“ The oldest Bulgarian mountain resort where skiers can experience the thrills of the white sport in winter, and hikers enjoy the green freshness of the mountains in summer. „
Ok, so after reading plenty of reviews before my girlfriend and i went and having spent what i can only call "peanuts" on the intial trip it self, just like everyone else said we were going with an open mind with no high expectations. Having said this, were were both rather surprised especially given the fact the both of us had skiied most of our lives in many top European and even Canadian resorts!
We went on February 5th 2011 for a week and stayed in the Hotel Bor just outside the town centre but a nice 10 minute walk to all of the bars, shops, slopes etc. The Hotel was nice, being cheap and cheerful, and all the staff were lovely. The breakfast and dinner that is included if half board was ok but obviously you get what you pay for. Not to worry as eating out is relatively cheap! You do get a hot breakfast which is good but for both courses selection is limited. The bar in the hotel is cheap with a 500ml beer being 2.50 Lev (£1.20) which is almost a third of the price than it is in the UK.
Renting equipment is cheap but shop around the smaller outlets and barter with them as they will give you a better price, don't just dive at the first offer you get as they love to heckle! However when booking your ski pass you might be better ordering that before you go. I only say this as we payed around £125 for a 6 day lift pass and i think it may be slightly cheaper to purchase through your tour operator before you go.
The night life is great and even better for the drink prices! When you walk through the town you do come across people trying to get you into the bars and restaurants but its all good fun and they are generally friendly and enjoy a laugh. Try all the different bars and places to eat as they will offer you free shots and all sorts of stuff, if not then you could be cheeky and ask. Happy hour starts from 4pm onwards. Go to Katys Pub, very cosy little place and does cracking steak! £1 for a large beer and all sorts of cheap cocktails during happy hour and a live performer! Plus the staff appreciate your business and it goes without saying; they all love it when you attempt the language and also when you leave a well deserved tip! It is a much more friendly experince in Borovets with the locals really wanting you to have a good time providing good entertainment and warm welcomes!
When we were there the last snowfall was 2 weeks prior, meaning the snow conditions weren't brilliant and most of the runs were closed towards the end of the week. Having said this, the weather all week was clear blue skies and hot sun; partly the reason for the deteriating snow! We wern't to phased by this as with the weather being absolutely fantastic we spent alot of the time in the sun taking advantage of the cheap drink prices and just taking it easy. The runs were fairly busy and it is very much a resort for beginners, not just due to the variety of runs but also the majority of people who go there are first time skiers! We knew before we went that it wasn't the place for hard core skiing but more of a relaxing ski holiday which was just what we needed. The best thing about staying at the Hotel Bor is that it is the perfect excuse for you to stop off at every bar on the way back from the ski hill, a great way to get to know the locals who will sure remember your face everytime!
All in all it's a great, cheap, relaxing ski holiday destination and you will love it if you arn't expecting the Ritz which of course you wouldn't be! We will definitely be going back but a word to the wise; try and book it closer to the time as we saved a fortune booking it a few weeks before but that is the risk you take with regard to availability!
Nazdrave! (cheers in Bulgarian)
Hi im Ian from England,Been to Borovets twice now and cannot fault the place, beautiful scenery and ski slopes. Last year spent most night in KATINA BAR which this year is called SNOW INN, absolutely love this place and the great staff, they really go out of there way to look after you and make your holiday a great one. the food is the best i have ever had apart from my mothers cooking :), the only place to get an english breakfast that is actually english with black pudding, real british sausage and bacon, you have to try this place if your visiting Borovets. I am sure you will enjoy it as much as me.....Thankyou Borovets and Snow Inn i will be back very soon!!!!!!
If you are looking for a place with good food and delicious drinks you have to try SNACKBAR JOY in Borovets.Snackbar Joy is situated close to the gondola in Borovets.Therefore it's the ideal place as a meeting point; drink a large beer, hot wine or something else on the terrace while you ar waiting. If it is cold, you can sit inside (close to the fireplace).It's a very cosy place with a seperate room for smoking and non-smoking. They serve delicious pizza's, made in a traditional way in a stone oven, for a reasonable price. You can taste all kinds of food varying from the traditional Bulgarian kitchen to an english breakfast.The people are very friendly there.YOU HAVE TO TRY IT!
