Part 02: The Black Sea | Europe, 2015

We got to Varna, an old port town on the Black Sea, and stayed for a few days with some family friends. It’s beautiful, there! They took us to see the sights, and our first stop was actually North of Varna to visit Kaliakra Archaeological Reserve. And, wow. Just wow, this place. Sweeping panoramic views of the Black Sea for miles! So breathtaking:

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Oh yeah, and the thistles! Bright purple thistles! I’d never seen any before, I loved them. Because it’s a reserve, they just grew wild all over the pathways. Kaliakra, a jutting peninsula surrounded by sea, is an old fortress from around the 4th Century believed to have been built/inhabited by a Thracian tribe. It’s set atop sheer cliffs, but you can walk around what’s left of the fortress walls, and down a steep stone path on the side to a small church and chamber that are built on the tip of the point: the views from here are incredible! It’s so old (the Thracian’s famous detail-oriented gold pieces are often found and exhibited around Bulgaria, and we saw a recreation of one of their burial chambers that’s thought to be one of the oldest antiquities found in the area: we’re talking ancient).

Also, it’s the stuff of legends: there’s a statue at the top when you first arrive that explains one of the more tragic ones associated with this spot, which is infamously where forty Bulgarian girls, brought here for the invading Ottomans, refused, tied their hair together and collectively jumped from the rocks into the sea. We spent a few hours wandering around, wind in our hair, unable to take our eyes off the view. It’s a really interesting, ethereal, and beautiful place: definitely one of my favorites from the trip. And some of my favorite shots taken!