taxi to Arbanasi
art around town
Arbanasi is an architectural reserve a few kilometres from Veliki Tarnovo. It was recommended that we go see it. With the road works on the main stretch, we were unable to catch a bus as we had previously tried to do, but we were able to get a taxi to take us over there. The drive took us down below the fortress on the other side to what we had seen, over the river and up another mountain. After a little while we made it to another town. This was Arbanasi.
I was hoping that it was the pretty town we had seen from the bus, but it wasn’t.
Still, we were dropped off in the main square, and went for a walk around town. It is pretty easy to get lost here, even though it is not too big. There are plenty of small alley ways that have old walls with the buildings tucked behind. Then there are others proudly standing in the Bulgarian Revival style (Typing this a LOT later in Serbia it is called the Ottoman style here! Well, to us they look the same). It is a shame to see in other places the beautiful old buildings crumbling down while next door a modern monstrosity has been constructed. This town is trying to keep things in style though.
As we were walking around we saw that most of the town has been quick to adopt tourism. There are plenty of places to stay, and many more people whose income is reliant on tourism. From selling icons to small finger protectors. These are quite cool. We have seen them in this area of Bulgaria before, but had no idea what they were for. Meeting a very nice old lady, we had it explained to us. You slot your lower fingers into the wood, and then using a sickle to cut the crops or whatever. The wood protects your hand and fingers from being sliced off in the process. A very good idea, and we think unique to the region.
Having walked around town, checked out the view over Veliki Tarnovo, and seen the tourist shops, we decided to hang out in one of the cafes drinking a nice cold beer. Reflecting on the differences in building styles. Here you can clearly see the old buildings, walls and gates with their stone work and wooden supports. Now, they are continuing the style, but the stones do not seem to fit quite so well, and the concrete stands out a little more than the old mortar that was used. It is a very nice style, and when used with white plaster makes a great contrast. After this, we headed back.
There is not much more to mention, but check out our photos of all the graffiti around town. A lot of the electricity boxes have been painted up. Some of these are amazing. The work that has gone into doing them is quite complicated.
It seems as if artists are well supported in these towns. These are not the creations of bored juveniles, but artworks by a series of different artists. More places can take note of what is being done here, as it brightens up the town, and in the process reduces pointless tagging. There are not many people that tag a well decorated wall.