Having never been on a skiing/snowboarding holiday before (i had several hours tuition in a UK snow centre) i was realy hoping for somewhere quite simple and where the slopes didnt pose too much of a challenge. I snowboarded by the way.
I found Borovets, this turned out to be perfect for me as there were plenty of small slopes that i got aquainted with for the first few days and then there is a large mountain that more advanced users can go down, i attempted this on the last day but only managed a small part of it.
From speaking to experienced snowboarders and skiiers they definatly found this resort a little simple but i think for such as myself it was perfect.
We stayed in private apartments which were a 5 min walk away from the main area so it turned out to be very good for us.
The food as in all Bulgaria leaves much to be desired and can be really hit and miss, but i would recommend Chilli Peppers, Mamacitas or Frankos as we always got a great meal when in those. I did have some really bad food in other places though.
The resort is quite small with one main strip and then another smaller street that has a few restaurants on and even more important a 24 pizza restaurant. Very good to end the aprei ski session in a warm pleasant place.
The nightlife was good but had somewhat limited choice, probly about 10 bars in the resort but most were open late and had plesent staff.
I had a great time here with friends, all of whom hadnt skied/snowboarded before. I would say that if it is simply the skiing you are after then there are better places, but then they are much more expensive. For a cheap first time experience this is perfect.
I have just returned from a week long ski holiday in Borovets. Firstly i would like to say that the prices may be cheap but its definately not worth bothering to go to. The food is terrible! There is a limited choice of pizza and chips. The skiing is okay but by far not the best. The lifts are set out in the worst way possible. The runs arnt sign posted properly, so that it easy to get lost. The night life is okay but it is very very annoying whilst walking through the town and you get people begging and asking you to come in. There is a few upsides! The beers are cheap if you go to the right place and the hotel rila is a good place to stay with lots to do if you dont want too ski. All in all i would definately not recommend it to anyone.
Borovets is a good low-cost, small ski resort. I agree with others who comment on it being small and not for advanced skiers but if you are looking for somewhere cheap, this is it!
I have been to Borovets twice. The first time, it was my 3rd time skiing! And more recently I returned after over 20 ski holidays. so my experiences are drawn from both times.
As a beginner I booked hired equipment however even as a beginner I recognised that this wasn't ideal. After trying on several pairs of boots I just took some and they hurt my feet so much that I went and bought my own boots from the ski shop (only £80 for Rossignol boots - bargain). After this my skiing went from strength to strength as I had better control in my feet and legs. My advice here would be to seperately book your ski and boot hire, rather than through your travel agent or in the package. I did notice that there were several ski hire places, some had all the lastest equipment. the place I went to seemed the cheap option!
There are a number of runs in Borovets, catering for all abilities however the actual length of runs is somewhere around 35Km rather than the 200Km you'd find at one of the linked French or Austrian resorts. However having said this, the green and blue runs at the top of the gondola are fine for a beginner, who will probably spend most of the week up here, prgressing onto the easier reds by the end of the week. For more advanced skiiers, runs are limited with several reds and a couple of blacks, however unless you want to bomb it down, these are plenty along with a couple of icy greens that go round the mountain, with chances to stop at mountain huts for hot chocolate or schnapps.
Hotels in the resort vary from the Rila and Samokov with pools, casinos and shops below to the Lion and Bor which are a walk from town.
I stayed at the Bor and it was fine - rooms were clean and tidy. The hotel had a buffet style restaurant and a bar. the walk to and from skiing was very welcome on my first visit to Borovets to stretch out my weary muscles. It only took 10 minutes and was downhill on the way back.
There are a few shops and restaurants around the resort. The Buzz Bar is fantastic and has happy hours at good prices. White Magic is also worth a visit.
The transfer from Sofia takes 1.5 hours because the roads aren't great. The resort had reasonable snow mid Feb and great snow at Christmas. I guess you just have to be lucky with the snow though it has been pretty good both times I've been.
My one caution about Bulgaira..... There are often powercuts meaning no light, you get give candles instead in the hotels! This also affects the lifts. I have been stuck on a chairlift with no power but not the gondola - I think they have a generator/oil/gas methods of bringing you down if it should cut out then!
A good resort with cheap prices (50p half litre of lager, £2.50 a pizza, £1 a plate of chips)
My wife and I are good intermediate skiiers. Enjoy red and even black slopes after a fresh snow fall. We came to Borovets in the half term holiday period. The resort is strangely split between two areas and sadly they do not really join up. The lower slopes are accessed by a couple of chair lifts which start off on wide blue slopes ending in a choice of reds a black or a green mountain path.
