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.
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!
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
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!
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!