SHOPPING IN DRYANOVO

If you get the minibus from the village into Dryanovo it will take you along the main high street, ending outside the big old dark wooden building (Lafchiva House - the only surviving three storey house from the Revival Period). (42.979464, 25.476618​)

There are numerous shops along this street.  In some of the general food stores you can buy some nice cuts of fresh meat. About halfway along the high street there is a good hardware store. It has a small parking area outside.  I bought a plug for the sink for 1 lev and 10 metres of plastic sheeting to cover my winter wood for 5 levs. (The price is per kilo). (42.977798, 25.475801​)

Further along are Euro shops.  I must admit when I first saw them I thought they were the equivalent of Poundland with everything costing exactly one euro.  This is not the case but they do stock a fascinating selection of things you never knew you needed until you saw and fell in love with them.  I'm a sucker for these kinds of shops, after all who's going to miss a lev or two, and usually leave armed with half a dozen exciting pieces of tut.

If you work your way downhill into the town you will come across the CBA supermarket which sells a reasonable range of goods. (42.977798, 25.475801) Personally, if you're going to do a big shop I think you're better off travelling further to Gabrovo or Sevlievo to one of the Billa, Lidl or Kaufland supermarkets.

If you exit the CBA store and turn left, cross the road and turn down the first side street, you will see some metal garden gates.  In here is an excellent vets (42.973608, 25.474939​)  As well as treatments you can buy food and other pet things.  Examples of prices (2012):

Flea drops for a cat - 9 lev one dose or small bottle of spray 28 levs

Cat spaying with dissolving stitches - 64 levs

Cat vaccination (initial ones not boosters) - 35 levs including rabies jab.

Booster vaccine for cats - 18 levs

Male dog castration - 30 levs (2015)

European pet passport - 6 levs

MARKETS

GABROVO: 

In Gabrovo there is an excellent fruit and veg market which as far as I'm aware operates daily.  As well as a wide range of seasonal produce, there are also stalls selling herbs and spices, dried beans, honey, and flowers.  Surrounding the market are a range of small shops selling a variety of things such as shoes, bags, household goods and snacks.  The market is situated  a bit further on than Billa supermarket, near the two big churches and the pedestrianised area. (42.874061, 25.319599​)

Coming from Gostilitsa, as you enter Gabrovo there is quite a big crossroads with a right turn that leads over a wide bridge.  Follow this road all the way down the hill and you will come to another Lidl.  Across the road from here there is a Saturday market selling clothes and other goods as well as fruit and veg. (42.874061, 25.319599​)

Walk along the pedestrian zone and you will soon see a stall selling hundreds of magazines and puzzle books all laid out on tables on the street.  Walk into the shop area here and you will come to an indoor meat and fish market with about 8 small stalls selling a good variety of fish and meat (take a dictionary).  You can even select live fish from a tank - not sure if they kill it for you before you take it home! (42.873248, 25.319248​)

SEVLIEVO:

On Friday there is a big outdoor market just as you enter Sevlievo from the direction of Gostilitsa.  There are dozens of stalls selling everything imaginable, from clothing, toys, material, tools and souvenirs, to second-hand goods, cars and even weapons. As they say in Bulgaria "От пиле мляко". (43.022031, 25.105752​).

On Friday there is a lovely fruit and veg market a bit further in from the other market. (43.024031, 25.101033)

DRYANOVO:

On Saturday there is a big fruit and veg market down near the Park Dryanovo Hotel.  There are also stalls selling clothes, tools, odds and ends etc. (42.976564, 25.477621​)

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SUPERMARKETS

Just as you enter Gabrovo there is a Billa supermarket. (42.880917, 25.320178​) Don't forget your 20 or 50 stotinki coin for the trolley and a bunch of carriers if you don't want to have to buy more.  When I first came to Bulgaria they seemed very keen that you didn't take bags into the stores and would make you put your things in the little lockers at the entrance.  They don't seem so tight with this rule now though.  There's a full range of goods here and I think the prices are reasonable.  I quite often buy the 'Clever' brand which I think is their own value range.  It always tastes fine to me anyway.  Make sure to buy pork steaks coated in either the green or red spicy sauces. No idea what's in it but they are SO tender and flavoursome.  I quite often try some of the different types of salamis and hams at the deli counter and if you're very lucky they will have samples loaded onto cocktail sticks for you to try.  If you buy fruit and veg remember to weigh it on the scales and print off the price label.  This includes cucumbers which are sold be weight not per unit.  I always forget this! Ask at the check-out for an application for a store loyalty card (Karta na Billa) and you'll get the cheaper price for any goods on special offer.

