Bulgaria pre-research tips

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jackalnxt
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Re: Bulgaria pre-research tips

#21 Post by jackalnxt » 05 Feb 2019 20:17

@tompson2 the problem with Dobrich is the 1:19 scale. Because of it, Dobrich's size and geographic location work against it: it is way too close to Varna and there is not enough room to properly represent it. It is hard to say if there would even be room for the Route 71 - Route 21 from Silistra to Balchik, though the future addition of detours and heavy/special cargo alternate routes could work to it's advantage. For the record, I'm talking about this route: https://www.google.bg/maps/dir/43.83823 ... !3e0?hl=en

It could work as a single industry destination for Varna. And, upon further review, I think I've found a good way to properly represent Dobrich in-game.

Dobrich - redux

Since it is the largest city in Southern Dobrogea, and assuming the suggested route is implemented, it makes perfect sense for Dobrich to get a slight nod. The question is: how? While there fastest way to get from Route 71 to Route 21 is from the city itself, there is also a perfectly fine road network that goes around the city. But not the whole city.

- Riltsi district. It is at the very end of Route 71 and is the only part of the city that cannot be missed while driving on that road: https://www.google.bg/maps/place/9307+% ... 9919?hl=en
= It has an industrial zone that includes a road construction company. Can also serve as a service depot? https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.5914631, ... 6656?hl=en
= There is also a gas station: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.59099,27 ... 6656?hl=en

Note: the Riltsi district can easily be confused for a separate village, but with a few 'hacks' we can fix this problem:

- The main sign: when entereing, you don't see the expected Dobrich sign, but a кв. Рилци/district Riltsi sign: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.5922929, ... 6656?hl=en
= Can be replaced with a 'regular' Dobrich sign: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.5628887, ... 6656?hl=en

- Add in everyone's favorite GO Grill booth (GO Grill, Gorna Oryahovitsa Grill, GO, get it?): https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.5890934, ... 6656?hl=en
- And a few typical suburban houses: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.5886621, ... 6656?hl=en

- When we get to the end, we have a roundabout. We just need one sign leads into the (closed off) city, while the truckers continue on towards Balchik and Varna.
= Roundabout: https://www.google.bg/maps/dir/43.58540 ... !3e2?hl=en
= Roundabout sign: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.5867913, ... 6656?hl=en
== Note that, with the proposed changes, it would be more logical to replace Dobrich with Dobrich Centrum (Добрич Център)
= There are two good options for a regular sign as well: Bonus:

The roundabout when you reach Balchik also has a GO Grill. And in a case of perfect timing, Google has captured a truck with a Schwarzmuller trailer: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.4360685, ... 6656?hl=en

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Re: Bulgaria pre-research tips

#22 Post by tompson2 » 06 Feb 2019 15:25

This is something that I can agree with :) Nice job!
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jackalnxt
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Re: Bulgaria pre-research tips

#23 Post by jackalnxt » 07 Feb 2019 21:21

Can't believe I didn't mention the most obvious thing first, so I'm making up for it now:

Traffic Light Timers

When driving around a city in Bulgaria, one of the things that stands out the most is that that pretty much all traffic lights have a timer. The timer shows how much Green light is left and how much Red light is left. It can be found on the side of the traffic light or at the top. If the traffic lights lead to different direction (for example Forward and Left) then it will have both. Most of these views are from Ruse and one is from Varna.

- Traffic light timer on the side:
= Green light: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.8500737, ... 6656?hl=en
== Green light (shows off tint better): https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.8311376, ... 6656?hl=en
= Red light: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.8503291, ... 6656?hl=en
= Timer is off when light is Yellow: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.8504492, ... 6656?hl=en

- Traffic light timer on top:
= Red light: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.8574576, ... 6656?hl=en
= Green light: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.2194962, ... 6656?hl=en

Timers on the side are generally more common that the ones on top.

Ruse - Eastern Industrial Zone

The problem here is that Street View and even Satellite view is very outdated. Good thing is that you can see the new road changes on the regular map view. Well... I call them 'new' they redid the entire road years ago.
-'New' road: https://www.google.bg/maps/dir/43.88096 ... !3e0?hl=en
= I also marked the roundabouts that were added with the road expansion.
= The biggest businesses are Econt (delivery service) warehouse and behind it (marked road that goes to the side) is Delta Textile (various clothing and Nike socks); and the Ruse harbor.

