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Old January 20th, 2010, 12:26 PM   #861
panda80
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Nice and traffic free expressway:













Huge bridge over Ardas river:



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Old January 20th, 2010, 01:58 PM   #862
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Continuing to the bulgarian border:













Just 8km to Bulgaria:

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Old January 20th, 2010, 02:35 PM   #863
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In the border area:









Unfortunately it was prohibited to take pictures near the border gates. So we are already in Bulgaria. Road is 2+2 for a few kms:





But soon becomes a normal 1+1 near Svilengrad:



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Old January 20th, 2010, 02:57 PM   #864
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On the bypass of Svilengrad:





Out of Svilengrad:



Intersection with A1 (Maritza motorway):





Pastrogor is the first village on the national road 55, from Svilengrad. The road is rehabilitated till the intersection with NR76:



Continuing on NR55:

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Old January 20th, 2010, 03:16 PM   #865
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Nice winding road through a hilly area:





Probably the runway of a former airport?





Back to a normal 1+1 road:







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Old January 20th, 2010, 03:25 PM   #866
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panda80 View Post
Interesting, I think I found it, route 55 between Svilengrad and Mladinovo?

[IMG]http://i50.************/2la3mkk.jpg[/IMG]
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Old January 20th, 2010, 03:40 PM   #867
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Yes, this is it!

When I was in Turkey in 2007 our guide told us that between Burgas and Svilengrad the road passes on a former airport runway, and I think this must be. He told us there are many small airports in Bulgaria used in the communist era to export fruit and vegetables, even to Western Europe (the guide mentioned The Netherlands). I don't know more about it I will try to find something on web.

Last edited by panda80; January 20th, 2010 at 03:49 PM.
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Old January 20th, 2010, 03:50 PM   #868
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NR 55 intersects with NR 76. We take NR 76 to Topolovgrad:



Asphalt is quite bad, but not very bad, on NR 76:















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Old January 20th, 2010, 04:36 PM   #869
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Impressive pics especially those close to Greek-Bulgarian border! We are talking about the most deserted - abandoned area of the whole country of Greece, the most northern part where very few greeks have been, unless they have served there their army duty. The free highway is really nice, I think trucks dont prefer this gate...
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Old January 20th, 2010, 08:58 PM   #870
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowman159 View Post
Very nice trip report!

Some of that yellow on green text is impossible to read. Is it really that bad when you drive there or is it just the photos?
As I said in a previous message they do not seem to be so bad. Anyway, they have been using yellow for Greek fonts and white for Roman fonts since the mid-1950's. Before all signs used to be white with black letters - if there were any signs at all!
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Old January 20th, 2010, 11:10 PM   #871
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Good to see that Istanbul is signed on the A1 in Bulgaria
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Old January 21st, 2010, 09:05 AM   #872
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timon91 View Post
Good to see that Istanbul is signed on the A1 in Bulgaria
Yes, Istanbul is signed at least from Plovdiv (I saw that sign), if not earlier, after Sofia, on bulgarian A1. In Sofia they sign also Belgrade.
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Old January 21st, 2010, 09:09 AM   #873
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Now let's continue with pics.
Topolovgrad:







Instead of the main road to Yambol, I choosed the secondary one (road 7602). Bad pavement, but 12km shorter than the road through Elhovo. Also a more spectacular landscape:



















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Old January 21st, 2010, 10:06 AM   #874
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The road becomes a 1-lane one for some kms:







Nice view:



The road widens back to a normal 1+1:









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Old January 21st, 2010, 10:27 AM   #875
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panda80 View Post

Probably the runway of a former airport?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Interesting, I think I found it, route 55 between Svilengrad and Mladinovo?
Quote:
Originally Posted by panda80 View Post
Yes, this is it!

When I was in Turkey in 2007 our guide told us that between Burgas and Svilengrad the road passes on a former airport runway, and I think this must be. He told us there are many small airports in Bulgaria used in the communist era to export fruit and vegetables, even to Western Europe (the guide mentioned The Netherlands). I don't know more about it I will try to find something on web.

Interesting photos Panda You're quite an adventurer since you choice 2nd class roads to travel on your way back.

The place where this airport runway is was known in the past as the "Bermuda triangle"(оr "the triangle of death") with the angles being at Grudovo, Elhovo and Bolyarovo. It was an area with a lot of the toughest military outposts and the worst place a youngster could be sent to spent his military service in... but now all that is just a story from the past as we no longer have a required military service for all male citizens of the country. I have never been in that part of the country so thank you for the pictures.
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Old January 21st, 2010, 10:38 AM   #876
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Why is there no traffic in Bulgaria? I see like one car driving on those pics. Maybe it's the Bulgarian Outback
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Old January 21st, 2010, 10:42 AM   #877
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The route of Panda so far is mainly out of the main roads... so probably this explains why there is such a little traffic.
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Old January 21st, 2010, 10:46 AM   #878
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Why is there no traffic in Bulgaria? I see like one car driving on those pics. Maybe it's the Bulgarian Outback
I think there are 2 reasons for that:

1) I choose mainly secondary roads to travel to Braila, at least from Svilengrad to Yambol.

2) It was saturday 2nd of January, immediately after New Years Eve.

However, Omurtag-Shumen (part of E772 Sofia-Varna) had lot of traffic. I don't have pictures from that road as it was already dark.
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Old January 21st, 2010, 10:52 AM   #879
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Sredna Gora mountains in the distance:







From Roza to Yambol, pavement is of good quality:



Yambol city in the distance:



We enter the city:



Pavement is really bad inside the city:



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Old January 21st, 2010, 10:54 AM   #880
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How do you communicate with people in Bulgaria and Greece? Do they speak some English?
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