There are a couple of very wide nursery slopes but these were incredibly crowded for the first 3-4 days. We saw groups of 15+ in classes and it seemed to take ages for the pupils in the classes to take their turn. At worst the beginner drags had 75+ people shuffling in line for their turn. It must have been 40+ minutes to get onto the drags at peek time. Also on the first day we were shocked by the length of queues to get ski gear for some of the groups (its unlikely they got their gear before lunch on the first day) so get up early to get your skis.
The second range (much higher and therefore much colder) is reached via the gondolas (25 minute ride) and has an amazing wide green run at the top along with a good blue, a couple of nice wide reds and a black. The drags are tedious though and the 2nd and 3rd drags are horrendously jerky and uncomfortable. The runs down are mainly reds with one nice blue for part of the way. Strangely a couple of the reds run down to nowhere and you have to either walk back or take one of the horse drawn taxis (10 Lev) back to the gondola. There is one chair lift up the side and when the gondola queue is huge (over 30 mins) then it could be advisable to take a taxi to the chair lift which goes up to the middle of the range where you can join the gondolas from the reds, not advisable for beginners.
We arrived after a fresh snow fall and so the first few days enjoyed relatively good conditions. The snow on the higher range stays fresher if conditions turn mild, but its icy till mid day if there has been no cloud cover overnight. We enjoyed many of the slopes but were annoyed that on some days not all the slopes were refreshed by piste bashers. With the limited runs it seems incredibly lazy not to have them all in good working order at the start of each day. On the last day they closed the top gondola so many more beginners were packed onto the lower range. Too many beginners trying their first red slopes at the end of their first week to make it a safe experience. There is an opportunity to night ski on floodlit slopes but Im not sure of the attraction as its just floodlit and at extra cost (no flaming torch processions etc)
If you are a good strong skier you will have skied the entire range in two days or less, but there are plenty of off piste tracks for the more adventurous. All in all a reasonable range but too crowded at times and very annoying that random runs were left undressed and remained heavily rutted when they could have been so much better.
We can thoroughly recommend one of the restaurants on the nursery slope. As you come off the number 3 red slope facing the Rila Hotel it is on your right facing the first of the two chairlifts. Their pizzas are amazing and so is their hot wine. A mug of that mid afternoon will certainly help you fly down the reds and blacks for the rest of the afternoon!
A word of caution
The hole in the wall machines seem to either not work or deliberately not accept English cards of any sort. Is it a conspiracy with the bureau de change and hotels? This forced us to take out cash from our credit card in the hotel with a handling charge of 10%! The cash exchange rate is generous so bring English cash for emergencies.
Hi, a very useful review, but I would like to inform you some of the information is wrong:
1. Borovets is 70 kilometers away from Sofia and though the condition of the road is not very good and it is not always cleaned from snow during the winter, the trip from Sofia is not more than an hour, in the summer even shorter. The town of Samokov is less than 10 km from the resort.
2. The Rila, Samokov are really one of the largest (Rila having 500 rooms and Samokov around 300) and most popular hotels, but they are all quite old and though they've been partly refurbished, their only advantages are the central location and the many shops offering everything, thats all. Many new smaller hotels, chalets, apartment houses etc. offering comfortable accommodation, better food, friendlier staff and personal service at the same or even lower rates:)
3. A big mistake is to think that the high season is around April! The snow begins to fall around mid Dec, usually there is good skiing conditions around Xmas and New Year, mid Jan is relatively good, but the high season is in February. March is still ok, but by the end some of the slopes begin to melt and then become icy. April is end of the season, and by the end not always possible to ski/snowboard.
4. After all as a Bulgarian I wouldn't say we eat our food cold, we prefer it warm too, but I'd rather say the English eat it too hot which seems strange to me!! Other thing is that the hotels/restaurants in Borovets, as a resort visited mostly by English skiers and snowboarders, they should serve you the food the way you prefer it;)
thats all for now..
I have recently returned from a week in Borovets and felt I must write this due to some conlicting reviews I have read and would like to clear some things up regardin the area.
Firstly the skiing is generally quite good, the snow conditions were good, if a little icy at times, although this is combated by the snow machines that are all over the slopes.
