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June 2016, Balchik – Bulgaria
We keep going to this little piece of heaven every summer. Even if it’s for a couple of hours, or an entire weekend getaway, we have to taste that salty air, feel the breeze, lay back in the sun and enjoy some Bulgarian rose liquor.
There’s something special about Balchik, I’m telling you.
So when I think of it, there’s only one thing to say: vacation mood ON.
Of course, there had to be a Palace in the picture: Gothic and Islamic styles topped with a minaret.
And a Queen, who wanted to build her solitary nest here: Queen Marie, wife of King Ferdinand of Romania.
Old servants’ little houses or guests villas spread around the residence.
A water mill.
A tiny Chapel.
And a park complex, built by a Swiss botanist.
What do you know? After almost 30 years, the park was transformed into a Botanical Garden with more than 2000 species. Here’s where I wanted to get to.
Every time I find myself lost in this little floral paradise, and forget about everything for a couple of hours.
You will soon realize you’re walking among palm trees, rubber trees, ancient Ginkgo biloba, evergreen magnolia, Metasequoia and large-size cactuses, many of them older than you.
And if you need to be reminded you’re still on Earth, you may see a lazy kitten playing in the grass, or a cute dog passing by and taking the lead, to show you the way.
Dear Balchik, see you again next summer.
- Balchik is only 3.5 hours drive from Bucharest, very easy to reach by car.
- Best time to visit the Botanical Garden is between May and September.
- Entrance price for both Castle and Gardens is 10 leva (5 euros).
- The Bulgarian cuisine is sooo tasty! We had lunch at Bistro Kestena. It’s very close to one of the Botanical Garden entries, and the experience was amazing: great food, good prices and excellent customer service! They surprized us by cooking the flambé in front of us.
Happy travels and stay safe!