In September 2011, we ran out first Tour of Village Life. We had a lot of interest throughout the year but as we had decided to have the event on a fixed date, some people could not manage that specific time. As a result of that, we are offering custom Tours on dates to suit your group, from 2012. But we had two people who wanted to have this holiday in September, so we went ahead with the first Tour with two guests, Jane and Janet from Manchester. They had a wonderful time, everyone in the village enjoyed the visit and we learned loads so that we can make the Tour better next time we do it.
We had a full itinerary for the week that was something like:
- Monday : short Bulgarian lesson, mainly how to greet people and be polite; coffee with the Mayor and the opportunity to ask questions; a look around the village square, the shops and the community centre; a look at the new church, general orientation and first look at the Treasure Hunt (a quiz of objects to identify over the week)
- Tuesday: spent the morning with Varia in her garden; learning about growing methods here, plants, the seasons etc; lunch with Varia and then practical experience in preserving and pickling.
- Wednesday: visit the bazaar in the village; join in rehearsals with the village choir in the community centre; visiting a small factory in a neighbour’s backyard; dinner with my neighbours -they dont speak English but rakia (home made alcohol) is a universal translator!
- Thursday: a visit to the Pensioner’s Club – dancing, singing, questions and fun; an evening sitting outside with Baba Tsonka learning how to spin wool and embroider; roast rib of goat at the barbeque in our garden
- Friday: a day in Popovo at the fruit and vegetable bazaar, the gypsy market, and the animal market; a look at the church; a wander about the houses, lunch in a typical Bulgarian restaurant.
The Tour took place at the beginning of September and it was really hot. The times in between the activities were spent lying in the hammock in the garden or sitting in the shade in the barn and eating home made scones, wonderful salads fresh from the garden and lovely, filling meals in the evening shade.