Our tour de force to the Black Sea and back, all within a day, ended in Kazanlak. We kept going by munching peaches which we bought from vendors along the road. Exhausted and miserable we started hotel hunting. A nice, quiet place we wanted. Oh boy, the rooms in the huge Grand Hotel Kazanlak were horrid and noisy, we even feel sorry for the young lady who showed us around. Next was Hotel Palas for no less than 65 Euros, lots of suffocating extravagant velvet interior design.
Hotel Zornica, up on the hill with a large quiet pool seem more promising. When we entered, we wondered about the immense number of empty deck chairs all around it. Well, it is also open for the public and thus closes at 06:00 pm, was the answer when we showed up in our swimming trunks at the reception. Bummer, sometimes you cannot win!
By the time we had an excellent bottle of wine on a terrace overlooking the town that had disappeared in a haze of hot, moist air, our mood had greatly improved.
Right by the hotel is the most amazing historical monument: a Thracian Tomb from the 4th century BC. It was found in 1944 when soldiers were building a bomb shelter. For 20 Leva you can visit the “real thing” for two minutes, which is locked behind an iron gate. That leads to a house which was build around it. From there another locked gate would allow you in, if the ladies at the ticket office showed any willingness to do so. Instead they push the easily accessible replica. Nevertheless it’s amazing. Through a tiny longish anti-chamber, you enter the round tomb with a copula with amazingly delicate wall paintings.
The adjacent museum was surprisingly interesting, displaying items found in other tombs as recent as 2007, like a golden mask that looks exactly like Agamemnon’s.