Bulgaria pre-research tips

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jackalnxt
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Re: Bulgaria pre-research tips

#11 Post by jackalnxt » 25 Jan 2019 20:54

Now that we've done the East and West side, it's time to round out the country with the Southern part. As an ideal route, I have chosen this one: https://www.google.bg/maps/dir/43.22077 ... !3e0?hl=en
= From Lukovit to Sofia, the road is pretty straightforward. After that, the roads around Sofia split up in several directions. I have also followed the logic that there will be 2 border crossings with each neighboring country (except for Romania):
== E80 towards Dragoman and the Serbian border. This is the main border post between the two countries (recall the previously suggested route at Vrashka Chuka).
=== While driving on this road, you are bound to pass by the town of Slivnitsa. It has a distinctive war memorial from the Serbo-Bulgarian war: https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.861451,2 ... 6656?hl=en
=== The memorial: https://bg.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A1%D0 ... sa_E80.JPG
== A3, aka 'Struma' highway. This goes South towards the Greek border. Note: some parts of the highway are still under construction and one of the main ideas is to have a long tunnel underneath the mountains. Nothing is set in stone however.
== The two roads that lead to (now officially) Northern Macedonia - main at E871, that passes through Kyustendil; and route 198 which is a much smaller road, that passes through Petrich.
= After Plovdiv we have a split at the town of Dimitrovgrad - the south going to Greece and passing by Kardzhali; and the West that passes by Svilengrad and enters Turkey. The latter is especially popular since many Bulgarians love to shop at Edirne.
= Finally, we have the road from Burgas to Malko Turnovo and the second Turkish border crossing. Note that I altered the route to deviate from E87 and take the scenic coastal route instead. I will explain more in detail later.

Sofia

Since it's the third largest city in the Balkans, behind only Istanbul and Bucharest, we should probably talk about it, no? Fun fact: when Sofia first became capital of Bulgaria in 1879, it only had a population of 11 000 people.
- In terms of layout, it is most similar to the other big cities of Europe. The main roads pass around the city and the majority of industry is located in the outskirts. And there is a LOT of industry here, so just take your pick. One thing to note is that some outer parts of the city have a much more suburban feel; that's because many of those districts were former villages that have since been gobbled up by the Sofia juggernaut.
- The main entrance into the city is the 'Botevgradsko Shose' boulevard (literally 'Botevgrad Route' boulevard), that connects to the 'Hemus' highway. It covers this area: https://www.google.bg/maps/dir/42.69856 ... !1e3?hl=en
= One thing to note on Street view, it's mostly up to date, but at certain parts, almost at random, it switches over to more older times. For example, this intersection (now complete and operational) is sometimes seen still in construction: https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.7085389, ... 6656?hl=en
== The sign on top is of the company who built it: "Hidrostroy AD".
= 'Sofia Greets You': https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.7092667, ... 6656?hl=en
== The flags behind the sign are EU, Bulgaria, Sofia.
=== Flag of Sofia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sofia#/me ... a_flag.svg

Kardzhali

This small city is located on route 5, towards Greece and would make for an interesting scenic town to drive by. There are several towns that could serve such a purpose in this area (like Dimitrovgrad and Haskovo), but this is the most interesting one since the main road passes through the center of town.
- Pretty roundabout: https://www.google.bg/maps/@41.6342778, ... 6656?hl=en
- Arden bridge, which passes through the 'Water mirror' aka a part of the Kardzhali dam: https://www.google.bg/maps/@41.6256096, ... 6656?hl=en
- There is also a sizeable mining industry in this region, it being close to the Rhodope mountains after all.
= You will find the biggest mining towns in Zlatograd and Madan.

Route 99, detour from Burgas to Malko Turnovo

Like I said, this route is a much more scenic way to reach the Turkish border than the E87: https://www.google.bg/maps/dir/42.50352 ... !3e0?hl=en

Aside from the lovely coastline, you also have:
- The castle at Radanovo, near Sozopol: https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.3908403, ... 6656?hl=en
= It's not an actual Medieval castle, it's more of a modern day tourist attraction. If the waterslides didn't give it away, that is.
- Ropotamovo nature reserve. Boat ride anyone: https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.3019993, ... 6656?hl=en
- This roadway bridge (just something I randomly stumbled by): https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.2646051, ... 6656?hl=en
- All resort villages on this route have unique statues to welcome their visitors. This is the one for Tsarevo: https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.1652042, ... 6656?hl=en
= Tsarevo is also the last coastal town in this route before we turn towards the mountains and continue towards Turkey.

