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July 2, 2002

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Yesterday evening we rode a train and met a student who led us to our next destination: Veliko Tarnova. The guidebook claims this is the best place to experience medieval Bulgaria. An impressive castle, built by Justinian in 528 AD, stands guard along the Yantra river, which winds its way past town in a narrow valley. Red shingle roofs and cobblestone streets complete the Old Europe atmosphere.
Bulgaria's tourist highlight: Veliko (Great) Tarnova
Bulgaria's monument to Independence looks like it came out of 'Lord of the Rings.'
The Tsarevets citadel stands from the second Bulgarian Empire (who hasn't had an Empire, but Bulgaria had two) in 1185-1393 when Veliko Tarnovo prevailed as the capital.
On summer nights a fantastic light show illuminates the entire hill of the citadel. It's best to watch it for free from a rooftop in Veliko Tarnovo.
Cafes and houses cling the the gorge that overlooks the Yantra river.
The Tsarevets church shows good examples of heavy handed Bulgarian art.