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 The ideal upland village for new expats?

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moonraker
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PostSubject: The ideal upland village for new expats?   Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:30 pm

Hello everyone. We are unashamedly in search of willing sharers of quality information. We are potential expats - our house in the UK is on the market and we are looking to move to VT region, ideally southerly, as soon the house sells - although an Autumn/winter arrival fills us with less than joyful anticipation! We are taking early retirement while we still have some energy.

There are so many potentially great properties out there, but we are greedy - we not only want the perfect house for us, we are also looking for a great community in which we can feel at home. We want to live in an upland area, for the view, and also because we love the great outdoors. We want to integrate with locals and expats, learn the language, and fit in without wanting to be a part of a closed/cliquey inward-looking Brit enclave. We are very sociable, and would like to be part of a friendly village socialising with Brits who know what we will be going through!!! and who will be able to help if/when we have need - but we also want to link up with friendly forgiving locals who will not cold-shoulder us as outsiders, but smile on our attempts at murdering their language, once we get started. We are not real estate investors, so the choice house/village is going to be a long term/permanent commitment, hence the need to find the right place;
so any information you can provide will be VERY gratefully received. Many thanks in anticipation. We do look forward to hearing from you in our search for the perfect community. Or damn close!
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tonyb60
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PostSubject: Re: The ideal upland village for new expats?   Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:35 am

Hi moonraker thank you for making your first post on the forum. You will get answers but like many others before you can you please introduce yourself in the new member introduction section where our members can welcome you .

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oldun
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PostSubject: Re: The ideal upland village for new expats?   Sun Sep 23, 2012 3:37 pm

Hi you 2. Mindya is the perfect village you are looking for! - Well we think so having lived here for 8 years. There are mountain views all around but so far, have never been completely snowed in and often miss the absolute worst of the weather. Very friendly locals and a great Community Spirit and no massive problems with utilities etc. Check out 'Mindya Rockfest' on this forum when thousands turn up in our normally sleepy village for this free event every August. Everyone pitches in and lends a hand and its great fun. Some other nice villages on the bus route to look around too. We are just off the main Elena road and only 20 minutes from VT. Good luck with your search and I am sure you will get spoilt for choice from members on this site.
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Blink
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PostSubject: Re: The ideal upland village for new expats?   Sun Sep 23, 2012 5:16 pm

Strange he has been on the forum and hasn't posted back here.
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moonraker
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PostSubject: Re: The ideal upland village for new expats?   Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:19 pm

Sorry I don't understand the message Blink. Please explain. I have just joined the forum.
Thank you Oldun - we appreciate your taking the time to assist us in our quest.
There doesn't seem to be much interest in this topic - can anyone suggest other forums where members are more willing to share information? I would have thought all expats know only too well the importance of getting quality background information,and understand why would value information as to ideal villages to take a look at. At the moment Mindya is on the list!

Kind regards

John
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Chris
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PostSubject: Re: The ideal upland village for new expats?   Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:39 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
At the moment Mindya is on the list!

Hi John

The only reason I didn't reply was that we chose to live in a town, rather than a village (which you mentioned in the title of this topic).

Whilst Kotel is certainly upland (surrounded by magnificent views, forests, mountains) it couldn't be termed a village.

My wife and I searched for our ideal location for over two years whilst we were living in Sofia.

We settled on Kotel for various reasons:

The location (fantastic setting but 1.5 hours to the airport at Bourgas and less than 1 hour to Veliko Turnovo).

All facilities like twice-weekly open air market, shops, bars, restaurants, post office, hospital, police station, fire station, bus station, etc., all of which have proved invaluable when cut off in winter.

Tourists ... Kotel has three museums which provide a constant stream of visitors (mainly Bulgarian), and this influx of people tend to keep the businesses thriving.

The property ... we wanted a National Monument of Culture which date back to before the revolution days. There aren't many left, and they aren't making any more!

The Mayor is extremely helpful and pro-active and the town is improving and developing at a good rate. They have recently installed new water pipes and mains drains (very rare in the villages) and has excellent broadband facilities and mobile phone coverage (the town has several broadband, mobile and satellite TV shops).

The people ... incredibly friendly and helpful locals. There are no British in the town apart from us, although the Chemist speaks English, as do a dutch couple that run a hotel in town and a few of the bars and restaurants have a smattering of people that speak English.

This actually suits us fine as we can see other ex-pats as and when we want to, but we don't have them next to us.

We lived and worked in France for over 12 years and lived in a village with over 30 ex-pats that tended to only socialize with each other. When word got round that my wife worked for a French solicitors office and I ran my own French printing company (therefore we were both absolutely fluent) we had a constant string of people knocking on the door asking us to help them with builders, plumbers, shopping and even translating their gas bills (honest). That's the main reason that we wanted a town with no other ex-pats. Even though we always helped them out, we were never given an invite to any of the 'club' get togethers!