With this, we have pretty much covered the entirety of Bulgaria: it's major cities, industrial centers, scenic routes and etc. Next, I will do a post about the overall general aesthetic of the roads.
Last edited by jackalnxt on 28 May 2019 20:07, edited 2 times in total.

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jackalnxt
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Re: Bulgaria pre-research tips

#12 Post by jackalnxt » 26 Jan 2019 16:53

Before we get to the general aesthetics of the roads, let's recap the recommended cities for inclusion. These are divided into 4 categories: Mandatory (self explanatory), Highly Recommended (cities that may not be the biggest but are important in terms of culture/industry), Good to Haves (fairly significant cities that can be considered for inclusion as visitable or scenery) and Scenery (small towns that make for great scenery). All cities are ranked by importance. Wherever there's two cities in one position these are OR's, ie the inclusion of one nullifies the other.

Mandatory:
  • Sofia
  • Plovdiv
  • Varna
  • Burgas
  • Ruse
Highly Recommended:
  • Veliko Turnovo
  • Kozloduy
  • Stara Zagora
Good to Haves:
  • Pleven
  • Vidin
  • Silistra
  • Kardzhali
Scenery:
  • Kalofer
  • Balchik
  • Kazanlak / Shipka village
  • Pomorie
  • Tsarevo
  • Slivnitsa / Kyustendil

Other notes:

- Always remember: the road from Veliko Turnovo to Plovdiv goes by the Shipka pass: E85. Also, the pass, the peak and the village are all named Shipka, in case someone is confused. (Trivia: there is also a Bulgarian SMG called Shipka)
= The village of Shipka is at the Southern end of the pass. It is mostly recognizable by the Golden roofed church: https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.7136633, ... 6656?hl=en
== The church: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shipka_(t ... delek).jpg

- Also remember: from Shipka to Plovdiv, you take the detour of E871, through Kalofer and Route 64. Yes, Route 56 is technically faster, but is also not in a very good shape and lacks the interesting scenery of Route 64.
= Kalofer is the most interesting town. It has the historic city signs (see previous post about), but it also provides a great panoramic view: https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.6054486, ... 6656?hl=en
== You can even see the massive monument to revolutionary Hristo Botev: https://bg.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9A%D0 ... alofer.JPG

- Also remember: The coastal road should stick to the Black Sea as close as possible. It offers some great scenery and will surely make for some great screenshots. Also, a lot of these resorts have some kind of construction happening (usually hotels or waterparks), so if you need an extra company, these are for you.
= Pomorie - the most scenic of the resorts (between Varna and Burgas). Here for example, you have a roundabout, a waterpark and fancy hotels: https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.564259,2 ... 6656?hl=en

- Final note: the town of Oryahovo, next to Kozloduy, has a ferry link to Romania. Can serve as potential way to bypass the traffic heavy bridges over the Danube: https://www.google.bg/maps/place/Ferryb ... 6441?hl=en

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Re: Bulgaria pre-research tips

#13 Post by jackalnxt » 27 Jan 2019 18:28

Time for some road aesthetics.

Road signs

In terms of signs, things are pretty straight forwards. Nothing a little Google can't fix: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Cate ... n_Bulgaria
- The biggest thing to note is the obvious bilingual nature of signs. As it goes: Top is in Bulgarian (Cyrillic), bottom is English (Latin). All city limit signs have both, no matter how big the city, town or village is. Signs are everywhere as well, so it's preferable that each crossroads have them, even if it leads to a dead end.
= If it's a small sign, you can have the village of the name in just Bulgarian. For example - София / Sofia , Ушинци. This isn't necessarily a rule and which villages get the English language treatment is done at seemingly random, but for convenience I recommend using Bulgarian language signs to enrich the road.
== IMPORTANT: this does not apply to villages around the coast. Every single village there is written in both Bulgarian and English.

