Brasov: Exploring the Cinematic Charms of Transylvania, RomaniaOctober 10, 2023
San Pellegrino Terme, Italy: The One With the WaterOctober 12, 2023
Русе, Bulgaria. Known as the most significant Bulgarian river port and 5th largest city in Bulgaria
Ruse: Where Elegance Intertwines with History
Ruse, a quaint little spot in Bulgaria, is located on the border of Romania, separated only by the Danube. Boasting some imposing brutalist architecture and bygone grandeur, ornate facades showcase many styles, including Neo-Baroque, Neo-Rococo, and Neo-Classic. Due to this menagerie of styles, Ruse is another destination awarded the nickname “Little Vienna”, drawing in many tourists.
The Municipality Hall strikes a domineering silhouette and provides a stark contrast with the older buildings just along the street. Remember to look up and admire the details – many buildings feature easily missed, delicate features.
The Ruse State Theatre is worth a visit, whether for the architecture or a show, it is beautiful. Many shows are much cheaper than you expect so don’t be afraid to try something new, it might only cost you the equivalent of a London coffee.
Another recommendation is the Rousse Regional Historical Museum. Said to consist of over 140,000 items, their collections display a vast array of artifacts ranging from prehistoric mammal bones to Thracian helmets, you are sure to find something of interest within its walls. There are also open-air exhibits, be sure to check those out, too!
Strolling around in the searing heat, the fountains in the park provided a brief relief as the spray flicked up. Many opportune places to sit and multiple restaurants around, meant that there was no shortage of respite, whatever your fancy. Annoyingly, I can’t recall where I ate but I never had a bad meal at any of the establishments here. See the picture of the cake, it was lovely! My trusty travel toothbrush meant my sweet tooth didn't cause me any issues.
A walk through the square, the side streets or even just along the riverfront, is a sure-fire way to soak up the atmosphere. There are restaurants and shops galore and if you aren’t impressed enough by with the buildings, take a look at the natural beauty on offer. Mladezhki Park is a walkable distance form the main square, whilst Rusenski Lom Nature Park is about a 30-minute drive.
Crossing Borders by Train
My journey to Ruse marked my first cross-country excursion using an Interrail ticket. I had flown to Sibiu then used the Interrail within Romania. Having never crossed a border on a train, I had no idea what to expect. It turned out to be a lengthy process. Border security stopped the train both sides of the river and each country carried out thorough passport checks. Carriage by carriage, we were stripped of our passports then held until each and every one had been meticulously stamped and returned to its rightful owner. Make sure you have your passport to hand, be polite and engaging even if you do not fully understand the instruction – wilful ignorance is not, and should not, be tolerated. Stay on the train, no matter how tempted you might be to step off for a quick break.
So, whether you're captivated by its architectural elegance, cultural offerings, or natural beauty, this city promises a rich and fulfilling experience. A few days is enough to get a taste of what’s on offer, but you will not be bored if you choose to stay longer. Consider taking day trips to nearby destinations, such as Sofia, if you feel you have exhausted your options. Ruse provides an ideal starting point for many adventures.