I’m not lumping these days together because I’m lazy. I’m lumping these days together, because despite all of our walking around in Plovdiv, there hasn’t been that much to do other than sit down, have a beer and enjoy watching women walk in impossibly tall high heels. Sure, there are things to see. But beer is better. And so are women in high heels.
Thursday 19th June 2014
After a pretty god awful day on Wednesday we decided to take it easy. We fucking love taking it easy. But Mike’s idea of a lay in wasn’t my idea of a lay in. We got up at 9.30AM… maybe 10AM and I found it difficult to peel my face away from my poor excuse of a pillow.
I did anyway.
One classic breakfast of toast topped with processed yellow cheese and tomatoes later, and I felt better. I showered, I shaved my legs (!) and I put on the same dirty dress I was wearing the day before (I had thrown away the only other clean one after deciding it was too tatty and gross to wear any more, even as a self proclaimed backpacker).
We walked along the main high street picking out street food stalls that we should have gone to, instead of McDonalds, the night before. We window shopped a little, Mike dragged me away from a few shoe shops and suddenly we were on top of the visitors entrance to the Roman Stadium.
I was bitterly disappointed to find that the stadium was under renovation. I guess this is the perils of visiting out of season (even the high street’s fountain had no water in). But still, I felt compelled to take a picture. Being a Latin student in some point of my life made me appreciate the ruins.
Caecilius est in foro, after all.
|The stadium entrance under the shopping mall|
|The mini stadium model at the entrance|
Right next to the most accessible part of the stadium is the Dzhumaya Mosque (Friday Mosque). Which wasn’t open on Thursday OR Friday when we actually tried to visit it. I even took sockies, to put on my feet when I had to take my shoes off.
It started to get cloudy and then it began to rain so we headed home for a dinner of lentil soup and to watch Anchor Man 2. Which is what real people do when they’re in amazing foreign countries.
Friday 20th June 2014
As I said, we actually visited both the Roman Stadium and the Dzhumaya Mosque with the intention of getting inside on the Friday. But neither happened.
With the hope that the Old Town would be more rewarding for our clamber out of bed at 9AM we began the ascent up the tiny cobbled streets. Each stone trying it’s god damn hardest to break my ankles.
The streets were beautiful though.
|Interesting restaurant and shop signs to grab your attention|
|CHURCHES I TELL YOU|
The East Gate of Phillipopolis on the other hand, was a shit pile of rubble on the very outskirts of the dodgiest looking neighbourhood I’ve yet to see on our travels. I dared not take a photo for fear of my camera being snatched from around my neck.
Disappointed again (but not as down as before), we tried to find the amphitheatre. Yes, TRIED TO FIND IT. You would think it would be, you know, kinda noticeable? But we ended up walking the whole way around it, without seeing it. In the rain.
When we did finally find it, following obligatory Raincoat Wanker Selfie, we didn’t see much value in paying to enter. It didn’t feel so much like a ruin as it is still used for shows and concerts. On Friday it was decked out ready for the orchestra show happening on Saturday. I imagine the orchestra were pretty pissed come Saturday night when they had to sit on wet, office chairs.
The views from the top were nice though. There was a quirky little bar with seating overlooking the amphitheatre and on a nice day I would have paid the minimal 5 lev (about £2) to go down on to the stage. But then, on nice days, I bet there would be loads of tourists (EUGH! Tourists!).
|The clouds were rolling in over Old Philippopolis|
Before I draw this post to a close however, I want to tell you about the Ale House in Plovdiv. Worth a visit, it works out 5.99 lev (£2.44) for a litre of help yourself beer. We also had food. SO MUCH FOOD.
Three kinds of grilled sausages, with flatbread and three dips, chicken wings with bread crisps (not a typo, crisps made of bread) and spicy potato wedges.
Not Bulgarian, but totally delicious. And about 35 lev including the beers (£15).
Here are two RIDICULOUSLY GOOD LOOKING pictures of Mike and I pouring ourselves drinks at the amazing Ale House.
|Mike and the help yourself beer tap|
|Typical English abroad, still tipped the waitress|