Monday, October 4, 2010

Сребърна (Srebarna)

There were three new places I visited while my parents were here which are worth mentioning: Сребърна (Srebarna), Широка лъка (Shiroka Laka), and Триград (Trigrad). Located on the Danube close enough to Romania to be covered by Romanian cell phone towers, Srebarna was the first of these places we visited.

Like many Bulgarian villages and small towns, Srebarna has suffered greatly from emigration and a dying population. Five years ago, Srebarna had a population of almost 3,000. A little over a year ago, that number had fallen to 600. Now, the town is home to around 1,000 people, including many young people who have returned to their roots and are investing lots of time and money refurbishing previously abandoned and neglected homes. This has energized the town and brought it back to life. Still, for me anyway, the most interesting thing about Srebarna is the soon to be lost generation who is barely hanging on and who continues to live simply and unaffected.

Most visitors, including us, come to Srebarna to explore the Srebarna Nature Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

As enjoyable as our hike around the lake was, it didn't compare to a walk around town where locals were busy gathering hay and otherwise preparing for the onset of what promises to be a long, cold winter.

The Srebarna Expressway.

This couple makes me happy. They are what I want to be when I grow up.

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