- It used to be a single two-lane road, as you can see in Street View, but now it has three lanes on each side and is divided by some greenery.
= A glimpse of the new road from the border roundabout: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.8759762, ... 6656?hl=en

- This pipe is still there though: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.8733574, ... 6656?hl=en
Last edited by jackalnxt on 08 Mar 2019 20:13, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bulgaria pre-research tips

#24 Post by tompson2 » 13 Feb 2019 03:19

oooo I remembered a truck stop on the road between Dobrich and General Toshevo (it's intensive road - a lot of trucks are driving from Varna - Dobrich - General Toshevo - Kardam - ROMANIA)
street view link: https://goo.gl/maps/SWSSR11ge1x
I'll post a link with a sign near showing the road (road 29)
the link with the sign: https://goo.gl/maps/ztBw2wA4dpR2
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Re: Bulgaria pre-research tips

#25 Post by jackalnxt » 15 Feb 2019 16:43

I finally found some images of 'Tutrakan' Blvd. in Ruse. Hooray!

New boulevard in Ruse (East side)

This site has some very good images of the new boulevard:
- Images are in post #970 and #971.
= 970: https://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpost ... tcount=970
= 971: https://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpost ... tcount=971

- First images are of the far East area that leads into the city.
- The pipes are on the North side.
- Post #971 has some good photos of the new roundabout near the EKONT building (I mentioned them earlier).

- Next page, post #982 has a Before/After photo. That is in case anyone is curious why I talk about this area so much: https://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpost ... tcount=982

More Ruse (South side, exit to Varna)

New bus stop signs: https://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpost ... count=1087
Street view is up-to-date on this boulevard: https://www.google.bg/maps/dir/43.80590 ... !3e0?hl=en

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Re: Bulgaria pre-research tips

#26 Post by jackalnxt » 20 Feb 2019 21:20

Woke up at 4 AM to travel to Sofia, purchase a new DAF truck, then travel back. Luckily, I have some good info to add.

E83, Sofia - Pleven

Last time I posted about this, trucks were not allowed on the majority of the new 'Hemus' highway and were instead re-routed to a long, LONG detour.
Update:
- Repairs on the highway tunnels and bridges are almost complete. Vehicles can pass through either side of the tunnel as it was originally intended.
= 'Echemishka' tunnel, with brand new lighs: https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.8532504, ... 6656?hl=en
- The 'Vitiniya' tunnel is currently the only tunnel still in repair. All vehicles pass through the two-lane Southern tunnel: https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.777456,2 ... 6656?hl=en
- Trucks are now ALLOWED to pass through the renovated parts of 'Hemus' highway. BUT!
- EXCEPTION, trucks over 12 tons are still forbidden from entering the main highway and are still being redirected through the long detour. It appears that this will be permanent rule, so... potential detour feature?
= The detour route. It's not the whole thing but I think you get the point: https://www.google.bg/maps/dir/42.74894 ... !3e0?hl=en

Scenery update:
- In the first post about E83, I posted a snippet of a building with graffiti on it. That was outdated however, but fortunately it has since been updated to show what I really wanted you to see: https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.8171816, ... 6656?hl=en
= What is written are two names Gundi(Гунди) and Kotkov(Котков) along with their respective portraits. These were legendary Levski Sofia players from the 1960s (Georgi Asparuhov - Gundi was also an accomplished Bulgaria national) who tragically died in a car crash in 1971. I'm not sure if this is the place where it happened, but it can make for an awesome tribute/Easter egg to have them in the game.
== Georgi Asparuhov - Gundi. I could not find the exact reference photo that was used for the graffiti but I highly doubt anyone would complain if you used a different one. Like this, for example: https://www.google.bg/search?q=%D0%B3%D ... 0693720708
=== His wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgi_Asparuhov
== Nikola Kotkov (on the right). The same image was used as a reference for the graffiti: https://www.google.bg/search?q=%D0%B3%D ... 0693720708

