Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Late Summer at the Black Sea Coast

Last weekend I was lucky enough to have a four-day weekend (in celebration of Bulgaria's independence day) and decided to take the train out to Varna and visit another Fulbrighter there. Another Fulbright friend came along, too, and we met about ten of the new Fulbrighters this year who were in town, which was a pleasant surprise. This year the number of English Teaching Assistants has doubled from 10 to 20, so there are a lot more people to get acquainted with. One of the things I loved most about last year was the network of ETAs with whom I could discuss problems and minor annoyances along with positive developments and overall impressions of teaching English as a Second Language in Bulgaria. So it will be great to have an even larger network and hear some new perspectives from the different placements. I'll meet everyone officially this Friday at orientation here in Sofia.

But, getting back to the weekend, Varna was gorgeous. The weather was perfect, nice and warm with the fresh sea breeze. I got a little sunburned on the beach one day but it was worth it. I felt very relaxed just walking through the Sea Gardens and chatting over coffee with new friends. We also visited the Archaeological Museum, which was very interesting and included many of the famous golden treasures found in the ancient ruins along the sea coast. There were lots of wide, tree-lined streets, plenty of shops and cafes to keep tourists entertained, and lovely parks to take a stroll in. Varna is a beautiful city, and I definitely plan to return soon.

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