Trivia: The randomness also covers the English spelling of some cities. For example, at the Turnovo highway, you have Stara Zagora spelled out with this weird Z. Also note that this is, as far as I've seen, the only place in Bulgaria where you have the name of the city, written on the actual road: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.0757786, ... 6656?hl=en

- Signs that are yellow, like these, are designed to grab your attention (ie, it means that people continuously refuse to listen): https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.4688929, ... 6656?hl=en

= BUT, since people don't often listen to signs, you often see signs that are bent over.

- For some weird reason, people like to spray paint over signs. So, if you are interested in a creative way to obscure signs that lead to nowhere, town of Byala in this example, you can do something like this: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.4677363, ... 6656?hl=en

= My personal favorite is on this sign for the town of Obretenik, though sadly Street View doesn't have it. Last time I passed there, someone had spray-painted the 'Община Обретеник' (Municipality of Obretenik) sign on this crossroads. Instead of Obretenik, it spelled 'Municipality of Texas': https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.5739069, ... 6656?hl=en

More graffiti

Bulgarians don't like empty stretches of road. Especially up-ahead bridges. One of many examples: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.8185642, ... 6656?hl=en

- In my observation, the most popular things to spray-paint, aside from group logos, are Football club names. Levski and CSKA Sofia have fans all over the country and are the safest thing to have. Some other big regional clubs:
  • Plovdiv - Botev and Loko Plovdiv (big rivals)
  • Varna - Cherno More
  • Ruse - Dunav
= Alternatively, you can embrace Bulgarian meme culture and just have 'Loko Sofia' painted on the most random of places.

A morbid sight:

One thing you may notice while driving is that almost every dangerous turn has a tombstone there. It has almost become customary that these are built where a driver/passenger has died in a car crash. Sadly, it's one of the things that are seen and should be considered.
- Also, there are also places where you can see remnants of car crashes: broken hoods, flat tire, etc.

Farm animals

Another, less morbid, thing you often come across, mostly in the Central regions of Bulgaria, are farm animals. Herds of cows, sheep, goats or sometimes mixed, along with a horse or two tied up nearby and grazing on the grass. The herds usually have one or two people with them and they carry a stick.
- You almost NEVER see closed off areas with farm animals. Usually, they are out in the field and grazing freely. Sometimes, you might even see a heard crossing the road.
= Animals have the right of way.

Bonus

- The new Scania dealership in Ruse: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.7887754, ... 6656?hl=en

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Re: Bulgaria pre-research tips

#14 Post by jackalnxt » 29 Jan 2019 16:41

So, you like challenging roads? Interesting detours? A road that feels like an adventure in itself? I present to you:

The Dyulino Pass

The Dyulino pass is an alternative route to the main E87 route between Varna and Burgas. And it covers this area: https://www.google.bg/maps/dir/42.42851 ... !3e0?hl=en

- What makes this pass interesting is that it is the definition of a forgotten road. Safe for a few villages (like the titular Dyulino), this pass visibly hasn't been touched in many, MANY years. Probably because the E87 is much faster and more scenic. As such, it is in very bad shape. It has a ton of twists and turns. The road is technically a two-way, but with large vehicles on one lane, half of your car will have to drive off-road to make room. And if there's two major vehicles trying to drive by each other?

- But why would any truck want to drive trough here? Imagine there was a major car crash at the E87 and it closed off the entire route. Vehicles can't wait, busses and trucks have a schedule after all, so they look up on the Google machine the nearest alternate route. The Rishki pass (route 73 from Shumen to Karnobat)? That would involve a ton of backtracking! Let's take this much shorter pass. So what if it's meant for 1 or 2 cars and not meant to handle a huge influx of cars, vehicles and busses.
= Yes, this is all from personal experience and I have no doubt that everyone else who took that pass had the same idea.

