from Blagoevgrad to Sapareva banya
We are heading out to do the 7 lakes walk. This is supposed to be one of the best nature walks in all of Bulgaria. There are a few towns to choose from for accommodation, and we decided to go to Sapareva. All the rest are ski resort towns, and this is supposed to be a proper town.
It was pretty easy getting the bus out there, we could go directly from Blagoevgrad. On arriving in town, we have the usual effort of finding a place to stay. There are a few hotels around, and we had seen some of them as we passed through town. These all turned out to be too expensive, full, or both. What is going on? Everything is booked, and the cheapest we could find was about 70 euro! Canvassing the streets looking for a guest house was our only option. There was one place to stay, but I would not keep my donkey there. We started asking about a bus to another town, and nobody knew anything about it. Trying a few other guest houses, we were annoyed to find that people have signs out, but no way to contact them other than by mobile phone, as there was nobody there for us to talk to.
We did eventually find one place. We had checked it earlier, but they were a bit pricey, and only available for one night. Even then, the place was not that good.
Sapareva Banya is a thermal spring town, and as such, a lot of people go there to do the lakes walk and hang out in the springs. They also have the only thermal geyser in Bulgaria. So after settling in, we went looking for it. We had walked past it a few times, but had assumed that it was a fountain, as every town we have been to has at least a couple, and Sapareva Banya is no exception. The thing with the geyser is that it is not even natural! They drilled down between 50 and 70 metres to hit the water, and then put in pipes in to bring it to the surface. When it comes up, it is through a monstrosity of a fountain that to us looks pretty sad. When you get to the main square of town, you can see the EU funded fountain that has been created to resemble the geyser! What a waste of money for both counts. Considering what the millions of euro could accomplish, and the fact that the fountain will probably not work in about 5 years.
That’s about it. That is town. We had seen almost all of it dragging our bags, so now decided to try a cafe. It was not too bad, a bit overpriced, and after the waitress spilled Anna’s beer all over her with only an apology (she didn’t even replace the beer) we decided to go somewhere else for dinner. There is not that much choice in town and we picked the most popular. It must be popular as it is the only place in town. Not for the quality of the food! It was pretty bad, and we ended up hitting a corner store to buy some nibblies to silence our stomachs and some wine to drown our sorrows. Only hoping that tomorrow in the mountains will be better!