Gordon:  Today we climbed almost 900 metres to pass the ski resorts of Chepelare and Pamporovo, before coasting down to the traditional village of Shiroka Laka.  The ski resorts were unappealing out of season, but Shiroka Laka is delightful.  The village rises on the valley walls along irregular, cobblestone streets.  Many traditional homes have been preserved and restored.  It has become a modest tourist destination, so efforts have been made to build new structures in a manner that reflects the older homes.  

Our guesthouse is at the top of the village, but we could hear when one of the tourist buses had stopped at the central square below us.  It was not the sound of the voices, but the distinctive notes from cowbells, a popular local product, being tested.
Shiroka Laka is at an elevation of 1,050 metres, so the temperatures are pleasantly moderated.  While it was 32 degrees today in Plovdiv, the maximum in Shiroka Laka was only a comfortable 22 degrees.
Our guesthouse has a lounge and kitchen so we were able to cook for ourselves, which we enjoy doing from time to time.  However, it means that I have to write today’s blog, because Ruth is incapacitated by the litre of beer and pound of baklava we had for dessert.

We don’t always stay in dumps, despite my frugality

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