Budapest To Bucharest 2014
May 15 - Rousse, Veliko Tarnovo And Arbanassi
We had a long bus ride today. Apparently Rousse has a lack of interesting sights, so we drove for 1 1/2 hours to Veliko Tărnovo for our first stop. We had good cookies and coffee at a tourist hotel after we used the facilities. Viking looks out for us advancing age folks by providing strategic rest stops.
We got into the bus again and drove up into the hills on a narrow road to the village of Arbanassi. Arbanassi is known for its rich history and large numbers historical monuments. We went to two of them. The first was the Nativity Church. It is a low-level plain looking building. Inside, though, are exquisite paintings, fantastic frescos and intricately carved woodwork dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries. It was jaw-dropping.
The second sight was the oldest, largest and best restored private home in the village. We were able to see how people designed and furnished a house if they were rich enough.
After these tours, we were treated to lunch at the local hotel/restaurant. The photo on top is from our salad course. Soup, stew and desert followed accompanied by lots of wine.
The bus took us back to Veliko Tărnovo where we took a look at its strategic fortress. Nobody on our bus wanted to climb up to it, so we went to the historic part of town for shopping. Ann and I walked up and down the shopping street and saw lots of crafts that would be nice to buy. Our suitcases are full, though.
After napping on the bus ride back to the ship, we scurried to get ready for the Captain's Farewell Toast. I had packed my blazer and carried it around just for this occasion. I will send it home with Ann before I take off on my cycling trip next week. The toast was as expected - lots of thank yous and a glass of champagne. Dinner was special, but not that special because I can't remember what we had.
That evening we sailed across the river to Giurgiu. We were now in Romania.