Northeast Bulgarian road trip I: along the Danube

Venue: Pleven, Ruse, Srebarna nature reserve, Silistra

Lens: Nikkor 50 mm f/1.4

Music: Johann Strauss II – On the beautiful blue Danube(

The spring season in Bulgaria offers a number of public holidays and we used one of the three-day weekends in the beginning of May to make a road trip to the northeast side which is relatively far away from Sofia. The final goal was the observation of the wild peony blossoms along the Black sea coast (coming in the next post of the series), but the first part of the journey took us along the Bulgarian coast of the Danube river which has its own magnificence. I’ll try to show you a bit of the beauty of this region in my photos adding below my usual (hopefully insightful) comments.

The first evening of the journey we traveled from Sofia to Pleven, a town in the middle of the Danube valley which is a bit further away from the river. This is a photo of a delicious little pizza restaurant in the centre of Pleven which was nicely decorated with many light bulbs and blue wires.
On the next day our first stop was Ruse, the largest Bulgarian city on the Danube river. Ruse has a lot of beautiful end of 19th century architecture, but unfortunately in the recent years population has been decreasing and many of the houses are rundown. At least the theater building that you see here is still well-maintained.
The park along the river in Ruse is also rundown, but there are still some cute looking benches and statues.
This is the opposite view from the same spot as the photo above. On the other side of the river you already see another country: Romania.
A last glimpse of Ruse city centre after a short lunch break. This old guy on the balcony of the old house was calmly watching the people below and contemplating life.
On the road again: the way between Ruse and Silistra goes right along the river and passes through some very picturesque places. We stopped by to enjoy the view of this yellow field of rapeseed I believe.
I had to take a few shots of the yellow field that contrasted dramatically with the grey skies above.
These are the pelicans in Srebarna nature reserve, a swampland near the town of Silistra which is home to a list of endangered bird species. This is why we were only allowed to observe the birds from far away via binoculars. The camera here managed to capture a mix between the zoomed image from the binoculars and the actual view with naked eye.
A short walk from the nature reserve one finds some small wooden houses along the river belonging to local fishermen. These are their boats and another view towards the Romanian coast.
Shortly before the sunset we finally arrived in Silistra, our final stop from the journey situated along the Danube. The park in Silistra is freshly renovated and offers some great spots for observing the sunset along the river.
A “love” statue where couples in love can legally leave their locks.
Another view from the park in Silistra, here from the ancient ruins of the Roman town of Durostorum that was situated here two thousand years ago.
It was only natural to finish the evening at a nice fish restaurant along the river, offering us a last glimpse of the sunset from its humbly decorated terrace. It was pretty much all we could hope for – fresh fish, amazing view and complete tranquility.
A final shot from Silistra and the Danube river at night with a few lights from the north side of the river. As beautiful as the towns along the Danube are, they are also some of the poorest and fastest decreasing in population in Bulgaria which explains the lack of people enjoying the parks.

41 thoughts on “Northeast Bulgarian road trip I: along the Danube

  1. I love the header shot and the unique photo of the pelicans. We have a similar place, a rookery, not far from where we live. The number of birds that nest there is incredible and you can’t go near them during nesting season.


    Liked by 5 people

  2. Fabulous photography! Thank you for the follow. I only use my iPhone 6 as wetravel and sightsee. Hubby uses a Nikon Coolpix P90. He’s trying to take better photos. Yours will be an inspiration for him!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your photography is truly spectacular! I doubt I could pick a favourite among them. Each is captivating in its own way, lending nuance to the words that accompany them, but in all reality, could stand alone and be awe inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing these. I was captivated, as always!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good question! One reason is purely practical, the 50mm lens is much smaller and lighter so it’s easier to carry around..the other thing is that the 50mm is better at focusing on particular objects (i.e. blurs the background more than a wide angle lens) so it creates an effect that I often like. Obviously it has its disadvantages so I carry both the 50mm and the 35mm lens when I travel by car, but have to pick one if I am by foot…


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