The reason there was no PLBW last week was that I was too busy going to the beach on Sunday and then too busy dying slowly of heat and humidity in Constanta to write anything but the bare necessities such as work. I’m still in the process of recovering but since it’s a long road from central Bulgaria to southern Romania, I made some pictures on the way, completely random. Well, almost.
Hills in flat country before the plains proper we were going to.
Hay’s ready for collecting and, I don’t know, building a house or two somewhere with no wolves around.
I’ve grown to quite like transmission lines. They’re a definitely underapprecited element of modern landscapes and I won’t hear about “Oh, but they spoil the view!” Think about solar panels.
Vlad surprised everyone by only being dramatic for only about one hour. After that, he mostly slept and Little C. made sure he was properly cooled because you can’t trust car ACs, apparently.
Resort country. This is how you ruin a perfectly wonderful coastline and this here is not even on the coastline. That’s how bad it is. Excessive building is spreading from the coastline further in. Fun (and profound) fact: hoteliers pinned their hopes on droves of Russian tourists. But then Bulgaria and Russia got into a spat. No Russian tourists.
Varna — second-biggest city in Bulgaria, biggest port, etc. etc. Used to be my favourite city because we passed it on the way to the seaside when I was little. Now it just looks like Sofia, except the port part. Yep, I also have a thing for ports.
Central beach, Constanta. My single visit to the beach this year was surprisingly enjoyable, with a bonus of two arrogant crows strolling around as if they owned the place. No gull in sight, which is always welcome.
Meanwhile at home, Vlad slowly turned into summer cat soup.
And because my in-laws’ flat is on the fifth — and last — floor of the building, Big C. made a simple yet effective contraption to make sure Vlad won’t fulfill his dream of becoming a bird and flying away, or rather down. It takes a piece of string and a wooden block to wedge between the open window and the sill. Then you tie the string to the handle of the mosquito net and the handle of the window. Then, no matter how hard he tries, the cat won’t be able to open the net. Unless he tears through it, which is what kept me awake for a week. Did he try it? Of course he did.
And then it was time to go. Which meant getting stuck at the border because it’s summer season and Romanians have only a very short touristable coastline, so they migrate to Bulgarian resorts. It all went faster than I expected but we still spent close to an hour in the queue, so I snapped random pictures of our surrounding.
Eventually, we reached the checkpoint and, for the second time in a week, offered the officers the passport of the most legal cat in Stara Zagora or dare I say, entire central Bulgaria. Once again, they didn’t even open it, let alone check the microchip.
We were now home and only had another six hours of traveling to look forward to. Before that, however, we were confronted with what won Romania a readily given point for utter arrogance in our family fight of Who’s the Worst.
I couldn’t take a very good picture (because Big C. was in the way) but what you see here are cars returning from Bulgaria and unwilling to wait after the queue of trucks. So they decided to overtake them, i.e., get stuck in the oncoming traffic lane. I can’t remember the last time I was so outraged. Yet I found a way to blame the Bulgarian side: the queue on the Romanian side of the border was impeccable but there was an officer who checked how everyone was behaving. There was no sign of border police life on the Bulgarian side.
It looks like there’s more space than there actually was.
This time the sea was on my side so I could snap a few pics of the Big Blue. It looked so serene and undisturbed from ten miles away. And so misleading.
Before we left for Romania, we punctured a few water bottles to feed some flowers and my cherry tomatoes while we were gone. Knowing the extent of scorching heat they endured, I came home with no great hopes. As it happens, I was pleasantly surprised. They’re delicious.
As always, welcome to my book-peddling corner (because books won’t sell/download themselves much as I’d like them to).
For dragons and vampires, press The Lamiastriga (which you can’t read for free on this blog).
For random scary stories, here’s a complete list of my published shorter fiction.