12 August 2011

A Week at the Beach in Burgas, Bulgaria

Our first week in Bulgaria was spent on the east coast of the country in the seaside city of Burgas. We stayed in a beach-front hotel in Sunny Beach Resort. At first, I was shocked by the insanely low prices. Bulgaria is really interesting because it's almost entirely unrepresented relative to American tourism. How many of you have ever dreamed of a beach vacation in Greece? How about Bulgaria? That's what I thought.

The views from our hotel balcony were out of this world. We also lucked out with the weather: it rained one afternoon but other than that, nature gave us blue skies and warm breezes.

Our days involved reading, swimming, strolling, napping and eating. We also spent an afternoon at a water park and almost every night walking along the most hoppin' stretch of "boardwalk" I've ever experienced. Imagine a five-mile long street carnival/festival filled with food, music, rides, and souvenir stalls--that's Sunny Beach.

One afternoon, I felt brave and swam topless! It was pretty funny, because for that half hour, I felt like I actually belonged, as opposed to sticking out (no pun intended) like a fair-skinned, chestnut-haired American. Don't get me wrong--I'd say only 1 out of every 20 women went topless on the beach--but it's definitely way more acceptable than it is here. It felt liberating, even if I refused to walk ashore that way. Maybe next time I'll fully succumb to the European culture and banish my modesty.

Most of all, I cherished the downtime with my brand-new fiancĂ©  and his family. I'd say I got away with the better end of this deal by inheriting the Black Sea as my life-long vacation destination. Am I right or am I right?


  1. love the 8th picture of you smiling, such a flirtatious smile ;D Glad you had such an amazing time.

  2. you nailed the composition in that parasailing shot. love the negative space there!!

  3. Kayla, your blog makes me all sorts of happy! Thank you so much for joining out virtual party yesterday. xo

  4. I never knew Bulgaria was so beautiful! That boardwalk sounds like way too much fun :-)

  5. Awww, the Black Sea! I miss it so much! The sad part is that even though everything is ridiculously cheap to the foreigner, it's still unbearably expensive for most natives. The ratio of a native: foreigner vacationing by the sea is depressing. :-((

    My boyfriend is always amused of mine and my Bulgarian girlfriends' lack of unnecessary shame and inhibitions. Topless on a beach or hanging out naked in the apartment is a common sight, though not too popular around here. :)

    So glad you enjoyed Bulgaria! I miss something of it every single day...

  6. beautiful photographs, miss kayla!

  7. wow, who knew? now I want to go to bulgaria! it looks beautiful. and I applaud you for being brave enough to swim topless. have a spectacular weekend, kayla!!

  8. Your pictures are stunning and I am totally jealous of your amazing vacation!! I sail boat on the water picture needs to be framed.

    New follower! Happy Friday

  9. huh, that's true, i've never thought/heard of bulgaria being a beachy sort of place, but i suppose any country with a beach is going to capitalize on that resource. it looks gorgeous and sounds so exciting!

  10. Your photo with your fiance is the most adorable thing!

    PS. I found your blog through Live & Enliven. Nice to meet you!

  11. yes! i do the morning pages. it's hard sometimes to protect that time first thing in the morning, but i can always feel the difference. i'm always so much calmer afterward, much more ready for the day and just... sane! i think it also does help my mind be less cluttered so i am able to embrace the creative, but for me that was secondary. oh and i also have epiphanies about life pretty much every morning as i write. oh so many great benefits! :)

    ps - this may be cheating, but i type my morning pages. my brain works way faster than my hands are able to write with a pen. i do have totally different epiphanies and trains of thought when i'm typing vs. hand writing, but for the amount of clutter i can clear out of the ole brain when typing, i feel like it's better for me.

  12. It's true--Bulgaria isn't exactly a European "destination," but I imagine that's the best kind of place to go! You're so brave. Did you see the Design Mom post about topless beaches in Europe? It's been within a week--fascinating discussion following.

  13. I live across the Black Sea, in Georgia...my husband and I are looking for travel destinations. Can we get around Bulgaria with English? Your photos make me want to visit, and soon!

  14. @Maya: So true about foreigners, locals, and affordability. There's relativity for you, eh?

    @Lindsay & Tara: Welcome :)

    @Andrea: I did see that post and found it fascinating!

    @McKinze: Well, considering I don't speak a lick of Bulgarian, I'd say yes! However, I was traveling with Bulgarians, so I'm not sure that's entirely fair. If you remain in the cities and at the resorts, then yes, you can get by in English.

  15. Wow. Bulgarian beach resorts! Who knew?

    Looks lovely and sounds like the most amazing and relaxing week! I love that photo of you pulling back your hair... you look just gorgeous!

    I don't know if I'd ever have the guts to go topless...

  16. Well, shucks, now I have to put Bulgaria on my list of destinations to visit! Le sigh, the list grows longer.

    Gorgeous photos and you look stunning. I am very impressed by the swimming topless.

  17. CUTIES! I love getting a glimpse into Bulgaria it is so pretty!!!

  18. You lucky duck! I've been dreaming of beaches all summer (well, since spring honestly). I need to make my way over to Bulgaria, clearly! And how brave of you to go topless, ha.. I may be European, but the time I spent in America has made me not so keen to indulge in the European's acceptingness of nudity. :P

  19. oh you lovely lady! you did luck out there. My parents always talk about how much they loved vacationing at the black sea when they lived in Europe. now that I'm hearing it from you too, I have become a wee bit more jealous.


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