Day 16 (Part 2): First, Parlenki. Then, UFOs! Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

You lucky, lucky people. You get a whole post that is literally about a crazy UFO shaped building AND the greatness that is garlic Parlenki. I’ve not gone crazy either, all of this (that means this post and the one before) happened in one day. So without further ado, on with the rest of the day.

Saturday 14th June 2014 (again…)
Finishing up at the museum we hid from the rain in the restaurant close by. I thought the prices might be high, as we were right on top of a tourist attraction but it was very reasonable. For 16 BGN, Mike and I both had enough food to fill us up and a drink each. We didn’t get any pictures because it was just too god damn good to wait for.

Parlenki is like a doughy bread type food which is topped or stuffed with whatever you like. We had a garlic parlenki. And it was the best garlic bread we had ever had. With it we had a mixture of field mushrooms and bacon topped with a cheesey crust. I felt like I was going to have a heart attack but it was just too good.

After this, we drove another 25(ish)km to the UFO, correctly known as Buzludzha Monument. The center was built by Bulgarian communists in 1891 on top of Buzludzha mountain, amongst the  Central Stara Planina. This location is important to Bulgarians as it was where the final, bloody battle between the Bulgarian rebels and the Turks took place in 1868. While the monument was once glamorous, it now stands in absolute decay.

Buzludzha Monument (UFO)

If you walk to the right hand side of the big bolted doors and turn the corner you will find the only entrance to the UFO. Entry is forbidden, we’re not sure whether that’s due to it being a building of poor taste or because the ceilings are falling down. Not to mention that the place should collapse under it’s flooding. To enter, you have to climb up the wall and through a broken window. Mind the glass.

The monument took nearly 7 years to complete with detailed mosaics across the walls, red velvet, ruby glass and white marble floors. But once communism came to an end the UFO was left to fall apart after being looted for it’s expensive copper ceilings.

The ceiling, stripped of it’s copper
Mosaics on the walls of the UFO
Graffiti in the main auditorium
The main auditorium in the UFO

On a nice day you can see for miles around. You can even climb the ladder to the top of the tower where you can see as far as Greece and Turkey! Unfortunately, the weather took a turn for the worst and all we got was sheets of white fog.

Viewing platforms around the UFO

It was super cold, and so windy, but the misty weather made the place seem more eerie. Other people in the group caught some amazing snaps of us standing outside the building. With the fog, it really looked like a scene out of an alien invasion film.

At the doors to the UFO
Nicki, infront of the UFO [Borrowed from Mike]

 We clambered back into the car just as the clouds seemed to be clearing, and kicked ourselves for not making the 300 step ladder ascent to the top of the tower. But by this point, I was tired and I had taken a travel sickness pill. So, naturally, I was asleep in five minutes. Oh, and you know, the whole place could have just fallen apart beneath us.

I hope you found the UFO interesting. I certainly did. If you’re ever in the area, be sure to get a taxi/bus/camel or something to see it. It is awesome.  
Next post? We visited the fortress in Veliko Tarnovo. I don’t have tons of information but I do have a few VERY nice pictures. A nice bit of light reading for you 😉
Categories bulgaria, europe

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