Extra:
- This intersection is pretty interesting, particularly this style of sign: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.0661447, ... 6656?hl=en
= Left - Ruse; Right - Varna.
= Based on the recommended routes, the Ruse path should be the one that is open, as it continues north along the E83.
= The Varna route takes a detour towards the E772 which passes by Sevlievo and then Veliko Turnovo. It is presumed that the driver then continues towards Targoviste (not to be confused with Romanian Targoviste) until he connects to the E70, the highway between Ruse and Varna. It is basically an alternate route and, while I wouldn't say that it should be a priority, I would never oppose the inclusion of more Bulgarian roads. :D

E83, Lukovit - Pleven - Ruse

- The town of Lukovit is deceptively large and it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to have it as a scenery town. It does have a nice city Center: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.2055592, ... 6656?hl=en
= Sign reads '120 Years of Lukovit Town'.
- This stretch of road between Pleven and Dolni Dabnik is TERRIBLE! Very bumpy: https://www.google.bg/maps/dir/43.41292 ... !3e0?hl=en
- After enjoying some well-made cheese princesses at the Obnova roadside restaurants, my recommendation to have it as a truck stop has doubled: https://www.google.bg/maps/@43.4397943, ... 6656?hl=en
= Curious to not is that the village of Obnova has some fairly big production facilities on each side of town. Add to that this stretch of road which is designed to cater to drivers, the village might be worth considering as a scenic town. Or, if for example Pleven is added as a city, Obnova can host one of it's industries.

Note on Night time driving! Very useful to know is that once you exit Lukovit, the road from there to Byala, and then the rest of the Byala - Ruse road; is completely devoid of any light. There are no lampposts whatsoever and the only light-source are the vehicle's headlights. That and the light coming from people's homes in nearby villages. It's actually pretty fascinating to see.

Sofia, more info

I have to be honest, the road around Sofia is not the most exciting. You mostly see large farmlands and then large buildings in the distance. Take the right detour, however, and you will find some neat stuff. Proposed detour around the city: https://www.google.bg/maps/dir/42.68208 ... !3e0?hl=en
- Here you can see the gate to the 'Vrana' (Crow) palace. The residence of the last Bulgarian Tsars. The mansion cannot be seen from the road, but you can see the Main Gate and the Guard outpost that is painted in the Bulgarian tri-color. I would love to provide you with a closer view, but apparently when Street View was in the other lane, a giant rigid truck decided to park in the way and obscure the view! https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.6357661, ... 6656?hl=en
= On the opposite end you have former army barracks, now used by the Police: https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.6354264, ... 6656?hl=en

- The Southern side of the city has a pretty complex road network that I would highly recommend checking out. What I would like to point out is that nearly all bridges have the Company name that built them: https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.6259231, ... 6656?hl=en
- Also, don't forget the gorgeous mountain vista that can be seen through the South. Sadly, Street view does not do it justice.
- This is also the road to the National History Museum: https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.6581669, ... 6656?hl=en

- a MAN dealership was also spotted in the city.

- Massive sign on the Western side of the city: https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.7138463, ... 6656?hl=en

I would like to take this opportunity to point out that there are many signs leading to Belgrade in this part of Sofia. Why is that special? Well, because... It's time to play everyone's favorite game show! How many different ways can we spell Belgrade in English?
- I've seen signs that call it BELGRADE, BELGRAD, BEOGRAD and BEOGRADE. Feel free to look around in Street view and find more of these. As soon as I saw those spelling inconsistencies, I knew that I'd be damned if I didn't write a post about it! :lol:

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jackalnxt
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Re: Bulgaria pre-research tips

#27 Post by jackalnxt » 23 Feb 2019 19:17

The Danube Bridge (Ruse - Giurgiu) between Romania and Romania is currently undergoing maintenance. Local news made a news report about it and it shows some very useful things:

- The center of the bridge and a good view of the overall layout.
= Don't forget that underneath the main road there is also a railroad.
- The sign that welcomes you to Romania. It has the EU flag and the Romanian flag.
= The opposite end has a similar sign for Bulgaria, though (last time I saw it) it had EU blue background and Bulgaria was written with the yellow ting of EU stars.

- Maintenance crew. Green jacket is leader, orange is worker.

- Whenever such maintenance happens, the bridge is usually closed off at the toll booths/ border posts. Only one lane is useable and traffic is allowed from only one side. The side changes at regular intervals.

