1st May – Wednesday - Earl & Marisa's Anniversary.
Said reason for this Bulgarian vacation.

We leave Nessebar and embark upon the great nature drive north to Varna.

Vic stops to show us his family country home near Varna. 

He doesn't want to stay there as there is no heating.
There are trails behind the house to the Black Sea. It is very hilly. We take a short walk along the trail and I take a picture of the local goats.

We have breakfast 30 minutes south of Varna so Earl can have a special yogurt made with ox milk.

Earl proclaims it a trip highlight and he likes it so much that we go back for more yogurt the next day. The yogurt is very light and not sour at all.

Here's Vic adding currant jam to his yogurt.

As I walk around, I see a small snake and Earl picks it up to everyone’s disquietude.  The snake is identified as the native gray rat snake which is the snake on the cadeusus --the medical symbol--a staff twined with the two snakes of Asclepius, father of medicine.

As we drive closer to Varna, Vic and Earl spy the specially dressed ladies of the region standing by the country roadside.
It is suggested that maybe Earl should have his photograph taken with them, but Earl declines.

We check into the Odessa Hotel in Varna which is near the center of the city. It is quite nice, better than Sofia's Rodina. 

View from Hotel Odessa's window at night.

Varna has much to see, there are roman bath ruins and other interesting things to do, but it is a holiday so most places are closed. We walk to an old aquarium circa 1950's which has a beautiful swallow/robin/rooster fish—when it swims with its pectoral fins are outstretched, the fins look like blue wings. The fish also crawls on its bottom 3 fins which resemble long spindly fingers. 

Earl wants to see the naval museum.  It is closed, but the famous torpedo boat is right by it. 

Vic desires Pizza Hut lunch.  The Pizza Hut's menu does not resemble the American one--it has better stuff.   

Earl & I walk the main promenade to the Opera House and the cathedral.
Click here for scenes from Varna

Earl wants an afternoon nap so I go to the beach myself.  There is an old amusement park and it is pretty run down. 

Vic has reserved a fancy Bulgarian restaurant for our anniversary dinner at 8:30 pm.  Earl decides on the nettles and meat dish. The nettles remind us of collard greens. I try the lamb which is quite good. Vic ordered polentas and cheese and also orders us two mushroom salads, just to make sure we have enough food.

Vic has surprized us with a special dessert -- strawberry chocolate yogurt cake with a candle.