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The second village

Our second day of the “village outing” landed us in Kovachevitsa, population 36. It’s at the proverbial “end of the road,” so our bus had to stop before we arrived at the village proper. Otherwise, there was no place for him to turn the bus around. And so we’d reprise “did he ever return, no he never returned, and his fate is still unknown.” I did learn something useful there. In the stores I had noticed that there was a commodity called “flat sausage” But in the little restaurant in the town (believe it or not there was one), one of the proprietors was actually making “flat sausage.” How do you do it? Are you ready for this? You take a perfectly round sausage and smash it with a board. Voila! Flat sausage. Now all I have to do is figure out why they smash the sausage. Sounds kinky, right? Or Gabrielesque. Remember hisĀ  tune, “Shock the monkey?” One of my Calvin students told me that a clear erotic reference. Live and learn, my friends, live and learn.

This restaurant, despite the smallness of its surrounding village, was quite good. I had a broiled trout, caught that very morning nearby, and grilled vertically before a roaring wood fire. It was terrific. I also had what was called sauerkraut, but it was unlike any I’d ever had before. It was the same color as the pickled ginger that is served with sushi, and looked like little flowers. It had a sweetness to it, too, unlike the German kraut that we’re all used to. Quite good as well. And I had “bob” soup, bob being Bulgarian for “bean.” The one funny part of the meal is that the proprietress asked us if we wanted white or brown bread. Being the health-conscious fanatic you all know me to be, I said “brown.” Apparently everyone else did, as well. When the bread arrived, we dived into the covered baskets to discover white bread — that had been toasted. Ahhh, brown bread.

Here is another slideshow from this village. You will see some of our students in these shots, along various peppers used in the restaurant’s cooking and the van used in “Dumb and Dumber.” You will see weathered wooden doors atop some steps late in the show. That’s the entrance to the village’s hotel. And he double-decked building with the second story larger than the first — that’s a 17th century house that has been restored as a guest house. But there’s no heat or indoor plumbing. Authentic (although electricity has been added). I can make you reservations.

Click to view slideshow.

The BEST holidays

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