Difference between revisions of "Bulgaria"

From Hitchwiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Line 6: Line 6:
 
|pop = 7,322,856
 
|pop = 7,322,856
 
|currency = Lev (BGN)
 
|currency = Lev (BGN)
|hitch = {{very good}}
+
|hitch = from {{good}} to {{very good}}
 
}}
 
}}
'''Bulgaria''' is a country in [[Eastern Europe]] bordering [[Romania]], [[Serbia]], [[Macedonia]], [[Greece]] and [[Turkey]]. It's a good country for hitchhikers since this was a common way of travelling in socialist times when few people had cars.
+
'''Bulgaria''' is a country in [[Eastern Europe]] bordering [[Romania]], [[Serbia]], [[Macedonia]], [[Greece]] and [[Turkey]]. It's a good country for hitchhikers since this was a common way of traveling in socialist times when few people had cars.
  
The script is Cyrillic and it might be a good idea to be able to read it a little bit, for city and street signs and such.
+
The script is Cyrillic, and it might be a good idea to learn to read it a little bit, for city and street signs and such.
  
Hitching is slightly easier in the South because the highway Sofia - Plovdiv is a part of the main road from Europe to Istanbul. There are many TIR drivers regularly taking the road that are often willing to have some company. Do not be surprised if some of them driving from Western Europe to Turkey for instance asks you to put your shoes off when you get in the cabin and/or shows you a photo of their family.
+
Hitching is slightly easier in the South because the highway [[Sofia]]-[[Plovdiv]] is a part of the main route from Western and Central Europe to [[Istanbul]]. There are usually many [[TIR]] drivers on this road who are willing to have some company. Do not get surprised if some of them - driving long distances from Western Europe to [[Turkey]], and similar - ask you to take off your shoes when you are in a driver's cabin, or shows you photos of their family, etc. Quite a few drivers who would pick up hitchhikers are those who used to hitchhike themselves back in the socialist regime days. They will often feel nostalgic about the time they spent on the road, and will be happy to share their adventure stories with you, or let you tell them about your trip(s).
  
The other most frequent stereotypical driver that would take a hitchhiker is somebody who used to hitchhike themselves when they were young back in the socialist regime days. They will often feel nostalgic about the time they spent on the road and will be happy to share their adventures with you, or let you tell them about your trip. However there are many other people willing to give you a ride.
+
Hitchhiking is highly popular in the summer and is so common along the seaside that you can find yourself competing with other hitchhikers. Be aware, also, there are hardly any roads where hitchhiking would be prohibited, and so you might try hitchhiking on Bulgarian "highways", which is most definitely the fastest way to get around.
  
Hitchhiking is particularly popular in the summer, and is so common along the seaside that you can find yourself competing with other hitchhikers. This makes it easier as well - drivers expect it.
+
Hitchhiking is also practiced and known in Bulgarian mountainous areas, especially around the Rhodope Mountains (''Rodopi'', or ''Rodopa'') where there are very few cars but the ones that drive by usually stop.
 
 
It´s strongly recommended to try hitchhiking right on the highway. For people from west Europe it might feel strange but it´s most defintetly the fastest way to get a lift.
 
 
 
Hitchhiking is also popular activity in the mountain areas, especially in the Rhodopes (Rodopi, Rodopa), where the cars are less but almost everyone of them is stopping.
 
  
 
== Cities ==
 
== Cities ==
Line 26: Line 22:
 
* [[Hisarya]]
 
* [[Hisarya]]
 
* [[Plovdiv]]
 
* [[Plovdiv]]
* [[Sevlievo]], [[Sofia]]
+
* [[Sevlievo]]
* [[Varna]], [[Veliko Tarnovo]]
+
* [[Sofia]]
 +
* [[Varna]]
 +
* [[Veliko Tarnovo]]
  
[http://bgmaps.com/ Map of Bulgaria]
+
See also a [http://bgmaps.com/ map of Bulgaria].
  
 
== Safety ==
 
== Safety ==
 
[[Image:Dangerzone.JPG|thumb|right|250px|Danger!]]
 
[[Image:Dangerzone.JPG|thumb|right|250px|Danger!]]
As friendly as they can be, Bulgarian drivers tend not to care too much about road regulations and speed limits. Be careful and avoid standing in areas with a yellow triangle sign, with a filled black circle in the middle - these indicate places with increased concentration of road accidents and are a part of a campaign of the government to improve travel safety.
+
As friendly as they can be, Bulgarian drivers usually don't consider small violations of existing road regulations and speed limits in Bulgaria a big deal. Be careful and avoid standing in areas with a yellow triangle sign, with a filled black circle in the middle - these indicate places with increased concentration of road accidents and are a part of a governmental campaign to improve driving safety.
  
Be wary of thieves - particularly in rural areas, there are many people who see a lone hitchhiker as an opportunity to gain by foul means
+
Be wary of thieves - particularly in rural areas, there are many people who see a lone hitchhiker as an opportunity to gain by foul means.
  
