Sunday, July 3, 2011

отиде до вилата Visiting the Villa (aka – going to the Cabin)

отиде до вилата
Visiting the Villa (aka – going to the Cabin)
The "weed-filled" left half of this building is the villa!

This past weekend, Krum, and his family (including an Aunt) took all six of us in his small car on a short 35Km drive to his father-in-laws villa.   Krum has not been there for two years, but has promised to take Lynn and I there for some time.  It was a great day, and gave us another perspective of Bulgarian life. 

The "foundation car" died before this climb.
Plovdiv's elevation is 164 meters (approximately 538 feet) above sea level. The very small village of  Бойково  (Boikovo)  took about 30 minutes to reach, but it is 1,106 Meters (3,628) feet above sea level  and is located the mountains just south of Plovdiv.  From my office window, I look out over the roof tops of other buildings and into the Rhodope mountains.  The road to Boikovo is long, curvy, and basically ends at the village center.  The “road/trail” from the center for the final 300 yards to the villa is a challenge for any vehicle other than a four-wheel drive.  Krum's car made it, but two years ago, the foundation car did just died half way up that last stretch from the village center. 

There is a very strong “cabin culture” in the US upper mid-west.  We know many people who spend most of the summer on a lake in all manner of small (or large) houses.  But what we found out this weekend, is that the Bulgarians have been doing similar things for a couple of centuries.  The difference is that while we go to the lake to cool off, they head high into the mountains to catch the cool breezes of summer.  Although Krum's in-laws home was “spartan” at best, there were several homes in the village which were very nice.  A few of them had to be owned by people from Western Europe because some of them had lawns with lots of grass.  Most often Bulgarians are more practical and use every inch of land to plant gardens. 

The water for the villa comes from a spring further into the mountains.  However, we could not get it turned on.  So... we went for a short 10 minute walk up to the spring to fill the five liter plastic jugs.  On the way, we met some of the neighbors cooking a lamb on an outdoor spit.  On the way back, we were stopped by them, and invited to have some rakia, beer, meat (not the lamb because it takes about 6 hours to cook, and they still had another hour to finish it). It was really nice, and fun just standing around talking and enjoying the beginning of their party.  They have a family “compound” (just like the Kennedy compound on Cape Cod – well almost) with two buildings, a fabulous view, and constant breezes for the three brothers and all their families.  One of the older women had just made some bread, and we all devoured it.  Three hours later when Krum, Lynn and I returned from a hike around the village,  there was only a pile of ashes where the fire had been.  The spit, and roof were portable and had been put back in storage. 

In addition to the Lamb roast party food, we also had our own small party with shopska salad, bread, fried chicken, and Lynn's homemade cookies.   After spending a couple of hours grazing on good food, Krum, Lynn and I went out for a long walk around the village and onto the trails in the woods nearby.    The pictures don't really capture the “quaintness”, and the unique aspects of many of the old (and new) homes. 

When we got back to the villa, it was time to start packing and cleaning up to get ready to leave.  However, we were not going very far on the first leg of the trip home.  A couple of miles down from the village center there was a trail leading to a refurbished chapel.  The trail continued onto a knoll with spectacular views to the north and onto the Plovdiv plain.   

Following are some more pictures of the “Bulgarian Cabin (Villa) Life”.   We had a great time, and hope you enjoy the pictures. 

Thanks for reading

This is the town center- the one bazar was opposite this cafe

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Loved the pictures. The view looked fantastic. Amused by the concept of having to "fetch water". Sounds like camping!