- Some highlights of the pass:
= A dam on the 'peaceful' side. Note the sign 'Къпането Забранено' ('Swimming is Forbidden'): https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.7180053, ... 6656?hl=en
= A typical village grocery store: https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.7483983, ... 6656?hl=en
= Roadside complex. Rest your truck here: https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.7797816, ... 6656?hl=en
= The initial 'good' road: https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.7858262, ... 6656?hl=en
= This little bridge is supposed to be two-way. 50 years ago, it could've been: https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.7976981, ... 6656?hl=en
= Remnants of a crash (could even be a truck crash). Note the broken headlights and how the treeline abruptly ends where the vehicle fell: https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.7987828, ... 6656?hl=en
= Another old bridge. There was once a fountain here: https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.8229815, ... 6656?hl=en

Pass is Open/Closed

This is the North entrance to the Dyulino pass, I purposefully give it a separate section, due to the sign: https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.9301091, ... 6656?hl=en
- All passes in Bulgaria (Shipka and Rishki prohod included) have this sign on the entrances that show whether its Open or Closed. In this case, the pass is Open, hence it's written in Green 'ОТВОРЕН / OPEN'. If it were closed, at the bottom you would have a sign in Red 'ЗАТВОРЕН / CLOSED'.
= Entrance to Shipka pass (outdated, new version has it written in English as well): https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.8230587, ... 6656?hl=en


Bonus: Some goats passing by the road: https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.7932502, ... 6656?hl=en

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Re: Bulgaria pre-research tips

#15 Post by dbddimov » 31 Jan 2019 23:50

There is one of several factories for rubber seals in the automotive industry in Bulgaria in Stara Zagora. The other 2 in Europe are in Turkey and Spain. The factory is called Standard Profil Bulgaria and has exports to the cities where there are factories of Fiat, Volkswagen, Mercedes smart, lada. some of the final destinations are Hanover and Poznan. will be good idea to be added ,also in Stara Zagora there is a factory for production of sunflower oil ( Biser Oliva AD ) , PVC profiles.(Chukurovi),

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Re: Bulgaria pre-research tips

#16 Post by jackalnxt » 01 Feb 2019 16:19

Here are some extra roadside notes, mostly about this area: https://www.google.bg/maps/dir/43.82233 ... !3e0?hl=en
- While making this, I did realize that if the player is traveling from Pleven to Varna (for example), he/she would be forced to detour to Ruse. I don't know if this would cause that big of an issue when you scale down the map, but if a road is required, I included a route that passed through the towns of Byala and Popovo. Again, I doubt this would be needed, but still good to have.

E85, Byala - Veliko Turnovo

- Veliko Turnovo's main road from up north is very scenic and it's largely thanks to these beautiful cliffs that have carvings dug in them: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.1263752, ... 6656?hl=en
= There are two monasteries that are built at the foot of the mountain. Due to scaling, I imagine only one would make the cut and thus I recommend the Patriarchal 'Holy Trinity' monastery. It's impossible to spot in Street view, however in practice they are very visible, even from a car. Fortunately, it comes with a decent number of photos: https://www.google.bg/maps/place/Patria ... 5119?hl=en
== More of the monastery: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriarch ... ly_Trinity

- Speaking of scaling, it is convenient to point out that the road North of Veliko Turnovo (more specifically it's design, foliage and overall view) are very similar in tone to the road outside of Polsko Kosovo (just south of the T junction that connects E85 to E83) and connecting the two will feel perfectly natural: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.4320989, ... 6656?hl=en
= The only major differences between the two roads are the train tracks that run parallel to the Polsko Kosovo road.

- By connecting these two roads, we will basically 'trim down' the mostly flat land between Polsko Kosovo and Samovodene. While it is easy to say that nothing of value would be lost, I still feel like I should point out some sights from these parts. Perhaps one of them can serve as the 'connection'?
= Train station at Polsko Kosovo: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.4271197, ... 6656?hl=en
= Crossroad that leads into city of Polski Trambesh: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.3700951, ... 6656?hl=en
= A truck stop with a pool (sign reads: Restaurant; Lunch-time menu): https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.3467285, ... 6656?hl=en
= Mercedes service depot in village: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.1763445, ... 6656?hl=en
= Abandoned 'Vienna' Café bar: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.173561,2 ... 6656?hl=en
= Railroad bridge: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.1680503, ... 6656?hl=en
= Supermarket (excuse me, 'Hypermarket') and War memorial in Samovodene. Looking down, you can also see a wide open area which is often used by truckers to rest: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.1395792, ... 6656?hl=en
== I also saw a crashed truck in that area so...

