I have no idea why, but I’ve never set foot in North-west Bulgaria. Maybe that’s the reason why I’ve decided that it’s about time and started with the most north-west town in the country – Vidin. Thanks to a particular hail our car was still being repaired and we had to get there by bus.
I usually prefer this option, because it’s easy and most of the time it’s cheaper, which is always nice, but not this time. After two hours of napping and looking through the window we reached the road from Montana to Vidin … I’ve seen shitty roads, but this was the top of it ! Two way road, filled with holes and rugged asphalt , turn after turn, village after village and the best part of it – huge trucks one after another … How we didn’t get in some kind of accident is still beyond me. Our driver was a big part of the problem , he though,apparently , that is some kind of relative to Schumacher and had to drive like he is at least on Formula 1 Grand Prix.
We took 63 km for two hours and ten minutes in constant rocking, swaying and tossing. I even considered the idea of getting back by train ( in Bulgaria the rail travel is a lot more slow and nasty than the bus ).
Well, besides everything we arrived in Vidin , a little grumpy , but in one piece. The first stop in our plan didn’t matter , we just had to get away from that horrid bus. So the place that caught our attention turned out to be the river Danube port.
The only time that I’ve seen this river was on our trip to Romania, when we crossed it near the town of Rousse, so I was quite happy to explore it more. There is a nice park along it to take a walk, to enjoy the breeze and to get bitten by the mosquitoes. This small insects are very famous in this part of Bulgaria, especially their size and population.
Our next stop was the true purpose of this trip – Baba Vida Castle. It is the only remaining medieval castle and was the seat of the Bulgarian tzar Ivan Sratzimir. One of the legends about the place says that it was the home of a famous Bulgarian lord whose land was spread from Stara Planina mountain to Karpatite, now in Romania. He had three daughters – Vida, Kula and Gumza, who after his death spread his land among themselves. His oldest one- Vida , never got married unlike her sisters. During her reign the cstle was built, where she lived until her death. Her people were happy and thankful, cause she ruled just and protected them from enemies. After her death the castle was named after her – ” Baba Vida “. Baba means “grandmother” in Bulgarian language.
It was already noon so we decided to have lunch – the fish soup is a local special and we couldn’t miss it, but the fried sprat was nice too. The view was also good.
With renewed powers we went on a stroll for the other attractions . Luckily they were close to each other. The most impressive one was the old Synagogue, in wretched state, unfortunately. This is the second largest synagogue in Bulgaria, the first one is in Sofia.It was an amazing builiding but in the 50s it closed doors as religious temple and became a storage. Naturally this is the main reason for it’s current state. My heart aches when I see such beauties left to nature.
The following sites were typical for our past – a mosque, the old gateway of Vidin, a post office … The old Turkish post was remarkable – it is the only post building remaining in Bulgaria. The other site that made an impression was the cathedral with a memorial of our country’s fisrt exarch Antim I.
We started this tour with the Danube and ended whit it. Vidin didn’t impress me much, but the river was something else. I have no idea why, but I thought that it must be very romantic and interesting to live nearby a river with so many purposes. And not to forget that you can see another country from your window …