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Re: Bulgaria pre-research tips

#28 Post by jackalnxt » 08 Mar 2019 21:16

I can't believe how little I've written about Plovdiv. Well, after a recent trip to there, it's time some more news.

More Plovdiv

Taking into account the scaling of the map and the size of the city (Bulgaria's second largest city), the main roads for inclusion should be roughly these: https://www.google.bg/maps/dir/42.20479 ... !3e0?hl=en

- It covers all industrial parts of the city, all the while providing some decent sightseeing opportunities. Route 8 is particularly interesting as it passes by the Plovdiv International Fair (see earlier post).
- That tiny 'circle' at the top right corner is the Iztochen (Eastern) district and also the location for the Eastern Industrial zone. Many businesses are found here. Seriously, just zoom in on the map and take your pick.
- Route 8 also passes through the Maritsa river and one of the bridges has a pretty interesting statue/monument/sign: https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.1561708, ... 6656?hl=en

Moving on towards the south, we have the 'Asenovgradsko shose' (literally 'Asenovgrad route'). It is the main road from which you enter the city through the south. That whole area is currently undergoing renovation, along with the construction of a new circle crossroad.

- Plovdiv sign from the south, featuring the coat of arms: https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.1014149, ... 6656?hl=en
- Like other cities, the flags on the lampposts welcome you. However, here you only have the Bulgarian flag and the Plovdiv flag.
= Flag of Plovdiv. It reads АНТИЧЕН И ВЕЧЕН - Antique and Eternal; as Plovdiv is one of the oldest cities in Europe: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plovdiv#/ ... v_flag.svg
- Entering the city from this route, you also drive by some buildings with very interesting mosaic-inspired exteriors. Like this one: https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.1121515, ... 6656?hl=en
- Noticeable industry: https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.117652,2 ... 6656?hl=en
- Car dealership, positioned in an interesting way: https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.1200172, ... 6656?hl=en
- A sign leading to the historic Old Town: https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.1215359, ... 6656?hl=en
- A sign inside the city with directions for Sofia and Burgas: https://www.google.bg/maps/@42.1339987, ... 6656?hl=en

Bonus: a Scania dealership was spotted in the Northwestern part of Plovdiv. This would make it the second Bulgarian city with a Scania store after Ruse.

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Re: Bulgaria pre-research tips

#29 Post by jackalnxt » 31 Mar 2019 22:11

I found a video of someone driving a motorcycle along the Shipka pass and it gives a very good representation of it.

Notes:

- In this video, it says that it was recorded in 2016 but I don't see anything that is drastically outdated.

- The guy is driving from North to South. This can actually be pretty easily guessed due to an interesting tidbit: At the top of the Shipka pass is where the Gabrovo region ends and the Kazanlak region begins. In the North, the city of Gabrovo has very good infrastructure and they are building new roads as we speak; but the mountain road is in not so good condition and it has many cuts as seen in the video. Meanwhile, to the South, the town of Kazanlak has very poor infrastructure but it's mountain section is excellently maintained and you rarely see cuts. Funny, eh?

- When we get half-way across the video, it really starts to show the most distinctive trait of the pass: the long cliff edge with the tall trees.

- At around 13:15 begins the best view. It shows the majestic Shipka monument in the distance. It also shows the campsite that was mentioned in the initial Shipka pass post, including the cannon that we couldn't see on Street view as it was covered with snow. Sadly, he did not turn around in time to show the dinosaur statue.

- At around 14:20 is the border region between Gabrovo and Kazalnak. The restaurants and shops are very visible.

- The rest of video is where he continues up towards the monument. Trucks aren't allowed up that path.

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Re: Bulgaria pre-research tips

#30 Post by jackalnxt » 02 Apr 2019 21:53

Continuing on from previous post, I found a dashcam video of the Southern part of the Shipka pass. The driver enters from the South and ends the trip right at the half-way point where all the restaurants and tourist area is.


- This side of the pass doesn't have as many sights as the Northern part.
- At around 5:10 he drives by a little bridge and after that you can see a little water fountain. This is usually where drivers stop to get a drink of water.
- Again, Northern side (Gabrovo district) the town has great roads but their side of the pass is very poorly maintained; South side (Kazanlak district), the town has relatively poor infrastructure but their side of the pass is excellently maintained.

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