Bansko Holiday 2019
Updated: Mar 10, 2019
The journey to Bansko from Plymouth was long, and took about 12 hours in our time. I started at 7am, and caught an early bus at 07.30am. Bulgaria is two hours ahead of GMT, and this means that it was later there when we arrived. I arrived late in Bansko about 11pm (their time,) and was made welcome by the hotel.
I quickly settled into the room, and then after a shower went to explore the town. Having checked out a few pubs, and bought a few beers I went back to my room to sleep. My first thought is that it has a vibrant night life, and will be very interesting as the week progresses.
The following day got off to a bad start, when I saw the size of the queue to get the gondola to the snow. (It was huge). The queue to get kitted out with skis and boots was also long, but it turned out we had an unofficial fast pass to avoid the gondola queue.
The rep informed us that Bansko has become very trendy of late, and that it has grown exponentially as a resort. Furthermore, there were also weekend visitors over from Macedonia and Romania for the weekend, and this will make the resort more busy than usual.
That will do?
My first thought was that the lack of attention to detail from the ski-fitters was worrying though. “That’ll do,” seemed to be the order of the day. This was shocking to me, and would have been harder for others, as I am no fuss-pot over these things.
Still if I wanted casual, then that is what I got, and it does help with lift queues.
And it was useful in other ways as well. For example, I couldn’t pronounce their beer, but I still got served without the usual French type sarcasm I usually get for bad pronunciation. In fact the casualness of the Bulgarians was actually quite refreshing in that respect. The beer was refreshing too, and cheap at only 6Lv / 2 pounds.
Once up on the snow I was able to remember why I came in the first place.
“I ski therefore I am” (unknown)
I love the speed.
I appreciate the scenery.
Then there is the ambience of talking to other skiers, and sharing their adventures.
And I benefit from the clean brisk air.
And I come home feeling fitter than when I left.
Actually it is more than this.
Because for some reason I can always think clearer whenever I am away in the mountains. Perhaps it is the open space, or the fresh air, but I seem to develop a different perspective. I can think clearer. I can make decisions, and resolve problems. Life changing decisions have often been made when skiing.
Of course, the speed of the skis gave me a thrill, after I had warmed up. And I was soon off exploring the mountains, whilst exercising my calf muscles as I went. The pistes were well groomed and clearly marked out, but it was more crowded than I had expected. There are a mixture of runs, including black, and red.
The food on the mountains is affordable. So is the beer, at 6Lv. Although, like every other resort I have been too, everything is cheaper the further down the mountain you are.
The best food I tasted that week was in Uncle George's Restaurant, that was seriously off the beaten path. Best meal of the week in #Bansko . I followed up the starter with a #Bulgarian stew that melted in mouth.
The scenery was as usual awe inspiring, and the greeting Bansko loves you soon made me feel at home. Of course, most mountains look the same, and I had to remind myself that I was in Bansko, and not the Alps. My pictures on Facebook got lots of likes, and a noticeable "wow" comment. The one above got a "who is responsible for this" comment.
This was my first ski holiday in ten years. So I was also a bit ski-rusty. Now two days later I am skiing like a pro, and I am reminded of the importance of sun cream, and ski etiquette. (Apparently it is not good to ski over other peoples skies, not that I made this mistake.) As you can see I have sunburn in the picture, and look rough.
My legs ache of course, and I have the usual skiers solution to fall back on. Alcohol. It helps me to socialise. It quenches my thirst, and tastes better in the snow. It even helps me to ski better. (Or so it seems.) I even have the traditional sun burn, because of the light being reflected back by the white snow onto my face. Still nothing some after-sun can't take care off.
I chose this resort because it was cheap and party loving, and I have been out to a few of the bars.
The #Amigobar in Bansko was very crowded, but had an amazing atmosphere. Looking forward to going back there with friends and family.
The #Euphoria Bar and Grill I hated. I went in and got short changed for a beer. The charged me 5Lv for a beer, and then when I gave a 10LV, I was given no change, and the manageress on the till watched it happen and did nothing. And it got worse, because then I was rudely ordered to leave a seat, they wanted to save for a group, and was made to sit where I couldn't see the band. This kind of sucked, as I felt I was a paying customer like everybody else.
In my spare time, I have also swum in a pool in the hotel, which was something not costed into a holiday with #Oakhallskiing.
I am having a great time, and will probably come again next year.
Where else can you get a heated swimming pool in four star hotel for less than 800 pounds? Half Board? Including the lift-pass and equipment hire? And where else do you see two girls dancing on top of a jeep to pumped out music in the snow, during the middle of the day? I have been to other resorts but Bansko is truly awesome. Perhaps I will bring back my son Daniel and my nephew? Who knows?