May 6, 2023 Plovdiv BU

We decided to move on to Plovdiv this morning. We debated whether to go back into Sofia for one more day, but we were afraid that it would be crazy with the military parade and all of the other St. George Day festivities, so it was off to Plovdiv.

We got an early start, and even though the freeway was busier than any we had seen in Europe except Germany we arrived at our campground before noon. We are staying at the Plovdiv Glamping Alliance which is absolutely the most high tech campground we have ever stayed at in either North America or Europe. George at the campground in Sofia warned us that we needed to book in advance because you need a QR code to get access to the site. So last night we picked our spot and got our QR code.

One of the cool cabins at the “Glamping site”. The hotel in the background is accessible, but completely empty including staff.

The first step went ok as our QR code got us thru the two sets of gates, we found our spot and began our well rehearsed set up procedure for François. After I located the electric hook up behind a shrub and crawled on my back to get at it I yelled for Ton to verify we had electricity. She said no so I crawled back into the shrub and confirmed everything was ok, but still no power. This happens sometimes and our standard procedure is to shift to another spot and see if the power works there. In this case we were committed to this spot, and even though the place was about 80% empty I wasn’t sure we could just move. So I decided to set off to find a human to talk to.

As I was walking towards the 4 story hotel that the Glamping is attached to I saw a German camper and asked him about the electricity, or if there was a human around. He said I could check the hotel but he hadn’t seen anyone all day. My QR code got me into the hotel, but in fact there was no one there. It was kind of weird wandering thru a brand new hotel by myself, but they really take this contactless stuff seriously here. After some research I discovered I had to activate the electric on a website and as soon as I did the power came on.

They also had a washer/dryer combination machine and we decided we’d do a quick load of clothes before heading into town. After some more on line gymnastics our QR code was updated to allow us access to the washer/dryer. We loaded our clothes and started the cycle and the timer said it would be 5 hours and 48 minutes to completion. At first we thought it was a mistake, but we noticed the other washer that was running showed over three hours to completion so our thoughts of going to town were dashed and we ended up spending the day in François and chatting with our German and Korean neighbors. I think you can take this high tech stuff too far, and they may have accomplished that here.

2 thoughts on “May 6, 2023 Plovdiv BU”

  1. Who’d a thunk that you would find uber-hightech in Bulgaria.

    I can’t imagine what a washing machine would do for 5 hours 38 minutes!? Maybe it irons and hangs them up for you too!

    You two are the most courageous couple I know. Wandering around, with a plan, across the continent and finding yourselves in places such as this Bulgarian campground takes fortitude. Maybe it helps having a retired Marine serving in your platoon.

    1. I am not sure about courageous, this is a beautiful modern town. I think I was more of a Luddite trying to deal with QR codes to do everything. Ton says that the washer/dryer definitely did not iron and hang the clothes, they were pretty wrinkly. I think this is a case of taking two purpose built machines that are good at their task, and combining into one machine that is not particularly good at either. But you could turn it on with your phone if you had the right app!

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