Sunday, September 09, 2007

Black Sea Trip

Varna's Scenes and Sins

Grabbed the opportunity of having 4 straight days off, 2 colleagues and I made a trip to Black Sea – Varna. The climate didn't turn out sunny, windy chill instead. Anyway our program was simply too packed to relax ourselves on the beach.

The beaches on Varna are disappointedly narrow and far from first class standard. Sunbathers moved further out of the city to find better beach and cleaner sand. After all we came here for fun, foods and entertainments were important to us.

The food and beverage prices are irrationally high in my local colleague's opinion (beer €1.50, meal €5-10). I gave no comment. To most foreign tourists, this price level is still much cheaper in their own countries.

Varna is lacking of attractions. The most impressive landmark "Cathedral of The Assumption of The Virgin" is worth for a visit. It is 2nd in size only to the "Aleksander Nevski Cathedral" in Sofia. The internal mural and design are very similar to the latter.

Rest of the tourist spots like Roman Thermae does not catch my interest.

Striptease show is legal business in Bulgaria. We took the chance to explore a bar named Playboy. The beverage expenses are not high indeed, say double the charges of disco plus entrance fees of €2.50. Atmosphere was sexy, with hip-hop music background, the performers staged and danced seductively but not lusty. The strippers didn't remove the last piece of cloth around their hips.

Without invitation, one fairly stocky lady (compared to my body size) sat beside me. She offered to dance with me, or dance for us. Hey, I know well each dance will charge additional on our bill. Politely I turned down her offer and said, "I just want to stay here and watch nice ladies."

"This club does not offer only for watching," she answered and left us alone. Did she imply that we must be more initiative and give more orders, or she meant we are not generous? I didn't care. ½ hr later, another real good looking lady approached us and offered the same. Again, we turned down her offer.

Out of curiosity, while checking the bill, we inquired the "service charge" of the lady. The manager gave us their rate of €100 per hour!!! Goodness! This is equivalent to the monthly salary of a local labour in Bulgaria.


Approx. 30km north of Varna. Jokingly I refer it as the short form of "Bulgarian Chic". I endow a new meaning to this name but it doesn't convince me to return for 2nd visit. This town is much quieter than Varna. It has no good beach either, but packed with tourists seeking relaxing atmosphere, no short of good hotels and restaurants. The Summer Palace of Queen Marie and Botanical Gardens are the main attractions, but they are small and not exceptionally beautiful.


Claimed to be the most organized resorts in Bulgaria, the beaches here are clean, dotted with hotels constructed during the communism era, and in similar design. Plenty of retirees join cheap tour packages from western Europe. The nightlife is less lively compared to Varna, not my cup of tea.