Left early for Bulgaria where we were going to be staying with relatives of ours (Tonia and Georgina). And what an amazing experience it was! We loved everything we saw and did, and the people we met were so kind and caring. We all had an excellent time and will always remember our time here.
The relatives we stayed with live in a tiny country village in central Bulgaria in a region known as the Valley of the Roses and the Valley of the Thracian Kings. We stayed in Koprinka near Kazanlak and it was such a cultural experience for all of us. We had one relative - 20 year old Boryana - who spoke and understood English really well. She was terrific and a great help for us. Some of our other relatives had a little English and Tonia and I understand Bulgarian, we just can't speak it mainly due to lack of practice. We were able to make ourselves understood most of the time. Lynda had no Bulgarian but was able to understand most of the time what was happening. But it was well and truly a cultural experience for her.
Although we'd left Milan early, we'd had to fly via Vienna before flying on to Sofia so we didn't get in until 1:30pm. We were met at Sofia airport by many relatives before driving the 3 hours back to Koprinka. Fortunately they'd brought out 3 cars so they could take all of our luggage - we'd collected our stored luggage at Milan before we'd left. Once in Koprinka, by then it was 5pm, we met even more relatives and had a special dinner with most of them. Lots to eat and drink. It was great. We loved it when at dusk the local shepherd herded about ten or twelve sheep back home to their owners in the village. The owners stood out the front and whistled for their own sheep to come home. The sheep then made their own way back to their homes. It was amazing. Yordana did the same thing and then when her two sheep came in the back she showed us how she milked one of them. For our first night we stayed at Miktor and Yordana's house.