E85, Veliko Turnovo

We've already covered Veliko Turnovo and Tsarevets fortress, but there is one thing I neglected to mention earlier: the Tsarevets Lights and Sound show. Essentially, for 10 minutes, the entire area around the fortress lights up in different colors, making a huge spectacle every few weeks or so.
- Images: http://www.velikoturnovo.info/en/info/i ... garia.html
= Fun fact: the system for the Lights and Sound show was designed in Prague. SCS might be familiar with that city.
- Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTZKCK_eUbQ

E85, Gabrovo - Shipka

I really feel bad about not talking about Gabrovo. It is a very beautiful city to drive through, but scaling wouldn't allow it. There are some small nods that can be given to the city however, mostly as a way to 'enhance' the entrance to the Shipka pass.
- These types of suburban buildings are the most commonly found in the area: https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.8422726, ... 6656?hl=en
- Lukoil gas station: https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.8474977, ... 6656?hl=en
= Note that the station is built to the side of the road, divided from the main road by a few apartment buildings: https://www.google.bg/maps/dir/42.85418 ... !3e0?hl=en
- A sign with tourist sites in Gabrovo: https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.8451243, ... 6656?hl=en
- Museum of Humor: https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.8798381, ... 6656?hl=en
- Tunnel in Gabrovo, rock wall on one side and abandoned factory on the other. This is the old 'Kapitan Dyado Nikola' pipe factory, the (once upon a time) largest pipe factory in the Balkans. Today only a small part of it functions: https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.8577645, ... 6656?hl=en

- Now, alternatively, you can just add the Lukoil gas station and put a billboard sign that advertises the Humour and Satire museum. Maybe have it visualized with a black cat with no tail. Locals would absolutely love that. Museum site: http://www.humorhouse.bg/engl/gbhumour.html

- The Shipka monument. In an earlier post, I mentioned that when you climb on top of the peak, you can see the Shipka monument. But I forgot to show a picture of the actual monument. Silly me: https://bg.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9F%D0 ... 0%E2%80%9C

E70, Ruse - Varna

- A perfect example of a rest stop (Tsar Kaloyan district, near Razgrad). You have a restaurant (building in the distance) and a bar/BBQ (small building; they make real good soups and kebabcheta here): https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.597372,2 ... 6656?hl=en
= The name on top of the restaurant reads ДЕРВЕНТА (Derventa).
= Also, if you turn Street view to the opposite side, you can see a trashcan that has been spray-painted with "Spartak Varna", once the prime football team in Varna, now far, FAR from their glory days.

- A Shell station near a village: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.5616411, ... 6656?hl=en
= I also wanted to point out this Café that is walled off. Why? I've been wondering myself for the longest time: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.5613293, ... 6656?hl=en

- There is also a sign on this road that reads: Turn the Headlights On! Lights saves lives! (ВКЛЮЧИ СВЕТЛИНИТЕ! СВЕТЛИНАТА СПАСЯВА ЖИВОТ!)

- The main junction from where you get on the 'Hemus' highway to Varna: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.3433484, ... 6656?hl=en

- This small piece of fenced off farmland that has a orange panther statue in one corner and a orange bull statue on the other. https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.5126388, ... 6656?hl=en
= I knew this was here, but in order to find it I had to backtrack almost the entire road from Tsar Kaloyan to Ushintsi. :D

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Re: Bulgaria pre-research tips

#17 Post by jackalnxt » 02 Feb 2019 23:00

Talking about Gabrovo made me realize how tricky it is work around scaling. However, scaling down also means that towns can be much closer to each other and that gave me an idea. For starters, I need to explain that a lot of businesses operate in the major cities, a lot of them, in practice, are mainly located in nearby towns or villages. This is true even for Sofia. One such suggestion from earlier was the Vinprom Karnobat vineyards as part of Burgas. I had also initially planned to suggest Kozloduy as part of Vratsa, thought upon further review, I think that it would work much better as a separate town. Case by case basis. Going back to Veliko Turnovo, the best companies to represent it in my opinion are the Bolyarka beer factory and the Turnovo mill (both marked in an earlier post), but thanks to this practice we can give them another business and one that will allow for a nice scenic trip across the countryside (as well as an excuse to include the city's western exit). I present:

Pavlikeni

Pavlikeni is a small town in the Veliko Turnovo region, famous for it's popcorn production plant (they make gigantic packs of them) and an agricultural service plant (Optikom). It is also a major transport hub, as it is a stop on the Sofia-Varna railway. If the city of Veliko Turnovo, it's surroundings and all the nearby sights ever become too clustered, why not spread the city's business to a nearby town?

