I'm an Aussie from Tasmania renovating my two storey stone cottage on 1700 sqm plot of land located in a small village on the East Thracian Plain between Plovdiv and Stara Zagora, Bulgaria.
Located among vineyards, lavender and sunflower fields, graced with great neighbours', plenty of sunshine, amazing food and wine, its an East European treasure, the main reason for my moving here was to experience the Bulgarian culture and history and have a central base to explore the Balkans.
Being only 2-3 hours drive from Greece and Turkey, 3 hours from Sofia the capital of Bulgaria and 3 hours to the Black Sea nowhere is too far away. There are the mountains and back-roads to explore and not far away the ancient towns of Plovdiv, Stara Zagora and Kazanlak.
As for my cottage, I am hoping to one day be able to live as much as possible from what I grow and what our village can provide. Each season provides an amazing choice of produce, here, not only the benefits of a healthy way to live but also to be in contact with local growers is a real plus.
I'll be needing help with the garden, planting grapevines, some general cleanup and maintenance around the yard and the house for around 4 - 5 hours a day.
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Immerse yourself in Bulgarian village life and the countries rich history.
Coming from Australia twice a year I find life in a Bulgarian village a slower pace and really appreciate spending time with the locals with their most welcoming nature, more down to earth life, amazing culture and overall having a very rewarding experience. If your into nature, food and wine, modern and ancient history there is so much to see and do (the list is long...I can happily provide you many suggestions)
There are local village festivals to visit mainly during Summer (the Rose Festival at Kazanlak being the main one in June), hiking in the national parks, incredible Roman and Thracian history is everywhere yet compared to most Western Europe destinations here there are few tourists.
Also look forward to visiting the local markets, always fun. Best time at home is at the end of the day kicking back sharing cold drink under the grape vines with the neighbours.
As Bulgaria is one of Europe's poorest countries so it is very inexpensive for visitors. It is though expensive for the locals so your stay helps them as much as it will enlighten you. Apart from their Thracian history dating back 7000 years there is the modern history of coming from the Communist era and their gradual transition to being an EU member.
Bulgarian food and wine by the way is amazing and will be enjoyed during your stay either here at home, with the neighbour's or at the local traditional restaurants.
The back yard is needing weeding and cut out some old sapling stumps before I can put down grass for the lawn, will be planting fruit trees, herbs, roses and grape vines. Any help within the house will be mainly cleaning and general tidying up.
If you speak any Russian for my language practice would also be welcome!
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This is a charming old two storey stone cottage in Spasovo near Chirpan on 1750 sqm of land, two bedrooms upstairs with nice views across our picturesque tiered village, the kitchen and living room are downstairs. Its basic but comfortable living and fortunately does have good internet (wifi).
Loo and shower are currently in two outside buildings at the moment although the interior bathroom is expected to be finished by mid March.
I'll supply the local fruit and veg and the occasional BBQ so feel free to cook for yourself or join in with learning some great local dishes.
Maximum two Workawayers can stay inside the cottage any one time, sharing the guest room. The backyard is huge so no problem with camping out under the stars if you prefer. Plenty of fruit trees, walnut, almond and fig to enjoy in Summer as well as my tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers etc when in season. Been planting many herbs such as savory, thyme, rosemary etc.
A couple of pushbikes are also available to use.
Once your here there is plenty to see, you'll definitely be best off with a car or motorcycle although there is a daily local bus service from the village to Chirpan. Hire cars are available for around $30 USD/day from local car hire companies. Taxi's are also cheap and reliable.
If you're catch the train or bus from Varna or Sofia I can pick you up from the local train station or bus stop in Chirpan.
(The train is cheapest, 1st class ticket around 7 or 8 euro) You can book train and bus online.
I also have a couple of pushbikes to get around the village and surrounds, nice to pedal past the lavender, sunflowers and grapevines during the warmer months, picking cherries and blackberries from the trees growing wild on the side of the road.
Plenty of local info on places to visit and interesting locals to meet, also come along if I'm heading out in my old Russian Lada Niva to visit ancient such towns such as Plovdiv and Stara Zagora, visiting Roman and Thracian ruins, museums, wineries for some wine tasting etc.
During the heat of summer days time for a siesta for a couple of hours, main thing to achieve is to help out on one task at a time based on how long you can stay, up to 4 weeks maximum during my visits to the house.
Staying at the cottage will be available on certain months from late March through to October.
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Excellent internet in Bulgaria so generally works well, much better than in Australia! On rare occasions ( say in a big storm) it can go down yet generally its fine. I rely on it for my online business so can say from experience it works well.
Just check with me first as to the size, whether it will fit down the driveway.
Sure, just check with me first as cat's and/or small dog are ok. the neighbours cat Mishka thinks that our place is his home as well so there may be some sharing needed...!
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week