So after the wonderful walking tour of Veliko Tarnovo, we rolled the dice and went on the free walking tour of Plovdiv. It started off fine, our guide seemed knowledgable and he wasn’t really the problem. The problem was this tour had one of those people that have to ask questions all the time. You know the ones that are really not related to anything, or where they ask a question to which the guide had already given the answer and they clearly had not listened.
So we started the tour near the old Roman stadium. The Roman stadium was discovered by accident and its literally buried under the main walking street of Plovdiv. There are a few places you can see it including in the basement of a shopping mall. The plan is to excavate as much as possible under the walkway and have a two tiered walkway along the length of the stadium. Of course existing building foundations will need to be stabilised also, but sounds like it will be impressive when completed. The guide mentioned there are 12 such stadiums known in the world so they know how big it is and where its likely to be found underground. This is when the question lady started. “So how do you know how long it is. I guess if you can work out from the curve you know how wide it is, but how can you know how long it is?”. Yes those comprehending my blog will realise the answer is because the others are all the same length and size!
We then went to the old mosque, which is fairly unique, because most mosques these days have a single dome and this one has nine. The question lady had a question about this also, “How do I get inside?”. Claire and I both thought, you walk around and find the door and either walk inside or ask if you could go inside, apparently this isn’t obvious to everyone. The tour progressed and the questions got worse and the rest of the group rolled their eyes a lot more. We walked through the old town and then to the Roman Amphitheatre which was discovered when a landslide was cause due to a road tunnel they were digging back in the 1970’s. We didn’t go in today, but plan to go tomorrow. Question lady then had a question, “So when did they discover this?”. As you can tell is she listened a bit more the questions might be less or better.
The guide was really nice, you could tell that it was annoying him too. You win some and you lose some in these tours and thats why I’m hoping my tour of Morocco has a good group of people.
We then had lunch and thought a lie down on the grass in the lovely Tsar Simeon park would be nice. That was until an old lady threatened to call the police on us and we got up. It looks like the grass in this park is strictly forbidden to be used for anything other than looking at. A very weird experience if you ask me. There were no signs either explaining if we were breaking a rule or not, but erred on the side of caution.
Lying down on that grass sounds akin to sleeping near Bhutanese flag Justin! (You should/just have to know these things lad!)