- The road from Turnovo to Pavlikeni is rather straight forward and though it may seem like a fairly long ways away, scaling will easily take care of that. To demonstrate, I marked not just the road, but also the other suggested roads, to put into perspective: https://www.google.bg/maps/dir/43.24581 ... !3e0?hl=en

Note: Street view is very outdated in this area, but luckily (again, thanks to scaling down) it will not cause that big of an issue.

- The final destination in town that I mapped out is the Optikom plant, the biggest and most recognizable industry, spotted from the North exit. It comes with a gas station and it welcomes a fair bit of trucks. In fact, last time I passed through there, I saw a Slovakian truck pull out of the driveway. The town might be small, but it's deceptively important.

- Now, since in the suggested route we enter from the South, that means we will have to pass by the city itself. Not a problem if you know where to pass through:
= The South entrance statue. It has the town's coat of arms and it's logo 'Античен и Вечен' ('Antique and Eternal'): https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.2235158, ... 6656?hl=en
== I chose this angle, since the other side has an even more outdated version before they repainted it. 2012 was a big year for the town actually, as they used EU funds to basically renovate the entire town. Too bad very little of it is seen in Street view.
== Town coat of arms: https://pavlikeni.com/%d0%be%d0%b1%d1%8 ... %ba%d1%81/
= City limits sign: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.2249403, ... 6656?hl=en
== I would also like to direct your attention to the sign behind it: 'СЕЛИЩЕ с образцова организация на движението' - 'Township with exemplary transport organization'. Signs like this are a leftover from the communist days and the fact that this town still displays it proudly is absolutely adorable.
= Gas Station and major abandoned socialist era factory: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.2274972, ... 6656?hl=en
= Road underpass. This is where Street view is most glaringly outdated, as the whole area is covered professionally done graffiti these days: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.2299044, ... 6656?hl=en
= From here we just need a typical Pavlikeni street. This one I think sums it up perfectly: old timey houses, some abandoned others still houses and the typical socialist style business building: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.2358625, ... 6656?hl=en
= Turn left. We have the Supermarket at the center of town and the distinguishable clock tower: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.2378218, ... 6656?hl=en
= Go North, across this tiny bridge. Normally, the area is not as clear. Every Tuesday they have a bazaar and the whole area is filled with people: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.2402521, ... 6656?hl=en
== I will do a separate post 'bazaar style' stops probably some time later.
= Another turn left and another turn right, we pass this crossroads and we are at out destination.
== Crossroads. Note, the traffic light does not function. No, not because it's broken, but because having it active was actually causing MORE car crashes than when it wasn't: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.2438093, ... 6656?hl=en
== Gas station, right next to our destination: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.2458749, ... 6656?hl=en

- And voila, a hidden gem for an adventurous trucker to discover.

Bonus:

- When taking Route 303 (Veliko Turnovo - Pavlikeni), you pass by some villages with pretty interesting sights. For example, the village of Mihaltsi has an old Jet Fighter in between the road: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.1904122, ... 6656?hl=en
- Villagers in the region seem to be quite the military buffs, as the village of Batak, north of Pavlikeni (not to be confused with the village of Batak in Southern Bulgaria) has not one, but two artillery pieces as side decorations:
= Cannon 1: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.3417026, ... 6656?hl=en
= Where Cannon 2 is SUPPOSED to be. Curse you, outdated Street view: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.3483495, ... 6656?hl=en

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jackalnxt
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Re: Bulgaria pre-research tips

#18 Post by jackalnxt » 03 Feb 2019 17:34

Since the last post was in the area, why not clear this road out as well?

E83, Byala - Pleven

The area around the road is mostly farmlands, with trees lining the road.

