BULGARIA: Varna – Black Sea Relaxation

Posted by on Jul 26, 2017 in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

After yet another all nighter preceding a couple of flights, I arrived in Varna to find a welcoming, super social, honest to goodness, backpackers hostel. My room is huge with high ceilings, air conditioning, and a large desk. This is going to be a nice relaxing six days.

Our favorite Irish, bicycling, vagabond Peter charges his electronics with a portable solar panel, and packs his megabike for the next phase of his adventure.


Her spirited little boy looks well beyond his four years, and she refuses to let any school force him to be just another zombie conformist.



                                                  STONE FOREST


I shared a cab with a young lady named Nina who was staying in the hostel. She is on track to end up working for some soul-crushing company and become a good consumer. She is a free spirit and questioning the agenda others insist is what she should do. I have a feeling she will take the road less traveled. She is fluent in three languages, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I were to run into her later on down the road.

The only area of concern is that this pretty twenty-one-year-old blond is hitchhiking all over the place, so the Dad in me stopped into a store and picked her up a nice, strong pepper spray in a stylish pink canister. It would be a shame to have such a vibrant spirit crushed, and I’m sure her father would be grateful for my gesture.

The interesting thing about this petrified wood is the composition. The stone looks like limestone rather than the igneous rock that comprises other petrified forests.

PETRIFIED TREE HEAD – This one has hair on top and growing out of one ear.


ANOTHER STONE HEAD – This one has a punk haircut.





Some of the forest is reminiscent of Greco-Roman ruins as in the column in the foreground.






SEA TERRACE RESTAURANT – Offering delicious seafood and Mediterranean specialties.

Varna is a more relaxing type of seaside resort. Great for families or anyone who wants a quiet getaway. Of course, there is plenty of cheap alcohol and nighttime action at beachside clubs if you’re intent of letting it rip. One of the guys at the hostel easily found some weed as well. So there’s something for everyone here in Varna.







They know how to play the accordion in this part of the world, and this guy was good.


LIVING DINOSAURS – Ten million people worldwide have seen these lifeless, rubber, animatronic dinosaurs. I’m sure to a child they are quite a thrill, but they are probably better off going to the petting zoo in the park where they can interact with live miniature horses and goats and a whole host of other creatures. If you still feel like dinosaurs, see a Jurassic Park movie. There are even places that the kiddies can shoot guns and bows and arrows, and there is a water park beside the Black Sea.

One of the nice things about Varna is that even though it is a resort town, it is not overcrowded with tourists. There are copious quality restaurants for all budgets. The delicious kebab sandwich in the main square will run you less than $3.00.





METAL SHOP – Don’t worry guys, I didn’t get any piercings to scare the grandkids, but I continue to wear black and a lot of rings though.



DI WINE RESTAURANT -Steakhouse with some of the best duck I’ve ever eaten.

MAGRÉT DE CANARD – This duck breast with sweet potato purée was truly magnificent. So much so, that I had it twice in one day. This perfectly done medium rare piece of poultry with just the right amount of duck fat was only $12.00. Coming to Varna is like getting a 50% off coupon for everything you eat.


  1. Sarah Drover
    July 30, 2017

    Hey John,
    We are still with you and checking in on your travels via the blog!
    Hope you are well?
    You have certainly been busy since we saw you in Santorini!
    The Art you have blogged has been tremendous and a real pleasure to see and of course I enjoy all your witty remarks along the way.
    Good on you for buying the young lady travelling alone some pepper spray. My daughter Hannah is a similar age and I am certain her father will be relieved and thankful she crossed paths with a kind and true gentleman such as yourself to purchase her such a gift.
    Keep up the great work – living life and sharing your travels with us mortals still stuck in the rat race!
    Sarah and Corey ?

  2. The Travel Zealot
    July 30, 2017

    Great to hear from you guys. I was just thinking of you back in Baku, and was planning to email you. I saw a Liverpool football item in a bar. Yes there’s been a lot of water under the bridge since Santorini. Life moves pretty fast in Zealotworld. It has to if I want to reach 100 countries before the “Orange Sphincter” gets us all blown to holy hell.

    I just arrived in Cyprus which reminds me of Greece and has similar cuisine which also reminded me of you, and would have resulted in an email. Varna was very pleasant and very cheap. My brand name medication is one fifth the price I pay for generics out of Canada!

    I will probably do a full round the worlder next year.

    Starting with Central/South America, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, a cheap relocation cruise to Europe, and then working my way round to India, Nepal, Myanmar, China, Indonesia, Australia, some South Pacific islands and back to San Diego.

    I hope to make a pit stop in the UK so I can visit a few relatives and maybe stop by an say hello to you as well. About halfway through next year I will have completed my 100, so I will slow down a bit in 2019 and smell the roses.

    Hope you are enjoying the new grandkid.

  3. Karen Devers
    July 30, 2017

    I love the petrified wood stone forest. I think it would be a rather eerie experience to walk among these fallen giants. They do remind me of the columns from ancient temples. Are you allowed to touch them? I think the surface textures are fascinating and I’d want to touch them for sure.

    Varna seems like a very welcoming place and the food sounds amazing. Every time I look at the duck plate I want to have a taste.

    Have you dipped your feet into the Black Sea? It looks like the weather is hot and the water looks inviting. Is this a good place for diving?

  4. The Travel Zealot
    July 31, 2017

    Hi Karen,
    I’m not sure that the diving is good in the Black Sea, but the duck is outstanding. I got a better picture of the duck the other night and it will be posted. I ordered it three times. At $12 a plate, I couldn’t resist.

  5. Karen Devers
    August 1, 2017

    I love duck as well and hopefully we can find some in France. I worked out with Fran and Josh Sunday and we ate breakfast at the carts up the street. Josh said that when they were in France they ate a lot of ham and cheese sandwiches. So much so that when they got back he didn’t want to look at one, and still has no interest in them.

    We are getting our August hot weather “spikes” this week. Wednesday 107, Thursday 109, Friday 105 or close to it. This doesn’t happen often although we are having more days like this in the past couple of years. Gee, I wonder why!

    I’m sure glad I got the new heat pump – it handles the heat with no problem. So nice to have the AC.

    Thursday Fran and I are driving up to Centralia to meet Elli for our mother/daughter weekend and to celebrate their dad’s 70th birthday. We girls are going swimming in an abandoned stone quarry and we’ll have lots of time to chat and get silly.

  6. The Travel Zealot
    August 1, 2017

    Why the ham and cheese sandwiches when they could have gotten cheap quiche lorraine all over the place.

    I’ve gotten some anticipated heat here in Cyprus, but it’s in the nineties. I think my plan to live in places 2-3 months at a time in the future may be a good plan. This way I can seek out the best weather throughout the year.

    I’ve got nice A/C in my room, but I will be switching towns and the hostel won’t have A/C. At least I’ll have a fan and some good company, and if I need to I can take refuge in a cool restaurant. I also planned on maybe doing some snorkeling or a little scuba diving to beat the heat. I’ve got my dive skin and prescription mask. Have fun with the girls in Centralia.

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