A trip to the Strandzha Mountains Region in Bulgaria

On a recent trip to Bulgaria, our family decided to take some time and visit one of the places which has been “off-the-beaten track” for quite some time. We visited the Strandzha mountains region and specifically the village of Brashlian. It is located about 10km from the town of Malko Tqrnovo very near the border with Turkey in the South East corner of Bulgaria.
The village has about 50 inhabitants (based on what the locals told me) and has been an architectural reserve since 1982. Of course I think, very little has happened since that time except for may be the last 2-3 years when the locals have decided to drop agriculture (based again on what they told me) and focused on Village Tourism — i.e. meet tour groups from the near-by (about 2 hours based on where you are coming from) Black Sea coast resorts and show them around the old school (dating from the 19th Century — before liberation from the Ottoman Empire) and the old houses. In some cases they even host the tours for an overnight stay (some of the houses were denoted with plates which star – i.e. one star or two star accommodations ).

Long story short, the place is very interesting. If you are into traditional old style Bulgarian architecture this is one of the places to see it…..

Take a look at the photos….and have a good trip!

Hotel Reviews and Trip Advisor – be careful

My spouse and I both have used and continue to use the references made by multiple travelers on Trip Advisor to various restaurants, hotels and other sites around the world. I know how difficult it is in many cases to decide on where to stay and/or eat while in a completely new to you city (and in many cases culture). Thus the service provided by TripAdvisor is certainly well meant and useful.

Having said that we have come across some alarming incidents on that site — as I am writing this posting, my spouse is getting her next trip to Beijing organized. Since we moved back to the States, both of us have done numerous trips and in a true sign of how fast China and Beijing are changing, we have started looking into new hotels as the ones we knew so well have either raised their prices or have not been renovated, or we just wanted to find out some new / exciting hotels. So today we were checking out Hotel G on Trip Advisor and came across some pretty disturbing findings…The hotel is ranked very well — one may think Way too Well — if you follow the link you will find that it has 50 Excellent reviews!!!

Let me put it this way — this has not happened in our experience — we have not seen such extremely high marks for any of the hotels we have stayed at. And we have stayed in some excellent hotels! China World (Beijing) for example does not have as good reviews as the “fabled” Hotel G……

Needless to say, this is very suspicious. When we dug into the situation we came across some information that Hotel G has been pumped up by someone closely linked with the establishment…..So this is a word of caution about using Trip Advisor (and any other reference material on the Web for that matter) — always try to verify information if possible by using more than one source.

Before we came across this issue with Hotel G in Beijing — we actually started summarizing information about hotels in Asia — here is the link (or you can just search for “hotel” and “review” on this blog)

I hope you can find what you need with good reliability, and as always — have a good trip!