Europe | Bulgaria | Kavarna – Goose Town
Flocks of geese walk down the street. There is lightning over the Black Sea. “Bulgaria is beautiful in the winter. The snow covers up the dirt,” Elena says as she sips on her coffee.
Kosta’s daughter, who is in charge of breakfast at the hotel, saw how we Westerners like milk in our hot drinks, so she went next door to get some from a cow. It was warm and thick, with chunks floating around in it. It looked like it had gone off but this is what milk is like before it’s processed. Sexton preferred the tiny, longlife creamer in plastic containers.
The hotel was always eager to please, from huge breakfasts to the Hallmark Channel, which seemed to be the only tv station they had in English. After almost retching over our mounds of cheese and giant tomatoes (grown in the hotel garden) we managed to convince Kosta’s daughter that we really did not want to watch tv. They switched over to Bulgarian news, where we watched the flooding in Prague and saw Dubya mouthing off about Iraq. I made obscene gestures at the screen and a Bulgarian at the next table laughed.
It’s hard to say what exactly we did in Kavarna without going into long, tedious descriptions of coastal cliffs, cormorant colonies and cups of coffee. We seemed to spend most of out time either being chauffeured around or sitting in cafes.
Elena, the daughter of a friend of Kosta’s, was on vacation from university. She and her fiance, a Canadian named Reggie, came along on all our outings to translate (and drink coffee).
“So you like to look at birds? ” said Elena, rather bemused. Luckily I had learned the names from Bogdan in Romania and became the bird guide myself, though creatures further away were always spotted by eagle eyed Kosta. He saw dolphins so far away they were mere specks, even through my binoculars.
The quirkier parts of Bulgaria made up for the lack of real bird information. One day Kosta tried to find the road to some lake and drove down several very bumpy dirt tracks before letting us off near some fields, while he went to meet someone.
We walked through along a marshy canal and saw the usual suspects – kingfishers, egrets and herons; “It looks like a teradactyl,” said Reggie of the latter. The same thing I thought when I first saw one.