Highlights on the way to Kırkpınar | 2018 & 2022

I thought that the time to write about the 2018 Kırkpınar would never come. I was sure that I’d not return in 2019, but I did make it there this summer. The opportunity arose.

Kırkpınar 2018; Edirne, Turkey

Two trips… a world away? Maybe only in Greece. J

Here are the routes and the highlights of the two years—



2018 Braşov – Bucharest – Plovdiv – Alexandroupoli – Edirne – Sozopol – Braşov

2022 Braşov – Lovech – Alexandroupoli – Gelibolu – Edirne – Braşov


FOOD (mostly desserts; I blog about them):


French Revolution; Bucharest, Romania

We stayed with a friend back in 2018 on the way to Turkey (via Bulgaria and Greece) and she waited for us with éclairs. We are not friends anymore, but I bet that those éclairs are as tasty as then!  


Fleurs de Lis; Alexandroupoli, Greece

One of the best breakfasts of 2018/on the road: nutty banana pancakes soaked in rich chocolate, blackberries on the side…

Breakfast in Alexandroupoli, Greece


White Dolphin Bistro; Sozopol, Bulgaria

Delicious shopska and homemade fig jam ice cream for me; it reminded me of my Bulgarian friend Petya, who felt like a grandmother to me!

Shopska in Sozopol, Bulgaria


2018 & 2022

Nero, throughout Bulgaria

One of my chocolate-coated sandwich ice cream obsessions of the past 6 years of travelling through Bulgaria!


Ouzeri Alexis; Alexandroupoli, Greece

The only thing that hasn’t changed in 5 years (I’m counting 2017, too) in Greece, as a Kırkpınar stopover, is the food. And the food at this family-run restaurant is – from the Greek salad to the tzatziki – extraordinary!  

Dinner in Alexandroupoli, 2022, with Peti on the wall; Greece


Tatlı Konağı; Edirne, Turkey

My first stop to grab a bite in Edirne was here, in 2017. I keep returning because they have some extraordinary trileçe!

I tried orange-flavoured trileçe and mulberry ice cream in 2018, kunafa and milk baklava this year. There are no words…

Kunafa; Edirne, Turkey



Lappetto; Lovech, Bulgaria

Delicious pizza and palachinki prepared by such a kind lady (she helped me eat that night making half the pizza vegetarian)! And such friendly and helpful people eating there, as well.

Dinner at midnight; Lovech, Bulgaria


Meydani Pastanesi; Gelibolu, Turkey

My favourite place in Gelibolu! Über-delicious sweets (gluten-free even!)… and the trileçe and profiteroles are fantastic! Warm welcome!


Balaban; Edirne, Turkey

We went for the dondurma (=Turkish ice cream) and ended up with profiteroles, too. And a special ice cream flavour: sesame. Wow!

@Balaban; Edirne, Turkey




Plovdiv Old Town, Bulgaria

In 2018, I had two cities that blew my mind: one of them was Plovdiv. I loved its Old Town! Climbing Nebet Tepe is a wonderful experience. The souvenir shops are a delight: while Marcel came back home with an old Macedonian musical instrument (and I got red wooden earrings from the same shop owner), I spotted a store selling puppets. We still have OZN [Romanian for ‘UFO’] with us and his colours are as cheerful as ever!  


Selimiye Camii; Edirne, Turkey

An Ottoman imperial mosque, built between 1569 and 1575, guarding Edirne, the first capital of Turkey

Inside Selimiye Camii; Edirne, Turkey


Sozopol Old Town, Bulgaria

Old houses and high window frames. As they stand by the sea, they are majestic on their own. A slow-paced visit to this area of Sozopol charms the eye.


2018 & 2022

Kırkpınar; Edirne, Turkey

My favourite sports festival, the ultimate show!

Kırkpınar 2018; Edirne, Turkey

I am truly and hopelessly addicted to Kırkpınar.

Kırkpınar 2022; Edirne, Turkey


Edirne Bazaar, Turkey

I couldn’t miss buying the donkey milk soaps that I love and pottery. The gentleman speaking Romanian gave us good rates (on this year’s trip). J

Edirne Bazaar, Turkey, in 2022



Lovech Old Bridge + Old Town + Fortress

The bridge over the Osam River is something special by day and by night, too. During the day, many interesting stores are selling handmade items. We stayed in Varosha [=the Old Town of Lovech], so a walk to the fortress, even in the July heat, would not take more than 10 minutes. Mulberries included. However, bring cash. The entrance fee was BGN 9 this year.   

Walking through Varosha; Lovech, Bulgaria


Devetashka Cave, Bulgaria

It is a bat cave (entrance fee: BGN 3) and one of the most beautiful caves I’ve ever seen. Some parts of it are closed to protect the bat colonies but even the walk there is magical!

Devetashka Cave, Bulgaria


Çimpe Castle, Turkey

Medieval ruins close to Gelibolu and beautiful views over the Sea of Marmara and the Mediterranean, too!



There were also two in Greece and one more at the Sea of Marmara, but these two stole my heart. Both at sunset.


Sozopol Old Town, Bulgaria

After crossing the Old Town, there’s a small rocky beach by the Black Sea. Water shoes come in handy, but the water’s not that deep near the shore, so children can play there, too.



Tripçe Beach, Turkey

One of the wildest and most beautiful beaches of my life, by the Sea of Marmara. Head there if you are in Gelibolu either by crossing the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge (TL 200 one way) or by taking a ferry (the less-expensive version).



While in 2018, Pancho and Rufus – our chinchilla family – welcomed us home, in 2022, Peticel was there to give us love, scratches, and a bite on my cheek. A tumultuous story, I know. One of the most beautiful in my life. ♥

With Peticel, my soul mate ♥

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