Just before you get to Billa there is a side road leading to a huge Kaufland store.  The variety of goods sold here is enormous (think Tesco Superstore) and the prices are good.  As well as food there are seasonal goods, household items, clothes and useful knick-knack items.  I got a small plastic tray for Molly's food bowls for 1.99 levs. (42.883417, 25.321058​)

Next to the bus station there is a Lidl store.  It's exactly like the Lidls at home and can be good for getting meat on special offer.  There are some other things I like to buy here like the UHT milk, cartons of cream and packs of chunky sliced ham.  The tinned goods tend to be competetively priced too. (42.881357, 25.316638​)

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GENERAL HOME STORES

There are three big stores in Veliko Tarnovo which might prove useful if you're looking for a convenient way to buy household essentials such as bedding, crockery, tools etc.

PRAKTIKER

Located on the main road from the village of Шимшево (Shimshevo) into VT, near the double roundabout. You can get a loyalty card at the desk if you want to earn points but anyone can shop here without the card. It's generally more expensive than a lot of the smaller shops but it does have a wide selection of DIY things all in one place and also sells a range of gardening and homeware items. (43.073089, 25.613848​)

JYSK

If you go to the left of Praktiker (still in the car park) and through the automatic doors you'll see some escalators to your right. Down here is another store selling household items such as bedding, furniture, kitchenware etc. There's also a CBA down here for food shopping. (43.073073, 25.614985​)

METRO

This is a cash and carry store on the road out of VT heading towards Sofia. You need a card to shop here but its easy to get one presuming you bought your house through a company. Just take your company documents, especially the Bulstat number, and your ID card along. The woman behind the desk fills everything out and then you get your card. They sell a great range of household, garden and DIY stuff here and also have a big food section where you can find some good bargains, especially if you want to buy a 50kg sack of sugar! (43.08279, 25.594729​)

BORSA

Another DIY place which also has a small range of kitchenware, lots of bathroom units, showers etc, and a good range of woodburner stoves/ovens.  Everything is on display and you write down the reference number for what you want and then take it to one of the central desks.  The assistant then checks to see if what you want is in stock, puts the order in on the computer and takes your payment (no credit cards as far as I'm aware).  If it's just a few smallish items they will go and collect them for you and bring them to the payment desk, for anything large you need to go to one of the collection bays out in the car park area.  Prices here can be very good. (43.085386, 25.608517)

DIY

(These are some of the places I've used - it's not meant to imply these are the only or the best sources to use)

ROOF TILES:

In Gabrovo on the road that leads to Sevlievo, just opposite the Technomarket store there is a builders' yard selling quite a variety of roof tiles and wood.  I bought some ridge tiles for the house for 2.15 levs each.  The place is run by a father and son team and the son speaks some English. I got some coloured metal roofing sheets here for the balcony. (42.88848, 25.294674​).

BUILDING SUPPLIES:

Next to Lidl in Gabrovo, near the bus station, there is a road of little shops, many of which sell DIY things from nails and screws to gardening tools, stove pipes, cement etc. (42.881381, 25.316307)

Enter Dryanovo by taking the first left and as you come down past a couple of shops you come to a big junction with a left turn to Triavna.  Cross the bridge and take the first left down to a builder's yard.  They have lots of different kinds of timber, sand, gravel, roof tiles, bricks etc and at least one of the men there speaks good English.  A lot of the prices are written up on a chalk board but of course they will also tell you the price.  Delivery to Gostilitsa (as of April 2013) is 25 levs. (42.975842, 25.480599​)

There's another one up the other end of Dryanovo as if you were heading to Gabrovo. Before you get to the Shell garage there's a little side road going down behind a car parts shop. This is a smaller builder's yard but still with a decent selection of basics and I think the delivery is only 10 levs to Gostilitsa. (42.971049, 25.455063​)

See also general home stores mentioned in the above section.

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