Dana Mladin

Bulgaria, a Romanian land…

I had a vacation this summer: a day and a half in Bulgaria!J

When you work all summer (like me and, probably, the ants…), any escape becomes like… a big arrogance. Or like a victory! I had one in London, for 4 days, and I still wonder if I was not dreaming…

And now, in September, after everyone returned from all their vacations, I took advantage of my friends’ trip to Bulgaria and hopped in their car. With a small luggage for a day and a half.

All right, a day and a half, plus an evening. Because we arrived in Bulgaria at dinner time, which, by the way, I had…

You’ll laugh at me when I tell you what a revelation I had, during this trip: I’ve been to Tibet, to Greenland, to America, China, Iceland and you’ll be surprised in how many other places, but I realized that I’ve never been to a vacation here, two steps away from home!

Bulgaria has always been a transit country for me: sometimes to Istanbul, sometimes to Greece. So now, on this day and a half, I decided to do a lot, see a lot and enjoy the почивни дни J as they say…



When I was getting ready to brag about the 2-3 words I know in Bulgarian – from the time of the “Bulgarian antenna” (who is part of at least my generation, understands…), so before I managed to say anything, I hear them talking Romanian around me. Romanian tourists – I tell myself. But what do you know, no!

They are Bulgarian sellers explaining to Romanians about the goods on the shelves. In a simple but clear Romanian.

It seems so bizarre to me, that I can’t say what I want in Romanian, so I say it in English.

On the magnets it is written in Romanian. On the shelf filled with mugs, I find Ceausescu… The booklets about Balchik and other places to visit are also in Romanian.

It might already be something normal for the Romanians who spend their holidays here every year, but for me this is something new!

I buy souvenirs, I buy all kinds of things with roses – their pride, I pay with my card and then I leave.

In a cool shop with antiques (some Chinese, for sure J), what book that has already passed through several hands of readers do you think ennobles the decor? “Descult”, by Zaharia Stancu. In Romanian. Suitable for a read on the beach, I’d say…


Even if I stay for just a day and a half, I don’t want to miss the Castle of Queen Mary, about which I have read, heard and talked with those who have already seen it.

At the ticket office, while talking with my friends about how much it costs, how to pay, I hear the Bulgarian cashier from the booth saying in Romanian: in lei it will cost you this much. She also adds some information about the access. In Romanian!

I pay with lei, although I had come prepared with change in euros plus the card for this escapade. In vain, because the Romanian Leu is very good, and the exchange rate is only a little higher than the official one. And yes, the also take coins!

I’m not surprised that these people learned Romanian: in the gardens, in the greenhouse, at the houses in the complex, I meet many Romanian tourists. Very few of the visitors speak another language.

I visit the “castle” from my imagination, because it is more precisely Vila Cuibul Linistit (The Quiet Nest Villa) – a villa with one floor and a minaret with a decorative role, as far as I understand. Beautiful, tastefully done, with 3 rooms upstairs – the Queen’s rooms – and 3 rooms downstairs, planned to be for King Ferdinand I, who, however, never got to enjoy them.

I climb the narrow stone steps and I keep going up (the complex being built on different levels) and refrain from cursing in Romanian, when I breathe heavily. There, this is a disadvantage of having so many Romanians around. When felt like spilling all my internal organs while on the Great Wall in China, I could at least express myself without worry…

The view is wonderful! I stop for a bit at the cross that towers above the sea, I read the story of the queen’s heart and the entire route it took – Balchik – Bran Castle – Peles Castle.

Near the Queen’s favorite place – the Nimpheum Water Temple – a Bulgarian man plays an international hit on the keyboards. He stops for a bit to help two disoriented young women and points them in the right direction, giving them explanations in a Romanian that sounds really ok!

I read on a plaque with information (in Romanian, in addition to Bulgarian, English and Russian), that I have arrived at the Sacred Spring.

According to legends, the water of this spring purifies thoughts and banishes fatigue. I’m going towards it on the double, as you can imagine… Can I take it home with me?J

In the whole area of the Castle, all the gardeners, guides, sellers or street singers, all these Bulgarians who speak Romanian trying to sell their goods, makes me very excited!

I never stop admiring the ambition of these people to win the Romanian client.

Even the dogs understand the Romanian language in this area of Bulgaria! I tested them hihi.


“I have a lot of Romanian money, but I’ve never been to Romania” – tells me a souvenir seller at Cape Kaliakra, a place with a wonderful view!

Without any problems, she accepts lei for the goods. So does the lady who sells candles in the little chapel on the rocks.

They both try to say this in Romanian and they really succeed.

So that you get the full image: at the first restaurant that we come across, there aren’t several boards with menus in different languages. There aren’t. They only exist in Romanian!

But we stop at another one, where we try some English when we ask for something.

However, the local singer speaks both Bulgarian and Romanian to make happy the Bulgarian clients, as well as the Romanian ones in the restaurant.


The short Bulgarian adventure featuring a Romanian dialogue could not end without a swim in the Black Sea!

Let me tell you straight: it never occurred to me that I would swim in the sea close to the end of September! And in Bulgaria! And this to be the first swim this year!!!

God, one could thing I escaped from the nuts house, I was so happy!

26 degrees Celsius outside, 23.6 degrees Celsius in the sea water.

I could have stayed there forever! I swam for all the vacation days I did not have in 2022…

Me swimming in the waves, other girls, riding the wave. Literally! Real mermaids, for a hungry Instagram…

In the blink of an eye, this one day and a half vacation is over. Plus a dinner, all right.

I bought some Bulgarian tomatoes and various types of peppers on the way to the border, speaking Romanian. From a Bulgarian woman looking like a grandma.

Our Grandma (Mamaia) – abandoned. The resort, I mean… (Mamaia – grannie in Romanian, also the name of a famous seaside resort)

Well, autumn has come. Cover my heart with something, as our poet Nichita Stanescu said. But a Bulgarian proverb says like this: “Rather than saying a big word, it’s better to take a big bite!” So I run home, my mouth watering for the peppers in the trunk…

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