We finally managed a few days away at the end of September courtesy of a friend who very kindly looked after the animals for us. We had great plans...'let's drive down to Greece and lie on a beach...' (we do miss being near the sea after having been ten minutes' away from it in the UK). The weather didn't look so great, but we headed on down to Halkidiki, planning to stop at a lovely looking little hotel in Arnaia. The village was very pretty, set in the hills, with lovely historical buildings. We sat down to a lunch of Souvlaki (pork shish), Tzatziki (mlechna salata), Greek salad with feta (Shopska with cirene)...and it was only twice the price of Bulgaria...

It subsequently turned out that the hotel we wanted was closed and there were no responses to our call or email. Ah well...we looked at the museum buildings...they were closed. We stayed at  another ok hotel, but they wanted to charge us nine euro for tea, coffee and two pastries the following morning, on top of the inflated room rate. The weather still sucked. So, rather than drive down to the coast, we turned around and came back to Bulgaria and headed for beautiful Melnik. 

The welcome was friendlier, the food and wine was better, the weather was better and we understood the language! We'll stick to Bulgaria for our short breaks in the future!