 
== [[Border crossing]] ==
 
== [[Border crossing]] ==
Bulgaria is the most corrupted country of the EU and you will probably notice this at the border crossings. However, with an EU passport it's quite unlikely they will bother you.
+
Bulgaria is probably the most corrupted country of the EU, and you will most likely notice this at the border crossings. However, if you own the EU passport it is quite unlikely they will bother you.
  
* Towards [[Turkey]], the most-used checkpoint is [[Capitan Andrevo]]. Check the [[Edirne]] article for more information. The checkpoint near [[Malko Tarnovo]] can also be used if you're coming from [[Burgas]], but it's not that good frequented with vehicles. If you're in a truck, try to hitch a normal car before the border, the Turks might not like you walking around, especially [[at night]].
+
* When going towards [[Turkey]], the most used border checkpoint is [[Capitan Andrevo]]. Check the [[Edirne]] article for more information. The checkpoint near [[Malko Tarnovo]] can also be used if you're coming from [[Burgas]], although the traffic there is significantly less. It is recommended to cross the border in a personal car, since trucks border queue is usually slow, and the Turks might not like you walking around looking for another ride - especially if you do it [[at night]].
* Towards [[Romania]], a highly frequented checkpoint is at [[Ruse]]. Many trucks here, try to hitch over the border by car, otherwise you need to take a walk for around 40min over the Danube towards the next passport checkpoint. That sucks!
+
* When going towards [[Romania]], biggest checkpoint is at [[Ruse]]. Try to get a ride with a personal car over the border, otherwise you might need to take a walk for around 40min over the Danube river towards the next passport checkpoint, and that ain't so cool.
  
 
== Phrasebook ==
 
== Phrasebook ==
 
'''Vocabulary'''
 
'''Vocabulary'''
 
* Hitchhiking - автостоп [av-to-stop]
 
* Hitchhiking - автостоп [av-to-stop]
* High-way - магистрала [ma-gee-stra-la]
+
* Highway - магистрала [ma-gee-stra-la]
 
* Petrol station - бензиностанция [ben-zee-no-stan-tsee-ya]
 
* Petrol station - бензиностанция [ben-zee-no-stan-tsee-ya]
 
* Ring road - околовръстно (шосе) [o-ko-lo-vrast-no (sho-sse)]
 
* Ring road - околовръстно (шосе) [o-ko-lo-vrast-no (sho-sse)]
Line 86: Line 84:
  
 
== License plates ==
 
== License plates ==
You can use the cars' license plates to help you figure out where a driver might be heading.
+
Car license plates can help you to figure out where the driver might be heading to. The registration code consists of two letters followed by four digits and then two more letters. The first two letters indicate the region where the car is registered. By recent regulations, the letters have been limited only to those that are found both within Cyrillic and Latin alphabet - this should make it easier for foreigners who have troubles of reading and understanding Cyrillic.
The registration code consists of two letters, followed by four digits and then two more letters. The first two letters indicate the region where the car is registered. By recent law, the letters have been limited only to those that the Cyrillic and Latin alphabet have in common, so this should make it easier for foreigners, not reading Cyrillic.
 
  
 
<table border="0"><tr><td>
 
<table border="0"><tr><td>
Line 95: Line 92:
 
* BP [[Vratza]]
 
* BP [[Vratza]]
 
* BT [[Veliko Tarnovo]]
 
* BT [[Veliko Tarnovo]]
* C, CA [[Sofia]] (City)
+
* C, CA [[Sofia]] (city)
 
* CC [[Silistra]]
 
* CC [[Silistra]]
 
* CH [[Sliven]]
 
* CH [[Sliven]]
 
* CM [[Smolyan]]
 
* CM [[Smolyan]]
* CO [[Sofia]] (Province)
+
* CO [[Sofia]] (province)
 
* CT [[Stara Zagora]]
 
* CT [[Stara Zagora]]
 
* E [[Blagoevgrad]]
 
* E [[Blagoevgrad]]
Line 121: Line 118:
 
</td></tr></table>
 
</td></tr></table>
  
It should be noted also that this is not a 100% reliable method, it's just for orientation. It is common that cars registered in Sofia belong to people living in Burgas for example - because they bought the car and are still paying leasing, or because they moved to live somewhere else.
+
It should also be noted that this is not a 100% reliable method to get to know everything about the destination of the car, etc. It is common, for example, that cars registered in Sofia belong to people living in Burgas (or elsewhere).
  
 
== External links ==
 
== External links ==
* [http://stopbg.com/ stopbg.comThe site of BG hitch-hikers] – The site of BG hitch-hikers (forum , tips and etc.)
+
* [http://stopbg.com/ The site of BG hitch-hikers] (forum, tips, etc.)
  
  
Line 131: Line 128:
 
[[Category:Bulgaria| ]]
 
[[Category:Bulgaria| ]]
 
[[Category:Eastern Europe]]
 
[[Category:Eastern Europe]]
 +
 +
[[wikipedia:Bulgaria]]
  
 
__NOTOC__
 
__NOTOC__

Revision as of 04:42, 3 December 2008

Flag of Bulgaria Bulgaria
Information
Language: Bulgarian
Capital: Sofia
Population: 7,322,856
Currency: Lev (BGN)
Hitchability: from Good.png (good) to Verygood.png (very good)
Meet fellow hitchhikers on Trustroots
<map lat='42.5' lng='25.5' zoom='6' view='0' float='right' />

Bulgaria is a country in Eastern Europe bordering Romania, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece and Turkey. It's a good country for hitchhikers since this was a common way of traveling in socialist times when few people had cars.

