Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Daytrip From Plovdiv To the UFO - Buzludzha

Plovdiv ended up being one of those black holes where you find it so hard to leave due to the batches of people that comes into the hostel and all chilled out together. After the first night getting my ass whooped by the Casino in Plovdiv I returned to the hostel after a kebab and was just hanging around and conversation was sparking in the common room.

Not the kind of conversation that sparks only within the group, but the kind that somehow encompass and draws in any passer-by into the fold. I still slept early thou since my mind was still recovering from the loss in the casino working the numbers. Next day the first person I remembered in Plovdiv was Yerg a Canadian that was studying in the UK and was doing a hitchhiking mission around Eastern Europe.
He told me about a little group plan of renting a car and going to an abandon building somewhere. Groggily, I just said sure why not … count me in. Oh but wait we need to check if there is still space in the car he said. I was not bothered and was about to leave for the 11 am walking tour when someone backed out and suddenly I was hunted down and it was decided I was going to the abandon building. At this point I did not even know where I was going and whom was going …. Other than Yerg.

The crew was me, Yerg from Canada, Yebba from Australia, Ecila from Australia and Arrav from Germany.
So where are we going again?

Renting a car we had to take a cab to the car rental place and then there was the debate of who was going to drive and insurance and such. I was so rusty in driving manual that I was not keen on doing it.

How old are you?
They were all babbies about 22 and I was the only old one of 31. If insurance requirement force it I would definitely be driving. Thankfully thou there were quite lax in Bulgaria and Ecila wanted to drive so I step back and take the easy carefree way and of course became the navigator.

The UFO - Buzludzha
The Road to Buzludzha
On the road, and by some luck we manage to depart around 2pm with all the procrastination. Chatter sparkle and among all that shit we finally reach the abandon UFO building which at this time I had gotten the larger picture of the story.

It was used to be the communism headquarters of Bulgaria and when communism fall it was left behind to be abandon. The place was in ruins but ruins in the top a hill overlooking amazing greenery. There was also rumours or speculation that there was underground bunkers and many sub levels that is hidden and uncharted ….. and we also brought spray paint to further ease along the ruins into its demise …
Buzludzha - Plovdiv

Buzludzha - Plovdiv
We arrived in good time with me Navigating not much lost was going on now that I have access to google map with GPS and Ecila was a good driver for a 22 year old surprisingly. The UFO we were calling it now and no longer Buzludzha or whatever it was actually called. (It was hard to pronounce)

The UFO was scary at first for me going in. Outside it looked ok for an abandon structure but going in I saw all the exposed reinforcement bars at the bottoms of the beams and shit. I knew it was bad and was careful where I walked below and above. After about 10 minutes I just realized it’s pointless to worry so much and started to enjoy the place. I also told myself that this place was built in the old era hence would have been probably over design anyway. Still some places was crumbling apart.
Car Parked outside the Buzludzha

Graffiti outside the Buzludzha Building

UFO Buzludzha
The Entry Point into Buzludzha
The interior of the UFO monument was like a stadium. Graffiti scatter all over the place but also the main dome circle was covered with beautiful mosaic graffiti. After admiring the place for a while we all picked out spray cans and went our separate ways finding untouched canvas only to meet up again to swap colours.

Art is not an easy thing …. Lovely to see and easy to feel like one can fall into the zone and love of all things artistic like a person on drugs, a free soul for a moment not remembering the hardship of life and responsibility. Hence when we all started spray painting it was nowhere near any of the master piece we imagined. (Note non of the pictures below were spray painted by us-We deny any wrongdoings)
The Dome of the Buzludzha

Mosaic Art Inside the Buzludzha

Mosaic Art Inside the Buzludzha

Crumbling Building - Buzludzha
You know those shows where there are two kind of artist soul? The free soul that do random things, is in line with his chakra and yoga and talks and dress like a spiritual atheism and everyone around them go OHMMMMM …. This one produce shit ….. or in a way we were mostly either in that zone or trying to pretend to be in that zone.
The second one the tormented soul, quiet and slow but when no one is looking produces masterpiece even if it’s only graffiti was what we were aiming for …. Alas tourist with a limited time with no clear picture in his or her mind cannot produce such pieces.

Once all the art had left our body it was time to explore the underpassages way …. Down and down and round and round and into every door and nooks and corner. Soon we found a mini shrine of someone who had once died we presume inside the place. Further, deeper and then we saw the start of the Blood Games.

Legend has it that there were tunnels going deep underground from the UFO building that no one knows where it goes. Blood Games sounded scary and the entrance to that tunnels was apparently the blood games entrance a game of life and death for one could get lost in there and never come out. Added with the mini shrine it was imprinted in our head that someone did really go in there probably on a dare and lost his way and died …. F*cking scary I would say …. And the small shape of the tunnel beginning of blood games that was so small one had to crawl did not help either ….
No one died that day and we moved on to the elevator shaft climbing all the way up to the top of the tower. For an abandon building it was an amazing experience especially with the group we had 

Amazing Views on the top Tower of Buzludzha

Amazing Views on the top Tower of Buzludzha
Before we know it we had spend nearly 5 hours in the UFO … sunset was approaching and we without knowing was bloody hungry.  Heading back from the UFO I went for a detour towards Kanzalak thinking we could get food before reaching back to Plovdiv. Along the highway passing by many many sunflowers we just needed to stop and let the girls go dancing in the sunflower field. If life was like a hippy movie, we were in it.

Yebba walk up the car carrying one humongous sunflower and an oncoming traffic car slowed down, pop his head out and said something to us in Bulgarian sternly … we were all a bit terrified since we had no idea what he was saying for one, and if it was a bad thing to pick up sunflowers in sunflower field ….
Yebba being the ignorant little girl she was sheepheshly still cling on to the sunflower walking out of the field into plain sight testing her boundaries of how far she could get away with things. Yerg was desperately trying to explain that she pick it up from the floor and did not broke it off its stem. I had no idea if that was a true story or not but hell it was a good explanation.
After like 2 minutes of total alien conversation the driver asked the word “ Tourist ?? “ … yes we said and named the country we were from and a big smile lit up the driver face and also along his friends in the car …. A big thumbs up and a big smile he wave us goodbye and all of us bolted into the car with the sunflower still in hand and drove off.
Sunflower Sunflower everywhere

By this time I was really hungry …. While the young uns of twenties could live of chakra and energy vibe … I needed food. It was nearly 9pm now and the sun was setting quick getting dark. 2 hours drive to Plovdiv …. With no dinner ….. we saw a building or shack or house approaching as we drove which stood out as there was nothing else around but fields of sunflowers.

Slowing down we strain our eyes to see if it was a restaurant or just a house and viola it was a restaurant, a good cheap one indeed with even Bulgarian singing performance. Now that we were in the restaurant everyone realized they were hungry and smashed all the food we could eat. Delicious was beyond doubt but also it was so dirt cheap.

After meal we head back to Plovdiv … a long drive of two hours but as I look out the window and checking out the stars, we decided to find a place to pull over and gaze upon them for a while. The main highway or road was just a one way lane with no street light going through rows and rows of sunflower. Needless to say at pitch black as it is it was an amazing view of the star in the night ….

Seeing the Milky Way with the naked eye.

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