- A perfect sign that points to three of our prime destinations: Varna, Ruse, Veliko Turnovo: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.4484421, ... 6656?hl=en
- Rest stop. Even comes with a 'paid' bathroom. ТАКСА - 0,20лв (Tax - 0,20 BGN). I say 'paid' since there is no one there to collect your money: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.4478084, ... 6656?hl=en
- Sign towards Sofia and Pleven. At the bottom you also have directions for the village of Peychinovo: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.4417091, ... 6656?hl=en
= Also, the red writing on top of 'Peychinovo' appears to indicate the direction towards 'The Village Whore'. Spray-painted signs are always so inventive.
- Example of a RADAR warning sign: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.4225437, ... 6656?hl=en
= Note that since 2012 (where this image is from), most of these signs have been removed because drivers would often just slow down near the Radar and then go back to speeding. Now, the Radar spies on you without warning.
- Abandoned restaurant on the side of the road. Still used as a rest spot: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.4216459, ... 6656?hl=en
- Another rest stop, this time with active restaurant: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.4204851, ... 6656?hl=en
- Nature park sign: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.4387113, ... 6656?hl=en
- Village of Obnova. The most famous truck stop on this route (in fact there's so many parked trucks, I cannot even show it off properly): https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.4396009, ... 6656?hl=en
= There are several restaurants here and also one or two souvenir shops.

Pleven is a fairly key city and is impossible to notice when taking this route. I highly advise that, even if it is not added as a discoverable city, it should exist as scenery. Most famous sights can be found in an earlier post.

- This building marks the beginning of the main intersection towards Pleven: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.4259704, ... 6656?hl=en
- Whether Pleven is a visitable town or just scenery, this intersection will probably be useful to have: https://www.google.bg/maps/dir/43.41845 ... !3e0?hl=en

Also note that if Pleven is a discoverable city, I highly recommend looking into the nearby villages for business locations.

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dahaka
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Re: Bulgaria pre-research tips

#19 Post by dahaka » 04 Feb 2019 20:43

I have driven on few roads only in this country, but hope i contribute at least some info.
There is a huge and pretty impressive bridge that connects Romania and Bulgaria or Calafat and Vidin, if you will. Huge truck traffic, basically all trucks heading to northern Europe through road take that bridge.
Also what i really loved is the serpentine mountain road near a village called Dimovo.
Btw, trucks traversing Bulgaria in transit, going to or coming from the north of the country, always follow this route: Vidin - Dimovo - Montana - Vratsa - Botevgrad - Sofia - Blagoevgrad - Kulata.
(Reverse order for heading north). Its the shortest and easiest route therefore IMO should definitely be included, to add to the realism and authenticity.
It should also be noted that the roads in Bulgaria are not as top notch as in other countries, with many places that are full of potholes, and bumps that make the whole truck shake, making all the little objects i keep on the dashboard fall down.
It should also be noted that a lot of outdated cars and trucks from the soviet union era are running around on the roads.

There is always a border check the truck drivers have to go through, even though Bulgaria is part of the European union.
There is also a ferry crossing on the Danube, between Romania and Bulgaria, in the village of Oryahovo.
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tompson2
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Location: Ruse/Dobrich
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Re: Bulgaria pre-research tips

#20 Post by tompson2 » 04 Feb 2019 21:26

Jack! I'm from Dobrich and I'm studying in Ruse, so you have to know that Dobrich is bigger than you think ;) It's population is almost 100k people, while Razgrad is 35k and Silistra is 35k too so... Dobrich is not that small. :)
Also dont forget to mention the park (it goes from the beggining of the town - near the entrance from Varna, till the centre where is nice statue and one of the most popular bars in the town).
However... this is ETS2 so... bars and statues in the middle of the town are not that important, but they can add the industrial zone which is located around the whole town (mostly near the bypass road). Also, the game offers the option to take trailers from villages, so Dobrich is perfect for it! There's a lot of villages around, dealing mainly with farming.
example:
Burgas - Varna - Dobrich - Kardam and they can connect Varna with Kavarna too.. Then it will be: Burgas - Varna - Kavarna - Durankulak - Constanta (Romania)
Here is a link to see what I'm talking about: https://goo.gl/maps/9S8vjoDdMQn
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