Plovdiv, the city of six hills and a mall.
Italy has Rome with its seven hills, Bulgaria has Plovdiv with… six hills and the mall (but in past it also had seven hills) and surprisingly Plovdiv is older than Rome, another thing Bulgaria can be proud of!
Our trip to Plovdiv was very spontaneous and until the last moment we didn’t really know if we will go there or not, but finally we went. We met some volunteers in Sofia, who came to Plovdiv to celebrate the birthday of one of them; we also met volunteers from Plovdiv who gave us a place to stay. So we went there to join the celebration and to visit the city a bit (ok, mostly to visit the city, the birthday was just a good excuse).
I like the city, there are some in Bulgaria which I like more, but Plovdiv is also nice and, what is the most important – has a lot of historical places to see. We were there only for a weekend, so we did not have much time to visit museums, but we had a nice walk around the city and we saw a lot. This was mainly because we had a very good guide, my friend who lives in Plovdiv and who showed us almost the whole city. Later when we walked alone we always said “oh, we were there already”, “oh, we saw this place” – seems local people are the best guides.
I really enjoyed the old part of the town, the roman ruins and the mosque, also the fountain park is beautiful. It is such a pity that it is forbidden to swim there! I hope one day I will have the opportunity to see the fountain light show there, it must be incredible.
We also went up to one of the hills with ruins of an old fortress or castle – they were the type of ruins, that it doesn’t matter anymore what they are. However, I think they was more like a fortress as they had a military name. I really like every kind of ruins and climbing them, unfortunately I didn’t have the right shoes to do it, as I wrote before, it was a very spontaneous trip and I wasn’t prepared at all. But still I liked the hill, we enjoyed the nice view from up there, we could see the whole city from above.
We also went a little bit farther to see the water tracks for kayak, boats etc. competitions. Unfortunately, we couldn’t go close enough as there were some kinds of preparations for the competitions, but still we could see the sunset reflection on the water, which I really enjoyed.
In the evening we joined the birthday party. We were supposed to go to the Beer Festival or to the club, but in the end we spend it on the street as Plovdiv seems to be a very youthful city with a lot of outside places where people can hang out. I think for the people from both Kazanlak and Razlog (our friends are doing volunteering in Razlog) this was a nice change and sadly, one of the biggest attraction of the town (we all miss social life very much).
The next day, we didn’t have much time and just went to the old town again, had breakfast and went back, but still it was a very nice weekend and Plovdiv made a very good impression (especially because we visited it just after Sofia).