscale, cooler crowd that you find in larger cities than the usually sunburned, drunken revellers you find in towns like Sunny Beach (Boracay and resorts in Thailand maybe being the only exceptions I can think to this rule).
But all in all, whether it be Amsterdam, or Croatia, or Bulgaria, Europe has once again been very underwhelming. I don’t know why I keep trying… I guess I am the kind of person who has to go see everything for myself before I give up on something… I hear that the baltics are supposed to be very interesting, but I look at the map and I am only 9 hours flight from Bangkok when I am in Istanbul… that is verrry verrrrrry tempting… I don’t know why, but Bangkok makes me feel so happy… it just has everything I like… I think I am getting homesick, for Bangkok, again… I may just end up back there in the next few days…
However, I will likely go back there and rest up for a month or two (and maybe even get a place in Phuket so I can do some surfing and golfing and get back into shape) and then I think I’ll go back through Camerica on my way to Mexico, the caribbean and possibly Panama and South America by October-ish.
It is still basically my intention to try to get a small place somewhere in either the caribbean or latin america somewhere and to spend half my time in asia and half in latin america…
Now that the global real estate market is in complete collapse I’ll likely spend the next year or so scouting out some cheap spots.