When Im driving around Europe as many times as I do by rental car its really handy seeing a Lidl (as much as I dont use them when Im home in London as I prefer to support British rather than importers from Europe - also Ive been told their work and staff ethics are a bit to be desired) - theres always parking so its easy to just drive in and then pick up some supplies while Im on the go.
Great for utilising when travelling on both money and time budgets - great for drinks and snacks and stuff to keep you going on the go when driving out seeing the sights - and items that you might not have had room in your luggage for - or for example flying with only onboard luggage and therefore not allowed fluid items over 100mls - items here are usually at discounted prices or budget brands sold cheapr than the usual big name brands.
Also great if you are staying at youth hostels with selfcatering facilites where you can buy supplies to cook or use a fridge - or if you are happy to eat out of cans from your hotel room!...believe me Ive done that of course when Im on my own, over done the day and arrived at accommodation late at night and running out of time or just wanting to save some funds...a good selection of wines and beers is also a good example of what might be needed...
When I was still using 35mm film Lidl was always great for getting 36 exp 200 asa Fuji or Agfa or Konika film for pretty cheap all over whatever European country I kept taking excess shots in....
and often stocked with interesting products from around Europe that have been part of my cultural exploration - for example Jamon Serrano ie Serrano ham that was famed in the area I got to know when driving around the Sierra Morena in Spain but seen in many Lidls around Europe
Many times theres signposts advertising a Lidl or Aldi - which is a similar competitor - so theyre generally easy to find - so there is one here in Bansko
Bansko is currently undergoing a craze of real estate development and almost every new building, even those that don't look like they'll ever be completed, seems to have "For Sale" signs. This one though - hmmm, I'll have to think about!!
What to pay: 400 euros per square metre does look like a bargain tho'!
This is one that caught my eye just after I'd passed the rows of ski hire places with their multi-flourescent ergo-dynamically engineered offerings. I reckoned that these would go perfectly with my designer ski outfit - pic #2
What to buy: Well obviously skis but a tuba and a "parp-parp" horn might come in handy too?
What to pay: No Idea - but I bet they're not cheap!
Despite Bulgaria's (and most of the rest of the world's) current economic recession (Jan 2010) its certainly not stopping the building of shopping malls - Varna has another one almost ready to open, Plovdiv has another currently being built and here in Bansko a brand new one has just opened. These aren't really my thing but this one is located out towards the ski centre and has a range of what look like upmarket shops and restaurants. More usefully the whole building is a free WiFi hotspot.
It's too new for me to find any details so maybe this VT page will head to top of the Google list for Mall searches in Bansko ;)
there are so many shops for sport wear in Bansko. Mostly you can find wear for ski and snowboard. The prices are a little bit more expensive than in the big city but if you forget something to buy there is a huge variety of goods.
Maria bought a brightly coloured blanket from this lovely local lady,it was a great 30 minutes,we didnt speak Bulgarian,she didnt speak any English,but hey it was graet fun.
What to buy: Lots of colourful knitwear.
What to pay: £8 for a blanket,and 30 minutes of hilarity.,Priceless.
Free maps of the Pirin park can be found at the tourist office (Nikola Vaptsorov place), at bookstalls in town or at the Pirin national park office. One of these maps isThe National Park Pirin map and discribes and maps the primary hikingtrails. this free leafted contains a coulorfull and detailed map and is printed in English by the ministery of environment and waters. Another map is the yellow Bansko handout printed by the Pirin toursim forum. this map provides detailed discriptions of hikes in the mountains. So, for short hikes these maps are satisfying. If you plan to do a far more longer hike and are planning to leave the main trails, you better buy the only accurate and detailed hikingmap of the whole mountain region, that is the Pirin Map (1:55,000), this map is however printed in Cyrillic.
At the House museum of Nikola Vaptsorov (Nikola Vaptsorov square) you have a Crafts and Textile Exhibition, exposing local art and crafts. Here you can, if you are interested, by items such as embroidered souvenirs (price about 10 lv) and traditional ***rs (price about 30 lv)
A small supermarket opposite the Banderitsa Hotel,lots of food and beer,very reasonable prices.
What to pay: 2 pint bottle of local beer for 2 levs,Bargain