The script is Cyrillic, and it might be a good idea to learn to read it a little bit, for city and street signs and such.

Hitching is slightly easier in the South because the highway Sofia-Plovdiv is a part of the main route from Western and Central Europe to Istanbul. There are usually many TIR drivers on this road who are willing to have some company. Do not get surprised if some of them - driving long distances from Western Europe to Turkey, and similar - ask you to take off your shoes when you are in a driver's cabin, or shows you photos of their family, etc. Quite a few drivers who would pick up hitchhikers are those who used to hitchhike themselves back in the socialist regime days. They will often feel nostalgic about the time they spent on the road, and will be happy to share their adventure stories with you, or let you tell them about your trip(s).

Hitchhiking is highly popular in the summer and is so common along the seaside that you can find yourself competing with other hitchhikers. Be aware, also, there are hardly any roads where hitchhiking would be prohibited, and so you might try hitchhiking on Bulgarian "highways", which is most definitely the fastest way to get around.

Hitchhiking is also practiced and known in Bulgarian mountainous areas, especially around the Rhodope Mountains (Rodopi, or Rodopa) where there are very few cars but the ones that drive by usually stop.

Cities

See also a map of Bulgaria.

Safety

Danger!

As friendly as they can be, Bulgarian drivers usually don't consider small violations of existing road regulations and speed limits in Bulgaria a big deal. Be careful and avoid standing in areas with a yellow triangle sign, with a filled black circle in the middle - these indicate places with increased concentration of road accidents and are a part of a governmental campaign to improve driving safety.

Be wary of thieves - particularly in rural areas, there are many people who see a lone hitchhiker as an opportunity to gain by foul means.

Border crossing

Bulgaria is probably the most corrupted country of the EU, and you will most likely notice this at the border crossings. However, if you own the EU passport it is quite unlikely they will bother you.

  • When going towards Turkey, the most used border checkpoint is Capitan Andrevo. Check the Edirne article for more information. The checkpoint near Malko Tarnovo can also be used if you're coming from Burgas, although the traffic there is significantly less. It is recommended to cross the border in a personal car, since trucks border queue is usually slow, and the Turks might not like you walking around looking for another ride - especially if you do it at night.
  • When going towards Romania, biggest checkpoint is at Ruse. Try to get a ride with a personal car over the border, otherwise you might need to take a walk for around 40min over the Danube river towards the next passport checkpoint, and that ain't so cool.

Phrasebook

Vocabulary

  • Hitchhiking - автостоп [av-to-stop]
  • Highway - магистрала [ma-gee-stra-la]
  • Petrol station - бензиностанция [ben-zee-no-stan-tsee-ya]
  • Ring road - околовръстно (шосе) [o-ko-lo-vrast-no (sho-sse)]
  • Map - карта [kar-ta]
  • Bus stop - (автобусна) спирка [(av-to-bus-na) speer-ka]

Greetings

  • Hello - Здравейте [Zdra-vey-te]
  • Good day - Добър ден [Do-bar den]
  • Good morning - Добро утро [Do-bro oot-ro]
  • Good evening - Добър вечер [Do-bar ve-cher]
  • Goodbye - Довиждане [Do-vizh-da-ne]
  • Bye - Чао - ciao (as in Italian)
  • Thank you - Благодаря [Bla-go-da-rya]
  • Thanks - Мерси - merci (as in French)

Directions

  • From - от [ot]
  • Towards - към [kam]
  • Through - през [prez]
  • (To the) left - (На) ляво [(Nah) lya-vo]
  • (To the) right - (На) дясно [(Nah) dyass-no]
  • Straignt on - Направо (Nah-pra-vo)
  • Where are you going to? - На къде отивате? [Na kade o-tee-va-te?]
  • I´m travelling to ... - Пътувам към ... [Pa-too-vam kam ...]
  • Please stop here - Моля, спрете тук [Mo-lya spre-te tuk]
  • A bit further - Малко по-напред [Mal-ko po na-pred]

Reading or writing signs in Cyrillic

  • Благоевград - Blagoevgrad
  • Бургас - Bourgas
  • Варна - Varna
  • Велико Търново - Veliko Tarnovo
  • Видин - Vidin
  • София - Sofia
  • Пловдив - Plovdiv
  • Русе - Russe

License plates

Car license plates can help you to figure out where the driver might be heading to. The registration code consists of two letters followed by four digits and then two more letters. The first two letters indicate the region where the car is registered. By recent regulations, the letters have been limited only to those that are found both within Cyrillic and Latin alphabet - this should make it easier for foreigners who have troubles of reading and understanding Cyrillic.

It should also be noted that this is not a 100% reliable method to get to know everything about the destination of the car, etc. It is common, for example, that cars registered in Sofia belong to people living in Burgas (or elsewhere).

External links


wikipedia:Bulgaria