The Bell Tower Apartment


Tales of a Tourist



Ivan and the bears 

We met Ivan as he offered airport transfers from Sofia to Bansko. He was prompt, reliable, and spoke very good English. He was full of great stories but it was the one about the bears that stuck. Apparently, Bulgarian bears are not particularly dangerous but the bears from over the northern borders can be very vicious. It was the identity of the bear that gave us a problem, how do we identify the nationality of a charging bear as it attacks - the mind boggles. The moral of this story - make sure you can run faster than any bears.



Unusual Skiing

After a particularly heavy snow fall in town we saw skiers traveling on the main roads in Bansko. A very unusual sight but a quick way to get home!


Evening Entertainment 

As we settled for our meal in the Mehana we were entertained by traditional musicians playing as loudly as possible and getting as close as possible. Conversation was impossible but it was a very intimate evening! Tips are collected in their drums and accordions, usually to encourage them to move away!

Sache in Bansko 

We were lucky enough to be taken to a traditional Mehana where sache was ordered. We had no idea what we were going to get then a 3-tiered serving platter arrived. Various barbequed meats and assorted vegetables with melted cheese adorned all layers. These layers were set alight, then a sword, piercing another selection of cooked meats appeared. These meats were slid onto the top level of the display, then with great force the sword was inserted into the wood beamed ceiling - what a night!


Getting Home

One wonderful evening, after a sumptuous meal, we were offered a ride back to Bansko Royal Towers, by a passing farmer with his horse and cart. An idyllic end to a magic evening as we clopped gently home.

Mega Meat Dinner 

Another evening we wandered into a Mehana where our Patron understood enough English to realise that we knew nothing about Bulgarian cuisine but wanted a traditional meal. He served two starters, one of cheese, similar to feta, sizzling on a platter with honey. The other of Old Man of Bansko, a sausage style dish, again sizzling on a platter. They were delicious, especially together. For the main course we ordered roast lamb and roast pork, one for each of us. We received a leg of lamb and a leg of pork. They were shredded at the table by our host using a couple of tools that looked like sugar tongs. We also had roast potatoes and a rice dish with pieces of meat embedded. We were stuffed. The amount of food would have done 4 of us easily. And with a beer and a bottle of wine the huge bill came to 37 Euros!






And then we got the bill!