Will keep it short and simple. We couldn’t get out of Rabishi! It is Saturday and there are no buses. Not to Belogradchik or even Vidin. Apparently there is a train, but the train station is 15k away… The woman from the guest house can get us a lift for just a few lev, as there are no taxis in a village this small. We had no other option, so did so.
The driver was pretty nice, although, again there is the language barrier. He spoke Spanish, but that didn’t help. Still, he hung around at the station and made sure we got tickets for the right train. Even with a Bulgarian helping us, it took almost 20 minutes in the otherwise deserted station. The conversation must have been really good this time!
Boarding the train, and setting off. This is a pretty standard train ride. Nice countryside, not so much rocking, but the screeching of the brakes got to me a little bit.
Arriving in Vidin, we came to a very nice train station, but no signs on what town we were even in. Still, it was the end of the line, so where could we be?
Walked around a little bit to find a hotel. Not that much better than last nights accommodation, but still better. Then walking around town.
Apparently Vidin is the poorest town in the entire EU. It does not show. There are plenty of old buildings, not just on the main streets, and a lot of these have been done up. Sure, it is Saturday, but there were very few people in town. A total lack of restaurants and bars. There are a few, but not as many as elsewhere, but still a lot of nice cars around. It is a bit of a contradiction.
Walking around Vidin, we stumbled across Tourist Info, but of course, it was not open. These is a map of town though, with the must sees, an Old Mosque, Synagogue, a few churches, a cross shaped building that used to be the Ottoman Baraks and of course, the fortress. The fortress is why we are here, it is the best preserved in all of Bulgaria.
From here we also found the Danube River. Not that anyone had lost it, but it has been a while since we have seen it. The Romanian side is undeveloped, and covered with trees, there is the occasional boat going past, these are the long flat shipping boats carrying oil or other non perishable goods. To the North a bridge is visible linking Romania with Bulgaria. It was apparently opened in June 2013 so is very fresh and new. The poor ferry that had been doing the job will probably go out of business soon.
We managed to look at most of the old town, see the remaining gate, the shell of a synagogue, the mosque and even some of the churches. We even found the fortress, but as it was almost closing time, we decided to wait until tomorrow for it. So now it was time to find a drink and relax a bit. I do like the beers in this part of the world, and the way people are not shy in experimenting. Grapefruit, lemon and today white grapes mixed into the beer.
A little rain in the evening to freshen up the air, but hopefully it will clear by morning, and all is good. Especially the litre of Red we picked up from the store for about 1.50 lev that, although very young is very drinkable!