Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?

A: To get to the other side.

I know, because I’ve seen it.

We were on our way back from Perpirikon, a temple erected to honor Dionysus (Greek form) / Bacchus (Roman form), God of Wine. A rooster🐓 and two chicks🐤🐥 were making their way across the road. They seemed to not like paparazzi, because they were going too fast for me to take a picture 😑. Hopefully, they will decide to pop out again during our road trip.

Flashback two hours before.

We stopped first by the Stone Mushrooms (and posed for pictures!) and later made our way up to the Perpirikon temple.

It was the Thracians who first built it around 3000 BC. When around the 7th century, a tribe called Bulgars came to the land of the Thracians (from the steppes of what is currently Kazakhstan – our road trip will go through there!) with never – seen before tamed wild horses, the Thracians were forced to sign a peace treaty with them. The temple remained and Perpirikon even holds traces of Roman construction.

While the sun was scorching and the ascent was steep, it was a beautiful view and it was fun climbing over the mismatched rocks.

Being in Bulgaria for a full four days also allowed my grandparents to teach me the Cyrillic alphabet, which not only was fun, but made the Bulgarian language a lot easier to read – considering this is the official alphabet of the country (try to read this: Елияно).

Baba and Diado have their very own orchard. When I first arrived in the village of Dobrich, I noticed a bunch of grapes my grandparents had grown, hanging from the trees. While walking around, I noticed all the growing apples, pears, peaches, plums, strawberries etc. That seemed a bit unusual to me. I realised how accustomed I was to city culture. I was so used to going to the shop and picking out fruit from there.

One evening, we made our way to Dimitrovgrad to visit the fair celebrating the 71st anniversary of the foundation of the town. My father grew up there before he left for university in America. Here’s a little interesting history.

Dimitrovgrad is the youngest city in Bulgaria, founded in 1947, named after Georgi Dimitrov, a communist leader. This was just after WWII ended. In the years that followed, a lot of places changed their names to honor famous Bulgarian communist leaders or events. When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989 and with that, the end of communism, all those cities converted to their previous names, except for Dimitrovgrad, as it had no previous name. The new government still wanted to remove any memories of communism, so they took down the statue erected in the centre of the town in honour of Georgi Dimitrov.

London. Check.

Italy. Check.

Bulgaria. Check.

Next stop : Turkey.

By the way, did you guess it was my name written in Cyrillic?

Oh yeah, I also saw a chicken cross the road. Did I mention that?