THE MAYOR OF GOSTILITSA & SLAVEYKOVO

This is our current mayor, Nadya Kukuryakova. Her office is on the right hand side on the road towards Burya just after you leave the main square. You can easily spot it by the flag outside.  Nadya speaks very good English and will be very pleased to meet you and to help in any way she can.

THE VILLAGE OF GOSTILITSA

Why do I love Gostilitsa?

As soon as I pass the sign saying Гостилица it feels like coming home.  I love putting on my scruffy 'galoshes' in the morning and taking a walk to the shop to buy a warm fresh loaf of bread to have with breakfast.  I love sipping my mug of tea in the early morning sun and saying good morning to the woman who walks past with her goats.  I love seeing the sun catching the bright yellow feathers of a golden oriole sitting high in a tree singing its weird hollow song.  I love hearing Baba Ivanka calling to her chickens as she lets them out amid a flurry of wing stretching and squawking.  I love the way her dog takes up her sentry position on top of the steps, wagging her tail madly if I go over to say hello.  I love the way I can sit out the front with the neighbours and just enjoy their company.  I love that when I look out of the window, I don't just see another house, I see fields... hills... mountains... sky.  I love that I can just walk out into the open countryside.  I love the abundance of wild food - how gorgeous to stroll along and pick wild plums to eat.  I love the evening scent of wood-smoke in the air.  I love watching the soft red glow of burning logs as they die down before bedtime.  For all these reasons and so many more, I love Gostilitsa.

 

USEFUL LINKS:

Bulgarian Wikipedia page about the village. Incredibly detailed.

Article by a visitor to Gostilitsa about village life in the 1950s

 

BOOK - Gostilitsa Past And Present

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There exists a book written in 1971, titled Гостилица В Миналото И Сега, written by Гинка Димкова and Николай Димков.  An online Bulgarian book site appears to sell copies for 30 levs, so if I ever figure out how to order one I'll do so.  Then all I need is another few thousand language lessons so I can translate it!  I bet it will be fascinating though.

Click this link to see some selected pages from the book.

 

NOVA TV

On Monday 15th February 2016, Nova TV featured Gostilitsa as part of its 'Na Kafe' morning show. You can see the village at the start of the video and again at around 10.25. (There is a possibility that this link may not be viewable outside of Bulgaria)

Click for video

FACILITIES IN GOSTILITSA

Shops:

In the main square, up the steep steps on the north side there is a large food shop.  They have a great selection of tinned, packaged and fresh food and are open all day.  Go there in the morning to pick up a nice fresh loaf for 35p to have with some honey for breakfast.  The place also serves as a bar and sells coffee (yes the terrible tiny cups of pure caffeine, or the nice milky 3 in 1 instant coffees for foreigners) or you can just buy a drink from the ones available and sit at the table to drink it. There are seats inside and out and a TV to watch. (43.023851, 25.368573​)

Partway up the road between the school and the special needs home is a second shop run by Didi, where you can get a range of packet food and chilled items. It's open from morning till late evening.  (43.023451, 25.369853)

  

Post Office:

The post office has now been moved to the room beneath the mayor's office, directly accessed from the street.  A new post office worker has now been appointed, and the post office is open Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri from 8am till 12 noon. Mail can be collected from here, just tell her your name.

You can still do all the normal post office things here including paying water and electricity bills. An example price is 1 lev to send a letter to the UK which in my experience has arrived after about a week. (Price as of December 2016)

 

Bars:

The bars are located in the aforementioned shops.  The bar in the main shop stays open during shopping hours. There are seats inside and out and the TV plays a variety of channels.  You can also purchase food from the shop to eat there.

 

The other one features a lovely outdoor seating area covered by a canopy of grape vines, with further tables and chairs inside. It has been fully renovated recently with clean, modern decor. They serve a wide range of drinks, crisps etc and will also do plates of chips, burgers, etc on request. It now offers free wifi and TV too. (43.023451, 25.369853)

(Closed until further notice) The third bar is on the opposite side of the square to the main shop.  There's a TV, a dart board and a regular group playing cards.  At one side is a small wood burning stove with armchairs and a sofa.  Snacks are available as well as a range of drinks.  (43.023467, 25.367887​)

 

Doctor:

Dr Diana Boteva has a surgery here on Monday 8am-12 noon and on Tuesday 1pm-5pm.  Leave the main square and head towards the school, keeping the school on your left.   Cross the street (which leads up to the Bob Marley bar) and enter the grounds of the building on this corner.  There is sometimes an ambulance parked outside and there is a circular shaded seating area in the garden too.  Walk past the building itself keeping to the right side of it and at the back turn left up a short flight of steps and left again into the building.  On the door is a timetable of when the doctor visits various villages.  The first room is the waiting room.  If no one else is there, go through into the next room and knock on the door to let the doctor know you're there. (43.023118, 25.370295)

THE SAGE OF GOSTILITSA

"Мъдрецът от Гостилица"

BNT documentary featuring Gostilitsa, as an elderly gentleman talks about the village and also visits Bozhentsi and Dryanovo Monastery.

 

WATER CRISIS!

This news article dates back to 2006 before the water mains system was radically updated.  Thankfully the situation is much improved now.  When on holiday there one September we had no mains water for pretty much the full two weeks.  Going to a public well each day to fill bottles was a bit of an adventure for two tourists but for the people living here permanently, especially the elderly, it must have been a nightmare.

Водна криза в с. Гостилица

CHEESE

There used to be a dairy next to the river Yantra which produced a Gostilitsa cheese:

It now makes products from snails!

 

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