Head for the slopes

November 23, 2008

The snow has started to fall.

Benji Lanyado has written a good article in The Guardian on Saturday : ‘Where the pound is still sound’.

With sterling collapsing, he asks if anywhere is still affordable. Bulgaria remains the cheapest destination in Europe according to the most recent Post Office holiday costs barmometer survey. Benji recommends Bulgaria for ski slope bargains and I can well believe it.

You can ski at a slope near Sliven (the town next to us) but we’re in the mountains so plenty of opportunity to ski everywhere here.

We went skiing near Pamporovo a few years ago for New Year with a large group of 15 people (including children) and I really loved it. We stayed in a cosy family run hotel in Chepelare. I had a lovely English-speaking teacher and I managed to ski. I wasn’t looking forward to it and was hoping to slope off to the little bistros for hot wine.

Benji’s article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2008/nov/22/foreign-currency-consumer-affairs-travel

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Comparisons with Italy

November 2, 2008

Comparisons with Italy
Comparisons with Italy
I’ve been reading a fascinating story about the harsh peasant life of Italy’s wild Abruzzo hill country in the village of Santo Stefano do Sessanio. A wealthy millionaire came across the deserted village in 1998 and decided to save it. Daniele Kihlgren has created a beautiful hotel there and is continuing to develop other abandoned villages with a local architect. I don’t really know this region of Italy but I would now love to go there and see what they’ve done. It sounds so eerily familiar with what our plans and dreams are for the hamlets around Kipilovo. One small problem. We’re not millionaires. I also think the Bulgarian villages are still ‘living’ compared to the Italian villages in Abruzzo. Italians were forced to leave the villages to work abroad due to poverty over a century ago.