Gastro tour “Taste Golden Dobrudzha!”

Daily Tour 2 days, 1 night Availability: 2020-10-24
Silistra Tour Guide: Екатерина Терзиева

“Once, before the plow appeared and before the railways and ports were built, Dobrogea was a cultivated and virgin field. The pastures were vast and endless, like the prairies in America and the steppes in Russia. (…) Cattle breeding has experienced its golden age here. Only this distant time knows the magnificent herds of several hundred heads of cattle.”

This is how the famous Bulgarian writer Yordan Yovkov describes his favorite Dobrudzha in the years when he writes about almost every village here. Today, only in Dobrich, three monuments to Yovkov remind us of his literary heritage and we will see them during the gastro tour “Taste Golden Dobrudzha!”.

Dobrudzha is a historical and geographical area in Northeastern Bulgaria, called the “Granary of Bulgaria”. Its territory is 7565 km² and it has a population of 358,000 people. It is mixed in ethnic composition – Bulgarians, Turks, Gagauz, and Crimean Tatars. In Dobrudzha there have been settlements since antiquity. Near the village of Sveshtari, there is a Thracian-Hellenistic tomb from the first half of the 3rd century BC., in which the Goth ruler Dromichet was probably buried. It has been under the auspices of UNESCO since 1985. Near today’s Silistra are the ruins of a late antique, medieval, and Ottoman fortress. The southern part of the geographical region of Dobrudzha is part of the Principality of Bulgaria from the time of the Liberation of Bulgaria until the Balkan Wars. In 1912 Romania made claims and captured Southern Dobrudzha, 4 years later Dobrudzha was liberated after the Tutrakan epic. Many crafts are developed in Tutrakan, and the established port contributes to Tutrakan’s foreign trade contacts with Europe, Asia, and Africa.

In the 19th century, there were over 250 windmills in Dobrogea, in which people ground corn flour, wheat, and bulgur. We will see some of them, and everywhere we will have the chance to try the traditional Dobrudzha dishes and drinks.


Place of departure / arrival

Departure hours: 06.30 from Plovdiv. Possible transfers from other cities by prior arrangement. For travelers from Plovdiv – departure for Northern Bulgaria via Trakia Motorway, meeting at Lukoil gas station on Tsarigradsko Shosse Blvd.


The price of the tour includes:

  • One breakfast
  • Two lunches
  • Tastings
  • Dinner
  • Overnight
  • Transport
  • Entrance fees for the museums visited
  • Guide service

Opportunity to purchase

Fresh and natural farm products, various types of milk, cheese and yellow cheese, apricot brandy, honey, fresh and canned vegetables at producer prices.


What to expect?

The gastro tour “Taste Golden Dobrudzha” is an exciting journey to the past of Bulgaria. He will show the Granary of Bulgaria, seen through the eyes of the famous Bulgarian writer Yordan Yovkov, as well as the glorious, sad, and heroic history of the Dobrudzha region.

We will visit the Thracian-Hellenistic tomb near the village of Sveshtari, the fishing neighborhood of Tutrakan, the Ethnographic Museum “Danube Fishing and Boatbuilding”, the house of the monument “Yordan Yovkov”. We will walk through the Architectural and Ethnographic Open-Air Museum “Old Dobrich”, we will see the archeological collection of gold from Durankulak – the oldest processed gold in Europe.

We will walk along Lake Srebarna, we will see a real windmill in Dobrudzha for grinding grain, we will watch the sunset from a boat in the waters of the Danube River.

We will meet the people and stories behind:

  • The old fishing village in Tutrakan;
  • Cow farm, where due to lack of workers they use milking robots.
  • The Thracian tomb in the village of Sveshtari under the auspices of UNESCO;
  • How to make mamaliga – demonstration by the masters of the traditional dish and tasting;
  • Fishing in the Danube as a livelihood;
  • Producers of apricots and the famous Silistra apricot brandy;
  • The old Revival part of Dobrich.

Itinerary

Day 1: In the lands of the Thracians and Danube fishermen

Arrival in the late morning at the Thracian-Hellenistic tomb near the village of Sveshtari, Isperih municipality, Razgrad district, which is under the auspices of UNESCO. Walk in Tutrakan – the city of the Tutrakan epic in 1916, which liberated South Dobrudja, until then occupied by Romania.

The town was famous for its Danube fishermen, masters of fishing boats and Danube water mills. Today’s “Fisherman’s Quarter” along the river is the only fishing village in the country that has naturally developed along the river. Visit to the Ethnographic Museum – Danube fishing and boat building.

After lunch with fish dishes, we leave for the only village in Dobrudzha, which traditionally prepares mamaliga. They will prepare it before our eyes and we will try it.

In the evening we meet with producers of Silistra apricots, from which the famous aromatic apricot brandy is made, and before dinner we go on a romantic boat trip on the Danube for photos at sunset. Dinner is typical of Dobrudzha cuisine.

Day 2: On the tracks of the windmills, the villages of Yovkov and Old Dobrich

We will have breakfast with Dobrudzha pancakes and “madzhun” – the famous “honey of poor people”, prepared by the sirup of watermelons and sugar broom. Then we have a walk around Lake Srebarna – a reserve under the auspices of UNESCO. Later we see an old Dobrudzha house with a windmill. In the 19th century in Dobrogea there were over 250 windmills for corn flour, wheat, and bulgur.

At noon we visit Dobrich – the only city where there are three sculptural figures dedicated to Yordan Yovkov. He has lived in Dobrudzha for ten years, but says: “In all my work my thought is there; there is my landscape, there are my characters – their way of life, work, and destiny. And I, with all my memories and with my whole being, belong to Dobrudzha.”

We visit the Yordan Yovkov Monument House and walk in the Architectural and Ethnographic Open-Air Museum “Old Dobrich” with 32 craft workshops. They will also show us a collection with the archeology of Dobrogea, which preserves the oldest processed gold in Europe, found in Durankulak.

We have lunch in a Dobrich inn and go to a cow farm with a dairy and cheese dairy, where robots are used due to the shortage of workers.

 

Golden wheat, lemon-yellow fields with rapeseed, green cornfields, windmill vanes, and that romantic feeling of the Bulgarian village that inspired Yordan Yovkov for his masterpieces - this is Dobrudzha in short. To this day, the old streets where the old Danube fishermen have woven their nets are preserved. Dobrudja keeps the secrets of its past but also changes its face - with saffron fields, gardens with lavender and exotic vegetables, with farms for traditional and modern breeds of animals. Dobrudja is like an old mother to whom you always want to return.

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