Be authentic — start now!
As I promised you in my first blog post, I will reveal everything you want to know about Varna — the sea capital of Bulgaria. If you have read the post carefully, you should already know that there is variety of activities you can try in Varna.
But this article I want to devote to all of you “drifters”, who love to be off the beaten track, explore things, which are far beyond from the familiar, and have a great inside-desire to learn constantly.
Many small businesses, that keep the authenticity on a destination alive, die every year all around the world. They suffer to compete with bigger foreign chains which offer greater amount of services and amenities, and attract the tourists with “what is well-known”.
PLEASE, don’t be the average tourist who stays in Hilton, eats the food he/she brought from home, visits the mass tourist attractions and dares to claim how beautiful experience it is to travel and explore new cultures. Go, dive deep into a place, be wild, spent your time with locals, do what they do, eat what they eat and don’t be the ordinary, be the original.
So, want to be authentic? I can help you with that.
I will give you hits of what you can do in Varna if you really want to get to know the Bulgarian culture better.
Dinner with local family
Before you arrive in Varna, you can book a home cooked tour with a local family online. This is the best way to get to know a local family better. You will prepare your traditional dinner with the hosts using receipts that passed down over generations.
The tour promises 100% delicious food — from starter to the dessert. For starter you definitely should try to prepare “shopska” salad (my favorite one) — tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, pepper, mushrooms, onion, ham and the best part — cheese. The Bulgarian cheese is a type of brined cheese with slightly grainy texture and is made from goat’s, cow’s or sheep’s milk. If you are not from one of the countries in the Balkans, you must try it! You will find yourself that it is the most delicious cheese EVEER! The salad you should try with a bit of rakia — home-made alcohol drink. But, of course, the family you are having dinner with, will tell you everything about the Bulgarian cuisine in more detail while you prepare the dinner with them. We — the Bulgarians, love to take our meals with lots of chit chat, so be prepared for cheerful conversations served up with your food!
If you are more into wine than food, you can try the “winemaker” experience. Although the production of unlicensed alcohol is banned, in Bulgaria many families produce home-made wine. You can feel what it is like to produce own wine at your taste (totally legal) by participating in a two-hour workshop, where you can blend wine and create your own personalized bottle. The experience guarantees blending and tasting variety of wine until you achieve the perfect result.
And one of my favourite hidden spots around the city…
Bistro Happy House
This super cozy bistro is the perfect place to gather with friends, have a good time out and try a lot of “yummy” food. The place is located north from the city center of Varna and is easy reachable on foot (like twenty minutes walking) or by car (eight minutes). The interior is very charming, it is like you come back twenty years back in time, because it represents an old house. It is a comfy and unique place that creates interesting and different atmosphere. Moreover, it is relatively cheap — for around 25euros you can feed all your family!
Personal authenticity reflects your genuine, expresses your core beliefs and reveals who you really are. Being one of the many, or being the only one? It is your choice!