Have you ever heard about the River Danube? The Danube is the second longest river (2,850 km) in Europe that flows through 10 countries, more than any other in the world. With its history and breathtaking views, the Danube has become an important symbol of all these countries (Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria).
It originates in the Black Forest or Schwarzwald mountain region in Germany and it drains into the Black Sea. A lot of geography (I hope you are not bored already) but I will get to my point in a second. The last big town that the Danube flows through is Ruse, my hometown, also called “The small Vienna”.
Amazing view! No matter the season, anytime I come back home it becomes more and more beautiful. But this is not the only reason to visit. Ruse is a relatively small town (only the fifth largest in Bulgaria), but you can easily see most of its beauty and nature sites around it in less than three days. The town is the connecting point between Bulgaria and Romania, and only 2 hours away from the Black Sea so you can easily take advantage. Even more, this year Ruse has been announced “The best city for living in Bulgaria”. Before you start rushing to buy flight tickets, let me tell you a little bit more.
Ruse has a well-developed pedestrian zone so get those comfy shoes and be ready to walk all day long. Starting from the old city centre of Ruse where the Museum of History is located, walking down the main street, you will enjoy Belle Époque architecture which gives The Opera, Sava Ognianov Theatre, University of Ruse and Pantheon of National Revival Heroes an extra magnificent look. Seeing them at night time with all of the lights on is a must.
Summertime in Bulgaria is quite hot, and evenings are when you are going to see many people from all ages on the Freedom Square, Ruse pier and the city’s park enjoying the beautiful weather. My advice is: save extra time for the restaurants, because there is no chance for you to resist the smell of food walking down Aleksandrovska Street. Believe me, once you try Tarator, Shopska Salad and Musaka you cannot control yourself again.
This is Tarator in a pint, a drinking cold soup. It sounds strange but the mixture of cold yogurt, cucumber and dill is a perfect remedy for hot summer days.
For those of you with your own transport, Basarbovo Monastery, Ruse TV Tower, Lipnik Park (Teketo), Orlova Chuka Cave and Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo are definitely places not to miss.
I am sure most of you have already added it to your bucket list!