Bulgaria - June 2009

I have been going to Pomorie, in Bulgaria, for at least the last four years. Many people have been to Bulgaria on holiday but about 98% of them will have been to either Sunny Beach or Golden Sands. Both of these are 'custom made' holiday resorts and, as such, deliver exactly what it says on the can -Blackpool with sunshine.  Pomorie, on the other hand, has some flavour of the real Bulgaria. It will not be attractive to many, partly, because it has no obvious wow factor. The town is historically important, having been occupied by Turks, and Persians and Greeks, not all of whom came bearing gifts. It has been an important source of salt in the region, and until comparatively recently this was almost as good as currency.

The reason that there are few relics is because Pomorie was all but destroyed by fire in the early 1900's. The town you find today is a little like the plain girl in a simple dress. No jewelry, no make-up, and no perfume. You have to be able to appreciate its inherant character and charm. It doesn't work for everyone, but it works for me.

For many, the first close-up view will be of the Hotel Pomorie. This is an Iron Curtain era hotel that looks rather like an elerly aircraft carrier that has been revved up, out to sea, and deliberately run aground to start a new career hosting tourists. It is not attractive, but is functional.

The (Iron Curtain era) Hotel Pomorie - not attractive, but functional

 For those that know, there is a more modern wing to the hotel and it is here that I prefer to stay - preferably on the top floor.  

Hotel Pomorie Beach - attached to Hotel Pomorie

 My room has stunning views over both the town and the sea

View from my (picture) window

Pomorie is situated on an isthsmus, jutting out into the Black Sea. In summer, it has sun, sea, and beaches but it has (yet) to fully develop its tourist resources. (Thankfully) there are few discos and clubs, and those there are tend to be populated with local Bulgarian custom. There are some smarter cafe/restaurants, but as these also cater for local trade, prices are reasonable. A half litre bottle of the excellent local beer, straight from the fridge, costs around 2 Levs - less than £1.00. A 33cl glass of draught beer is about 50p.  

The beach is functional rather than smart, but (I am told) is apreciated by sunlovers.

One of the Pomorie BeachesThe town is trying to reinvent itself as a desirable destination. Along the outskirts, new hotel complexes are being built, together with apartment blocks. As yet, this has not impinged upon the town centre, but the streets near the beach are reminiscent of a half competed course of dental work. Magnificent new blocks stand next to stumpy old buildings and empty plots. Inevitably, the stumps will be removed, and the empty plots filled. The plain girl will become attractive to some, and I can only hope that the current charm remains.

A typical town centre side street

Brand new (EC part funded) community centreOld stye shops - opposite community centreThe other (current) major tourist hotel - The St George

The photographs (above) should give an idea of the current town of Pomorie. If you find it attractive, I would advise a visit sooner, rather than later. Things are changing:

A new hotel - at the end of a yet to be finished block

.....and more

A 'stand-alone' (for the time being) new hotel

...and maybe this one will be apartments.

I wonder what??