Cruising the Danube from the Black Sea to the North Sea
April-May 2023: Day 10

Rousse, Veliko Trnovo and Arbanazzi in Bulgaria


From Rouse we boarded a coach to take us to the old towns of Veliko Trnovo and Arbanazzi, Bulgaria. We drove through rolling farmland with a few deeper wooded valleys. Fields mostly planted in crops, typically wheat planted the previous Autumn. In Veliko Trnovo we drove past the large brewery, castle and Tower with a view from Tsar's Seat. After lunch we proceeded to Arbanazzi, a UNESCO listed town with large houses. We visited the museum and then walked along narrow steep streets to the Church of the Nativity, an Orthodox Church full of painted icons. From there we headed back to our ship.

Veliko Trnovo, Bulgaria

We drove south for over an hour to reach Veliko Trnovo. We drove around the edge of the town, built on the sides of a steep ravine, we then climbed east high out of the town to reach Kaloyanova "Fortress" - a large restaurant/reception venue for morning tea. As we pulled in our tour guide suggested we head straight to the drinks and food. We found out why when several more buses from other cruise ships arrived soon after us. Later, after a view of the castle and tower we were dropped off in the town centre for a walk along the artisans' street – craftspeople working in copper, silver, ceramics, wood etc. Then to the Yantra Grand Hotel for lunch with panoramic views across the valley.

On the road out of Silistra

No, not IKEA!!

The old bridge

Coming into Veliko Trnovo

Apparently the most inportant industry - beer brewery

The highway out of town

The Kaloyanova "Fortress" for morning tea

Inside the fortress

The Tower

Mini-Bulgaria children's playground

Scenes from the artisan's street

Anti-smoking adverts

TomTom car with Google street camera


Arbanazzi is a UNESCO-listed town made of up large houses built for wealthy residents. We visited one of these houses now set up as a museum. Then we walked up narrow streets to a small Orthodox chapel painted in icons. No photos allowed. Then up more streets to a new, larger church (relative terms) where we were were provided with a traditional church chanting by a trio of accomplished singers. Finally walked back to the bus for the 2 hr drive back to our ship, across bumpy country roads.

Short video (26 seconds) of the chanting at the church in Arbanassi.

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Last updated: 12/06/2023