Bulgarian villages

Take it altogether, I should say the inhabitants of Panscherevow—in common, for that matter, with those of most Bulgarian villages—seem to me not to have a bad time. If there is no luxury, there is a good deal of rough comfort, and if their wants are few, these wants are fairly well satisfied. Barring the taxes and military service, they lead much the sort of lives they would like to lead; and that, after all, is about as much as human nature can reasonably expect However, I ought to add that I visited most of the Bulgarian villages when the trees were green, the air warm, and the sun shining. In the long, bleak winter time a peasant’s life in Bulgaria may well wear a less cheerful aspect. The general aspect of all the villages I visited seemed to denote the prevalence of a general coarse well-being amidst the villagers, equally removed from refinement on the one hand and from destitution on the other. In the whole course of my travels I never came across a single dwelling, outside the towns, which you could imagine by any flight of fancy to be the abode of a man of fortune, or even of a well-to-do tradesman. Still, I have no doubt that the great majority of the occupants of these mud cottages have more money hoarded up than you would find in the possession of any English peasant farmer who would be content to live in a similar tenement, under similar conditions of existence. Whatever their hoarded wealth may be, no trace of it is to be noticed inside the houses, where the Bulgarian peasant families live from the hour of their birth to that of their death. The most comfortable dwelling I ever saw, in any of the Bulgarian villages which I visited, was that of a pope in charge of one of the many half-deserted monasteries which are to be found throughout the country.

The monastery lies half hidden

The monastery lies half hidden in one of the ravines which intersect the sides of Mount Vitosch. It stands some five or six hundred feet above the plain, and commands exquisitely beautiful views of the Champaign flats, over which the shadows of the clouds float and shift under the sparkling sunlight. If ever Sofia becomes a capital after our Western fashion, the slopes of Mount Vitosch will become valuable as chosen sites for suburban residences. Even as it is, the monastery in question is frequently visited on Sundays and feast-days as a pleasure resort by the people of Sofia. Sparkling rivulets run down the mountain-side close to the convent, and in these streams there is excellent trout-fishing. Good shooting, too, is to be found in the neighborhood; and if you wish to make the ascent of Vitosch, the monastery is as good a place as any other from which to make your start. If you are not over particular as to your quarters, you can hire rooms for the night from the prior of the convent, who provides entertainment for man and beast. The general look of the place is something between a roadside tavern and a farmyard; all that remains of the ancient monastery is a small chapel almost hidden from sight amidst the stables and outhouses.

You like to know what the things to do in Bulgaria are? I can tell you. These are adventures, peaceful walks in the nature, noisy beaches, of course history and a lot more…

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