My friend K. who is visiting from Alaska also happens to be my boss in Denali (for Princess Cruises). She’s been there for years and has always had a large staff of Bulgarians working for her–mostly big, burly Bell staff men. She sometimes refers to them as her “Bulgarian Mafia.” Don’t know how accurate that really is, but you never know! All I do know is that they are a great bunch of guys (and one gal who is a supervisor in housekeeping) that I am happy to call my friends.
*cue sappy muzak*
When she made plans to come to Bulgaria we knew that a large get together with everyone was in order. Almost all of us (besides Vince and I and another married Bulgarian/American couple who live in the states) live in or around Plovdiv and Asenovgrad. We made Plovdiv our home base for a night last weekend and booked a room at a hostel (Hostel Mostel, which wasn’t all that great, btw). All of the plans were made and all we had to do was show up at Restaurant Arbanasi ready to party.
The food was delicious but the entertainment was what it was all about. We had the best table in the house (thanks F. for making the reservation “for your American friends who get the best table in the house.”) When Vince hears Bulgarian music and has any amount of alcohol in him…he turns into a dancing fool. Having a few glasses of wine myself, I eventually joined in as well.
After an hour or so of all of us getting our groove on, the restaurant brought out the real dancers. Man, were they good. Although, they did a weird combination of dances (Samba, Bulgarian, Greek, Flamenco… just odd).
We left the restaurant around midnight and hailed a bunch of taxis to take us to a local nightclub. We had some trouble getting in because we were such a large group and all the clubs were so packed, but K. buttered them up with a Benjamin and we were quickly ushered to a VIP table. I am not a club-type girl by any means. I detest loud music and the half-dressed dancing-girls and haze of cigarette smoke were too much for me.
Vince and I had one drink, grabbed K., and headed back to our hostel.
The next morning a few of the guys picked us up and we wandered around the city center for a bit before saying goodbye to Vince, who had to return to Sofia. The rest of the day was a whirlwind of being chauffeured around to coffee with the group in Asenovgrad, a visit to Assen’s Fortress, and finally to Bachkovo Monastery (where a priest gave us little photos of the Virgin Mary icon–awesome!).
Later it was a nap back at the hostel (which let us pay a small fee to keep the room for the day), dinner at Happy, and then a bus ride to Istanbul at 1:00 am. Needless to say we slept nearly the entire ride!
It was quite the weekend!
Thanks for visiting, K! It’s been a blast!
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