9/8 Albena, Bulgaria
Lat N 43° 21,84', Long E 28° 04,07'
Today: 77 °F ( +25 °C)
09 Aug 2005
11073 km

Today we have checked out the tourist resort of Albena. We specially checked out the hotel Vita Park that our friends Kajsa and Martin will stay at during their honeymoon in a month. We are planning to g back to Albena to meet them for a few days. We are very much looking forward to meet them after four months on the road! We also found a gym in town and took the opportunity to do a work out.

10/8 Albena, Bulgaria
Lat N 43° 21,84', Long E 28° 04,07'
Today: 82.4 °F ( +28 °C)
10 Aug 2005
11073 km

Today we hit the road before we even had decided where to go. We drove 120 kilometers along the coast to a place right outside Cemomorec with a nice beach, a bar and mostly young Bulgarians. South of Burgas seems to be the place where the Bulgarians spend their time at the sea. In the big resorts up north there are mostly crowded with charter tourists.

We were asked by some Bulgarians at the beach if we had been stopped by the corrupted police yet. They gave us the advice not to give them more than 6 – 10$.

11/8 Cemomorec, Bulgaria
Lat N 42° 25,43', Long E 28° 38,68'
Today: 82.4 °F ( +28 °C)
11 Aug 2005
11507 km

Expensive or poor is OK. But expensive and poor – is a bad combination that we find quite usual in Bulgaria. The Bulgarians have learnt to charge people money but not to deliver something in return.

Today we had a visitor in our car – the cutest cat you have ever seen. The cat fell totally in love with Berts sweater and did not want to leave.

12/8 Varvara, Bulgaria
Lat N 42° 06,34', Long E 27° 55,28'
Today: 86 °F ( +30 °C)
12 Aug 2005
11407 km

We managed to find a campsite in the dark that turned out to have the nicest view. We had to park very close to the steep slope and was a bit worried during the night that we where going to slide down into the sea.

Took a morning swim at a nudity beach in absolutely crystal clear and cool water, it was lovely! After that we packed our things and headed for Greece. We took the opportunity to buy a supply of food and other stuff before we left Bulgaria, because Greece is a much more expensive county.

After 100 kilometers of disastrous road we got to the Turkish border. To leave Bulgaria took 15 minutes. To get in to Turkey we needed to go to eight different persons and checkpoints! The process was surprisingly fast and took only 30 minutes!

After 120 kilometers in Turkey it was time for the border crossing to Greece. It took only a few minutes, and we arrived in Alexandropolis by the Mediterranean late in the evening.

This morning we took a swim in the Black sea, after that we have been in Bulgaria, Turkey and Greece, to finish the day off by dip in the Mediterranean – all in the same day!

14/9 Tir-stop, Bulgaria
Lat N 43° 02,05', Long E 25° 05,92'
Today: 71.6 °F ( +22 °C)
14 Sep 2005
17808 km

The day started off badly. In a round about we did not see the stop sign. It feels kind of strange to have to give way when you are driving in a round about. A policeman saw us of course and stopped us. We thought – this is it! We had heard that the Bulgarian police are corrupted. Now that we actually had done something wrong we expected them to come down hard on us. Before our car stopped we discussed very quickly how much we were supposed to give them. The policeman approached the car, pointed at the stop sign and said ”Stop, you not”, ”Take it easy, Go” and they sent us off without a fine or a bribe.

In Varna we decided to try to solve our problem with the heavy rear of our car. We have already changed to stiff caravan springs, but we feel that we need to do something more. Do you have any ideas? Please tell us.

Today we got an e-mail from Anneli, the girl that will travel with us from Egypt to India. Anneli told us that she will arrive in Cairo the 3: rd of September. We are really looking forward to this! We have a great of distance to cover, border crossings and hassle with visas, before we are in Cairo…

15/9 Albena, Bulgaria
Lat N 43° 21,84', Long E 28° 04,07'
Today: 78.8 °F ( +26 °C)
15 Sep 2005
18108 km

Back in Albena. We remembered that the camp site in Albena had disgusting facilities, and we decided that it was not worth staying there. Instated we spent the night at the parking lot at Kajsa & Martins hotel. In the middle of the night three guards showed up scrutinized our car, but they did not do anything.

In the morning a Bulgarian approached us offering a cheep room by the sea. When he mentioned the magical word washing machine, we decided to take it. For only 14 $ a night we got a room with shower and toilet, balcony and a garden, TV, access to a kitchen, a washing machine and a fantastic view over the sea and the beach of Albena. This was really a bargain!

This was the perfect day for renting a room. It's been raining cats and dogs all day. Rainy days the car gets kind of cramped.

Tomorrow Kajsa & Martin arrives. We hope that the rain will give in till then. It is not a nice start for a two week honeymoon, arriving in the pouring rain…

16/9 Albena, Bulgaria
Lat N 43° 22,77', Long E 28° 06,10'
Today: 75.2 °F ( +24 °C)
16 Sep 2005
18215 km

At last they arrived. We had longed for and looked forward to this moment for quote a while now. For Kajsa & Martins arrival we had prepared surprises; flowers, champaign and truffle for the grown ups sweets for the kids. They also got a “shower of rice” on their way to their apartment from us who were not able to come to the wedding.

They had their suitcases full of stuff for us. A very longed-for Melitta filter holder, coffie, the local newspaper, the evening newspaper, several kilo of salt liquorice for Bert, MP3 music, three new scoop-shaped drinking-vessel, crispbread, a USB-TV and a GPS contact – it was like Christmas! Last but not least Kajsa has prepared a DVD for us with greetings from our parents and friends in Sundsvall. It was a lovely and much appreciated present!

17/9 Albena, Bulgaria
Lat N 43° 22,77', Long E 28° 06,10'
Today: 77 °F ( +25 °C)
17 Sep 2005
18215 km

Today we stayed at the beach with Kajsa, Martin and family. It is really a full time job to take care of two children… Kajsa brought five books. Wonder when she plan to get time to read them.

Our wedding present for Kajsa & Martin – was an evening out completely free of children after that they fed and made the children go to sleep. We are not the worlds most experienced babysitters

Today we e-mailed a person in Syria who was said being able to get us visa swift and smooth. We got a positive right away. This means that we do not have to hang around in Istanbul for a week arranging a visa.

18/9 Albena, Bulgaria
Lat N 43° 22,77', Long E 28° 06,10'
Today: 77 °F ( +25 °C)
18 Sep 2005
18215 km

When we checked the mail today we realized that a gang of enthusiasts in the SAAB Turbo Club of Sweden had been discussing our problem with a low rear of the car. They also had come up with a couple of excellent solutions for the problem!

Without Berts parents Kerstin and Arndt taking care of things at home it would have been difficult for us. They solve thing like a leaking roof, tar in the chimney, an ladder for the chimney-sweeper, paying bills and loads of other things.

In the afternoon we went for lunch with Kajsa & Martin and in the evening we were playing UNO at their house. We like to spend as much time with them as possible because it will take like a year or two before we see them again.

19/9 Albena, Bulgaria
Lat N 43° 22,77', Long E 28° 06,10'
Today: 75.2 °F ( +24 °C)
19 Sep 2005
18215 km

Rain! We decided to say goodbye to the Östlund family and move on. Before leaving we left them some stuff to bring home to Sweden. Things we realized that we did not need nor had room for anymore. We also left them a back-up of all of the photos we had taken during the first three months of the trip.

We drove along the Bulgarian coast line, pretty much the same way as we did a month ago. It is nice to now the way and recognize the surroundings for a change. We entered Turkey at the same border crossing as the last time.