Kleptuza must be the most powerful water source in the Valley of many. Its waters are coming out of the abyss right beside a major establishment, going through an arch of sorts and pouring into an artificial lake. A restaurant division has been installed right on the placid waters making it the best location in town for digesting food. Pleasure boats are up for hire and the locals are taking full advantage, unwittingly entertaining the less fortunate ones who have opted for a variety of anesthetics in the shape of different alcohol, dogging the sunrays under a pinkish canvass. Order time comes sooner or later and the suggestion is of course, trout, fresh from the nursery, just kitty corner from the lake. It couldn’t be fresher but do not insist on seeing the living conditions of these creatures beforehand or you might be dissuaded from eating them. (No proof on this account, just witnessing strange white substance coming out of the nursery gently joining Kleptuza on its way to the sea.) The ordering dealt with, it is time to check the “facilities”. The waiter offered two options one of them called “al Jazeera” probably referring to its presumed eastern set-up with the mistress of the establishment in front, watching the prospective customers pass by. A clever trick involves possession of scales so people can measure their weight-watcher achievements before they have overindulged into some serious gourmet crime.
Restaurant outing could often turn into a boisterous, benevolent orgy for all senses. Many establishments offer live music with dance shows which gradually descend into let’s-get-everybody-up-to-dance exercise. It is fun and lots of it especially when it ends up being the luck of the draw, totally out of the blue. In the process you might discover quite unexpectedly some compatriots of yours, trying to shake their love handles and other shapely blabber just like the professionals (not that they have any of those). As they say, the world is a small place.
I spent there an hour and a half guided by the keeper of the museum and I really learnt a lot.
One exposition is archeology. Velingrad is in West Rodopi and this region has been inhabited of the Thracians (The Bessi) 6-8 centuries b. c. and now archeologist find their heritage in vessels, dishes, drawings and pictures, etc.
Then come the two wholes dedicated on Vela Peeva’s life.By the way the museum is located in the house of her family.
Other exposition is for ethnographic arts – large number of clothes, dishes and instruments of living could be found there.
There is a hall with Easter egg exposition. The region is popular with the art of colouring the eggs. You can see also different techniques of painting from other East European countries.
The last exposition is dedicated on Nicolay Gyaurov’s life. He was a great bass opera singer, and he’s accepted as bass number 1 in the planet.
There is so much you could learn in the museum, I have been several times before in Velingrad but never expected that there are so many interesting facts about it.
The church was built in 1816, the oldest church in the town. There was an Islamic rule in that time – it was forbidden to build belfry in churches. So it was made in 1878 after the Liberation.
The church is small but with very nice paintings inside.
Kleptuza is the biggest karst spring in Bulgaria, and is also a symbol of Velingrad .It is surrounded by restaurants and I suppose it’s very pleasant to have a dinner in the summer. Although I’ve been only in winter, this place is still beautiful.
A hundred meters above the lake, on a hill, there is a small chapel and a lot of space for barbeque and picnics.
This was amazing park I accidently found and that’s why I have no idea about the name. I heard later that it is the garden of the Palace. And the palace is an expensive hotel on the top of the hill. After the Historical museum I took a walk to the center and I passed through that park. There is a pine forest, a chapel, playground, alleys, wooden pavilions and alleys for walking. Years ago there has been a summer cinema but now is tumbled- down.
The fortress is located around 10 km far from the city.It was found in the Middle ages and in the beginning it used to be a self Kingdom.Later in IX-th century it became part of Bulgaria. In 1373 it was one of the last fortresses that fell under Ottoman slavery. This is where it comes the name of village Chepino from and also the valley around - "Tsepina - Chepino"