The quaint mountain town of Veliko Tarnovo is a far cry from the tourist-packed Sunny Beach and the charming Varna along the Black Sea.

I never expected to stay for as long as I did in this town. But, when Abby left to return to Istanbul, I decided to hunker down, soak up the air-con and laid-back vibe, drink some rose water (and other yummy rose-flavored beverages) and savor some quiet before heading to the Adriatic.

A top the town is an ancient fortress. While Abby was with me, we tried to get some culture, but were rained out. The next day, we returned under the blistering summer sun and explored the ruins of what was once a mighty fortress.

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