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Bulgaria: Unfinished Business Kindle Edition
Geoff, his wife, their two horses and dog set out for Bulgaria in a thirty year old horsebox. At first the trip goes to plan, but as they get further into the journey things begin to unravel. Moving forward and back in time the book gives an account of the joys and the hazards they meet on this journey, whilst simultaneously telling the often hilarious story of Geoff’s ten year history with Bulgaria. Finally it deals with their current life with their animals in a small rural village in the foothills of the Balkans. It tells of the beauty of the region and describes their basic yet contented life amongst their Bulgarian neighbours. It is a story of characters and ways of life virtually forgotten in the West and shows that we have much to relearn about the joys of keeping things simple.
- ASIN : B0190IZ61A
- Publisher : Geoffrey Hart (December 5, 2015)
- Publication date : December 5, 2015
- Language : English
- File size : 1982 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 216 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,311,076 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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I love Bulgaria and this was an accurate, well told tale, often funny and in places heart achingly sad. It made me smile it made me laugh and it made me cry, it was interesting and amusing and I wanted to read until I finished it. Geoff is a talented writer he has a comedic and witty style which I found very easy to read. Highly recommended!
Top reviews from other countries
The book was an enjoyable read but I was in tears when something really sad happened ( I will not reveal) very poignant and a book written with real emotion, informative, sometimes funny, sometimes sad and factually accurate too. Geoff is an evocative writer with a comedic edge, I really enjoyed the book, it will appeal to anyone interested in buying into the Bulgarian dream!
I really enjoyed reading this book. It’s hard to categorise, which is part of its appeal, being partly travelogue, partly adventure, partly biographical, and containing bits of culture, philosophy and politics as well. In places it reads like a 19th century novel. The cast of characters could have been written by Dickens himself, had he ever been to Bulgaria, including smarmy estate agents, Uriah Heep type guides, and Tony as a Welsh Sam Weller from Pickwick Papers, as well as plenty of beautiful women and Kafka-esque touches like watch towers with armed state security guards atop and completely indifferent bureaucrats.
The book tells the story of Geoff and his friend Tony visiting Bulgaria to invest in property, starting in 2004, and weaves this with Geoff and his wife Marieluise travelling to Bulgaria and settling down there in 2014. It is insightful, humourous, quirky (I mean who would travel from one end of Europe to the other in a seven and a half ton horse box along with two horses and a dog!), and full of rich descriptions of the people they encounter.
The book is worth reading just for the insights it gives into Bulgarian people, bureaucracy, culture and customs, how to plan investing in a foreign country, what suddenly democratic countries face after years of dictatorship, and dealing with the ups and downs of travelling in such a country, as well as how to look after horses when travelling and how to run a stables. For seasoned travellers there are plenty of ‘ah, ha’ moments. I particularly liked the gratitude Geoff shows for all the kindnesses they received from strangers during their travels, and the descriptions of the various bars Geoff felt obliged to try out!
I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to travel in Eastern Europe, or indeed to anyone who enjoys travel books of any kind.
The story kicks off with the author and his wife starting a journey from Wales to Bulgaria with their two horses. I don’t know anything about transporting horses, but this struck me as one hell of an undertaking and so it proved. When things start to go wrong you can really feel the anxiety and I found myself worrying about how it would all turn out.
The sections about the author’s early encounters with the country when trying to buy and sell property are really funny, often quite bizarre, and give the reader a really good feel of what things were like.
The descriptions of the village where the author and his wife, along with their dog and horses, ended up living are really enchanting. I had no idea that there were still places in the European Union with no electricity or running water, although given how happy the villagers seem, one wonders why we get in such a state if we have no services for a few hours! As the book blurb suggests we can learn a lot from this book about the joys of keeping things simple.
Geoff narrates his journey undertaken with his wife, Marie Louise and their two horses, Flo and Guiness across Europe to
to the village of Tordorcheta in Bulgaria. En route the couple meet the like-minded and larger than life hosts Ursula and Sylvia. The process of
renovating their farm house is a labour of love. Their Bulgarian builder Nicky and his English speaking wife in due course become close friends. These personalities, along with the The village characters Nicolai 'The Honey man' not to mention the affable couple Gencho and Senka are truly representative of a Bulgaria with a beating, pulsating heart: what you see is what you get. The parallel narrative of Geoff's earlier 2014 quest to locate a property in Bulgaria adds an extra intriguing dimension. All in all this is a ripping yarn, but one that actually happened. Finished business?
The author describes the ridiculous situations he found himself in, often at the mercy of Bulgarian bureaucracy, and does this in a very amusing way that brings it all to life. Quite often I found myself laughing out loud. I particularly liked the absurd image of an Elvis impersonator in a blonde wig! I hope I get to see him.
The book does go on to say how beautiful the country is and one is left with the impression that the author loves the place. I am now sure that a holiday in Bulgaria is a good choice for me. I just hope I like it as much as I liked the book.