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🗁Added 69 photos to album Bulgaria, Nov 2019.

I had a day out exploring the coast north of Varna. I tried to take the bus to Golden Sands, but the conductor on the 409 somewhat aggressively told me to get off and take the 9 (good job I know enough Serbo-Croatian to understand some Bulgarian in context!!) but before the 9 came a taxi full of people pulled up and offered to take me for the same price as the bus (3bgn). So that was handy.

The taxi dropped the other people off at different points on the route, and then offered to take me all the way to the top of the hill for Aladzha monastery. Saved me a climb! The monastery is closed on Mondays in winter obviously so I didn't get to check out the cool place carved into the side of the rock or its catacombs.

I did go for a walk through the woods though, which was very serene, and had nice views through the trees over Golden Sands.

I walked down and from the woods entered a slightly dystopian ghost town. Golden Sands is a resort, so at this time of year, no surprise. The hotels were empty, the supermarkets boarded up and the cafes deserted. Plenty of stray dogs, and occasional people sweeping leaves into piles.

The beach truly was golden, and pretty enormous. I imagine in the summer it's packed. There are bars and restaurants lining it, and some tacky fairground stuff. I wanted to walk along the beach all the way to Sv Konstantin & Elena, but some of the more immediately beachfront hotels fenced off their bits of the beach and I had to take the road for long stretches.

Sveti Konstantin & Elena was much nicer than Golden Sands. It felt less tacky (though still had a hotel with a giant pirate ship on the roof) and a bit more alive. I guess people other than holiday makers actually live there. The beaches were still almost deserted and very beautiful.

I had some time before the next bus back to Varna, so I popped into the Botanical Gardens near the bus stop. Also tranquil and beautiful! And full of lovely autumnal colours.

I walked ten miles, mostly along beaches, and was pretty exhausted by the end. Unfortunately RunKeeper seems to have lost the evidence.