The Gardens I Go To Every Year

There are some gardens I like to go to every year, to visit them, of course! You may wonder why so rarely, why I don't go every day or every weekend? Well, the reason is that these gardens are more than three hundred kilometers from my home.

In Bulgaria, in the small and chic resort on the Black Sea called Balchik.

I know there are a few of you who know me better and have read some of my posts. You know that I have written a lot about this place. I assure you that I will keep writing. It's how I cement my memories and reminisce about the pleasant days I spent there.

At the same time, this is also an invitation to those who can get to the area to visit the gardens and the Castle of Queen Mary of Romania in Balchik.

Some will probably wonder why there is a castle of a Queen of Romania in Bulgaria? The answer is simple... for a short time, Queen Mary of Romania was also Queen of Bulgaria!

I think it's better to talk less and go for a walk, now I'll walk for you who won't get here but also for those who will. I have a friend who has promised me that next year she will visit the Queen's Gardens!

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These gardens are located on the Black Sea shore and extend over a large area of land, actually a hill, where the Queen's Castle and several villas are built. The Queen's Castle is now a museum, I have posted about it and will post more and the villas are places for exhibitions, commercial spaces, and even a guest house where you can live as a hotel.

This complex of the castle, villas, gardens is the most visited and one of the most beautiful in Bulgaria. Although the visitor's fee is quite high, the place is full of visitors, tourists, as the summer is long.

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The tall buildings, built on a slope, I said there's a hill here, as well as the ancient trees force people to lookup more, which isn't so bad. We also remember the sky!

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Queen Mary of Romania was a great person, intelligent, art lover, a very good politician. She chose that these villas be built respecting the Bulgarian architecture, as a tribute to the inhabitants of this city. A city that owes her a lot, in my opinion.

The Queen bought this hill to build the palace and gardens because it had many springs and she loved water very much. So the architects built a waterfall with water from these springs.

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A small stone bridge was built to cross from the gardens to the castle. A special bridge, because it is said that if you cross it your wishes are granted.

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Well, still... it can't be that easy. In order to get your wish, you have to do something. Crossing the bridge with your eyes closed! There must have been a dentist's office nearby! Or most of them were choosing to get their teeth into their mouths across the bridge...

The one-hundredth anniversary of these gardens is approaching. A hundred years passed over these trees. A garden left to grow freely, with little human intervention.

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What do I like best? Being able to see the sea. Those who know a little about me know that I am a lover of the sea. I hope the sea doesn't love me too and try to take me to it! Because I love the sea and, at the same time, I fear it. That's why I like to look at it from a distance.

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Now I confess that I was not alone on this journey. I was with two ladies! With my best (and only) wife and my best friend. We have been friends for over thirty years!

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Why did I make this confession?
To explain why the walk is going to the area where there is something for sale. The two ladies can't bear not to buy a little something on each trip. It's obligatory but not necessarily to my taste, who would spend more at terraces and restaurants.

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Wherever more people gather, especially if they are tourists, so determined to spend money, the traders appear. There are plenty of shops and stalls along the beach and the promenade, with all sorts of items for sale, not always of good quality. Fortunately, here in the Castle space they only allowed the sale of handmade souvenirs by local artists, which are quality but expensive works.

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This post is also made for #marketfriday, a challenge proposed by our friend @dswigle, about everything that can be bought and sold, all over the world. Well, from here, souvenirs! I didn't have the patience to look at the exhibits, I knew them from previous years anyway, only the ladies were really excited as if they were seeing them for the first time. I stepped back a bit so they wouldn't feel spied on.

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I sat down a little further on, in a spot that seems to have been a favorite spot of the Queen. A place where there was a marble armchair, an armchair that had been brought from Rome, where it was found in the Senate of the Roman Empire.

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The Queen was a modern woman for her time. I think she sat in this armchair, chilled in the morning by the cool of the night, drinking her coffee and a cigarette. The Queen was a model of female empowerment and ostentatiously did things attributed to men, such as smoking. At the time no one thought that this habit was harmful to health!

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Queen Mary was a very beautiful woman! She used her beauty and the art of making herself attractive in politics, she had a major contribution to the successes of her husband, King Ferdinand. Just like her grandmother, Queen Victoria of England, who was called the Mother-in-law of Europe because she tried to make marriage treaties with the main countries of Europe, i.e. arranged marriages of her children with monarchs of other countries. Queen Mary was also called the Mother-in-law of the Balkans, because two of her daughters married the kings of Greece and Yugoslavia. The Queen dreamed of a union of the Balkan countries, which she would lead, of course! She didn't succeed, the Second World War and her death in 1938 brought this plan crashing down.

Now the queen no longer exists, like any human and she has left this earth but all this wonderful place will remember her, her love, her pleasures, and desires.

The castle, also called the Quiet Nest, is proof.

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She remains in front of the castle, through this small statue, to watch the sea. Because the sea was one of her loves.

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He sits there watching the centuries to come. Her son-in-law, King Alexander of Yugoslavia, gave her several millstones with which she paved this alley. Each stone symbolizes a century that has passed. Only one place is left, for the twenty-first century, which is our century.

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Am prezentat gradinile, o mica parte a gradinilor si nu am aratat nicio floare. Trebuie si o floare, #alwaysaflower!

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It's an Indian bat, I understand. I like it very much, I could have bought such a tree, very small of course but because I know it doesn't resist frost, I didn't get it. Now I'm very sorry and can't wait for summer to buy one for my garden.

Here we had a short walk through the gardens of Queen Mary in Balchik. I think back with great pleasure to the time I was there and I can't believe it's only been a month since I was there!

If you want to get to Balchik, it's easy enough if you're nearby. If you arrive in Bulgaria, look for Varna, a city with an airport and port. From there it's only 40 km to Balchik. If you are coming from Romania, it is only 60 km to the border, from Vama-Veche.

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This post I think fits with the #haveyoubeenhere and #marketfriday communities, but as the travel part is more consistent, I chose the first community, without diminishing the importance of the second. Thank you!

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