I'm not saying it would have been the same in Bulgaria, but that was our decision and we stuck to it.

All I would say is do your research carefully, visit as many regions and communities as possible, stick 100% to your 'critical list' and don't choose a village unless it ticks every box.

I'm sure there will be other replies but the forum is usually fairly quiet at this time of the year.

Chris
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oldun
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PostSubject: Re: The ideal upland village for new expats?   Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:51 pm

:Good post:Chris - That was exactly what I meant when I said 'doomed to disappointment' in another topic started I think by Esta. I am surprised by the lack of response to this perfectly understandable request for information from a new member and I didn't understand Blink's comment either. Maybe she knows more than I do. I tend to take people on trust and I will never change from that even though I have been disappointed by people's reactions (or lack of!) in the past.
You give it time Moonraker. I am sure you will get more response soon. Sometimes it takes a while for people to read posts especially in our beautiful weather at the moment. This is a good forum and better than others otherwise I wouldn't be here!
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starlite
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PostSubject: Re: The ideal upland village for new expats?   Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:43 pm

I did not reply to this topic as i dont know the area of VT. to be honest all areas of bulgaria have something to offer. i live in the north east, near balchik. I live in a village with an expat community but still retains its bulgarian ways of life and traditions. we have a local, dentist, doctor, post office and 2 shops. we are near the sea and 20 minutes from dobrich for shopping.

The area is mainy agricultural, its flat land so miles and miles of wheat and sunflowers. beautiful. s
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oldun
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PostSubject: Re: The ideal upland village for new expats?   Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:26 pm

The original poster asked specifically for the VT area which was his choice. Presumably he has discounted the coastal area. Of course there are other beautiful areas in Bulgaria but I answered as a happy resident in an upland area of VT. There are lots of villages around Veliko Turnovo and I am surprised that no-one else so far has replied. However, I could be wrong, but I get the impression that the majority of folk on this particular forum are not from VT area. Please tell me if I am wrong and I hope that others will reply to Moonraker with helpful information.
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moonraker
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PostSubject: Re: The ideal upland village for new expats?   Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:53 pm

Thanks for the flurry = we really appreciate the great advice. We like the VT area as we have been there and like the town and surrounding area. We are in search of a small, friendly village, not a town. We are confirmed ruralites! Quiet, fresh air, woodland, river, hills on our doorstep: we like mountain views and want to be in one! We have yet to visit the coast but we guess that upland areas to the south look tempting according to my Google earth flyovers. But we believe coastal properties to be more expensive, and we do want some bang for our buck. But hey, we'll be happy to visit good communities recommended, when we next come out (supplies of Marmite and other hard to get items happily offered to willing tour-guides, as indeed is lunch/dinner).
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PostSubject: Re: The ideal upland village for new expats?   Mon Oct 01, 2012 6:21 am

Draganovo is a nice easy village to live in, its a big village with plenty of shops supermarket, petrol station, vets, doctors, fast internet, good roads ,there are at least 12 full time brits,,more who have holiday homes, just about everything is available in the village even building materials, theres a good car mechanic, school, church,weekly market,animal feed shop,resteraunt fishing lake and the river yantra,the people are friendly and used to foreigners some brits have lived here for 8 years with no problems,the houses here are not as cheap as most of the smaller more isolated villages but its easier and cheaper to live here because theres no need to drive to town everytime you need anything,we lived in Vinograd before here thats also a very friendly village with a few shops and bars, very good school,but its smaller and a long way from any big towns we lived there for 3 years and love the village but with a new baby and an 8 year old it was too rural for us,
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PostSubject: Re: The ideal upland village for new expats?   Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:17 pm

theres also a lot of expats in Paicci thats a very small quiet village with only 1 shop, it has a couple of lakes,
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Blink
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PostSubject: Re: The ideal upland village for new expats?   Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:22 am

Have you had any luck yet with finding what your looking for?
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nu2bg
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PostSubject: Re: The ideal upland village for new expats?   Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:44 pm

I don't think you will find the perfect village unless you perhaps go into the mountains and even then there will be drawbacks but I think the mountains are most likely as close to perfect as you will get.
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oldun
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PostSubject: Re: The ideal upland village for new expats?   Sun Oct 14, 2012 4:53 pm

That means back to Mindya and neighbouring villages. The area from VT main road through Prisovo, Pscheliste, Serova Korya, Kapinovo to Mindya is beautiful with the Stara Planina mountains as a background without the disadvantages of being up a mountain which would be very difficult in winter. s
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