People Bicycled With Us

Birger & Ulla Ålsbøl

2001, 2002, 2004, 2005


      It was Summer 2001, nobody came to bicycle with us, so me and Maya did our first big and heavy tour – nearly 1000 miles for 20 days – I was a little afraid – will Maya like such kind of tourism or not, I was not sure. It was a beautiful hot and sunny summer, all those days there was no any drop of rain. After 9 days bicycling east from Sofia, we reached the north point at our seaside - Durankulak, after bicycling along the seaside to the south we reached the camping place “Aheloy”, where we decided to stay for a night in it.


       In the camp we saw a little tent and two bicycles near it, obviously another couple bicyclists, and we decided to put out tent next to this one. Soon a blond lady came to us – it was Ulla, soon Birger (long time his name was so hard for us!) came intending to help us – he decided both me and Maya are Americans because of the head-cloth on my head with the American banner on it. Nobody had known we will spent after too many pleasant days together!




      Soon we were on the beach together and all the day we spoke about our tours. Hours went unnoticeably, so in the evening we visited the restaurant and eating little fried fishes (in the Black sea there are still a lot of them) we began to taste our nice local types wines. Yes, all the wines we tasted were so nice and we decided that next evening we MUST continue our research in this really interesting field.


      So in 5 nights, we tasted almost all of available wines in the region.  Days we spent a nice time on the beach, or did a little tours to Nesebar town (up, right) and Pomorie town - both placed near our camp place.

      I always will remember those days with very pleasant fillings, so in the end it was not easy to part each other and we decided that it would be very nice, if we are together for the New Year celebration.




No sooner said than done – at 26th December 2001 we were together to spend again exciting time. Winter 2001-2002 was chilly and snowy in BG - just like winters I have remembered in my childhood in the middle of the 60ty.

      For the New Year night we decided to visit Melnik town – in the summer I have been mentioned them about the excellent local wines in this region.  And we were so disappointed to find out that no free beds in all the little town.  Well, we went back to Sandanski town (10 miles from Melnik), there we found rooms for the night in a local hospital-sanatorium, well, why not, next to it there was a beautiful local restaurant, a remarkable night we had in it.

      I was surprised to see haw good  dancer is Birger dancing all the night our very hard local dances (I really can not do it). Yes, we again spent a great time. Birger was happy to shut by a riffle in the night welcoming the New Year – an usual custom at this place.


     And can you guess what did we decide in the end? – a bike tour of course - 10 – 30 August 2002. Unfortunately I have no many photos documented this tour I still had no a digital camera, but for 16 days we did a combined – train/bike tour in the north plane part of the country – from Silistra town to Durankulak at the north seaside and to the south along the seaside reaching in the end our favorite camp place - Aheloi, where we repeated again the wine research we did previous summer.

         All we loved the wilderness, so in this tour we visited remote places and nights we stood in our tents camping in woods near fields. Never mind it was so raining summer, the rain was always far from us, we had only 3 hours of heavy rain in the camp place near Durankulak, luckily we were in the restaurant at this moment, but I still can not forget our tent Maya left open and the little river going trough it after rain stopped … I was sure we will repeat it soon … it happened again summer 2004.     

      Summer 2004 was not easy for us. Maya ended her secondary school and she had to go in for examinations in the University. After 4 years of dealing with the math problems in the end she was very successful in her examinations (not easy in BG) and she was invited to study in the Technical University as well as in the Economics University in Sofia. Both we decided that the second one is more appropriate for her, so all we – me, Maya, Ulla and Birger went and enrolled her in the Economics University, her specialty is a Busyness Informatics - it was 23rd August.


      Next day we were on our bikes and did again a beautiful tour in BG - touring in Vitosha mountain, Rodopi mountain, Thracian field and in the end – along the seaside of course, but to the south, not Aheloy this time. Because I was busy after the 7th September, Maya ended alone the tour with Ulla and Birger.


      We again had a big chance with the weather – only 15 minutes rain in Rodopi mountain. Again we were in the wilderness, but this time we spent 2 nights in hotels.

 A scenery place in Rodopi Mountain near an ancient Roman  bridge.

Rodopi Mountain again – Birger shifts the rocks fallen on the road.




      Will we do a bike tour together again next summer? -  I do not know. Ulla and Birger bought a boat and they intend to sail across oceans next summer. And when I think, for Vikings it is much more customary rather than bicycling …

      Will we do a tour in summer 2005 or not I still do not know, but on the 9th February 2005 Birger is coming in BG and we intend to do a winter bike tour for several days . . . brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr . . . so cold is now here . . . 2 - 3 feet of snow everywhere . . .  30.01.2005 . . . is there anybody wanting join us???   

            After a month I will post some comments . . . if we survive . . .


      Yes we survived. I do not remember so awful February. Of first it was very chili, a snow thick 3-5 feet covered the country. Temperatures fallen down to -28-30 deg C - an 100 year record at some places of the country. After a hot south wind appeared, the snow molded quickly and the land was covered with a foot of water. This effect was increased by several day powering rain. So for 3 weeks we succeeded to do only 2 hour bike tour in one not so powering rain afternoon . . . you can see the photos done by our new digital camera Birger and Ulla equipped us (me and Maya enjoy it so much!!!).  Yes, obviously February is not much appropriate for bike tours.



      Never mind the awful weather, I believe Birger spent a nice time in our country. He relaxed for 2 weeks in a small calm town called Velingrad finding out new friends in it.  And I am sure almost everyone in my town knows him already - he had enough time to walk in it.         I only want to mention, when next time Birger comes to us, he needs not to bring a jacket - the yellow one you can see on him in the photos I see is still hanging in my corridor :).  

And several Birger's words:




   Besides the tour with Bob I had opportunity to bike 3 days alone. 3-4 hours each time. New snow and in very cold situation. Roads were very fine - cleaned. No much traffic. I visited local coffeehouses and talked to many people. And nice coming back to Pernik for a beer and a rakia 50 g for only 3 lev. And in the evening cooking soup in Bobs flat. (for some days I was alone in his flat).


      Ud over turen med Bob havde jeg lejlighed til at cykle 3 dage alene.  3 - 4 timer hver gang. Iny sne og kulde. Vejene var forbavsende fine - ryddet. Ikke megen trafik. Jeg var på besøg på lokale kaffebarer - og snakkede med med mange forskellige mennesker.  Og så oplevelsen at komme tilbage til Pernik for at få en god stor øl og en Rakia - 5 cl - ialt ca 12 kr. Og så om aftenen  hyggen når jeg kogte suppe i Bobs lejlighed -som jeg haved alene nogle dage.