The problem with the skiing here is that compared to other resorts I have been to and other rsorts I have read up on there are a lack of runs. The main mountain in Borovets has a couple of runs which on the whole are very good for intermediate skiers, the black runs can be steep but are rarely as challenging as I have seen.
The second mountain is the better mountain for faster and lightly more challenging skiing, i forget the name of it but this is the mountain where you must use the gondola lift ( theother mountain is chair lifts only).
once at the top of this mountian there are several steep runs and one quite good mogul run, you can then take a pulley lift back up toward the top and take on a few more slopes. The snow is also better on this mountain.
The major problem, however was that of the 5 days skiing we had, this mountain was only open completely on 2 of the and the other days was only open to intermediate level which is about half way up, leaving you to go back on the limited amount of runs on the first mountain.
the most annoying thing however, is that there is a lot of cros country parts between the end of the run and the gondola, something I have never experienced in my time in europe or america.
one last thing is that not all the runs are entirely safe in my opinion, there are many steep red/black runs that are intersected by the path of a blue/green run right at the bottom of the peak making collisions or akward stopping common.
As far as accomodation goes, we stayed at the hotel zodiac, a new hotel 10 minutes from the slopes with a free bus service, very good clean rooms with power shower, tv and fridge.
Food in bulgaria is generally cheap but not very good. during the day you will eat from the cafes and stands that adorn the slopes and you will have a choice of a burger a hotdog or a doner kebab and that is pretty much it.
In the evening many cheap meals can be found although most are not worth the mony. Pay a little extra and go to Katy's steak and wine place and it is wll worth it, by far the finest food in borvets.
The nightlife is entirely geared to young british people with many bars offering cocktails, free drinks and shots etc. The staff at many bars are friendly and accomodating.
The rumours of prostitutes lining the streets and hotel lobbies are untrue, they are available but are not there unless you go looking for them in the erotic or go- go bars.
Unfortunaley there are one or two beggars but not on too large a scale. Also many people attempt o hand you flyers and harass you to eat or drink in their bar.
On the whole I would say if you are a young, beginner or intermediate skier then this is the place for you. However, if you are looking for somthing a little more challenging then look elsewhere. It is better than resorts such as Niederau but lagging behind any others I have visited, although expansion to the amount of run etc is apparently planned.
Also look elsewhere if you are a fussy eater.
Let me preface this by saying that although many Europeans visit Borovets(Borovetz) for the ski/boarding, the vast number of British seem to return for its other activities with ski/boarding something to do while your waiting for a bar to open.
The resort lies 2hours by bus from the capital city Sofia(location of the airport)
There are currently 3 major hotels in use in the resort.
The Rila hotel is by far the best hotel to stay at for many reasons. First and foremost its location. It is situated smack bang at the bottom of the main ski slope. It is adorned by its own shops and services and is easily on international hotel. Stepping out side the front door, you find the town, the ski hire shops, restaurants, drag and chair lifts.
Named after the nearest main city(about 20km away) it too is a very nice hotel with its own facilities. Although only 5 minutes walk from the Rila, it is best situated for the gondola(more of that later), supermarket and cash points. It too is on one corner of the town but remains my second choice.
This hotel is situated on the lower part of a green run and affords good access from the slopes on your way down the mountain. This is the hotels only good point. Glossy photos and brochures do not do this place justice. It is a pre-cold war hole of a hotel. I stayed at this hotel and was glad to leave it when ever possible. Food, smell, facilities, rooms etc, were a joke. Personally in not sure how it managed the 2 star status but I would struggle to give it 1. I will not be visiting this hotel again.
The town is entering a bid for the 2014 winter games and as such is revamping and building lots and lots. There are already several apartments and some much smaller guesthouse style hotels.
Currently by western standards, this resort is very cheep indeed and still is very expensive on a national basis.
If you are English, you will undoubtedly be enticed into the restaurants by men outside shouting "steak and pizza", as this is the only food apparently that they believe we eat.
At the 'Blue Bar' [personal favourite] an 18oz steak with trimmings and sides, plus 2 or 3 drinks cost in the region of £5 and was excellent indeed.
There seems to be several local oddities however. The Bulgarians invariably eat most of there food cold. This is to say that the cook it then leave it to cool before serving. Odd!! Most places however, realise that this is not the way we like it and normally serve hot food.
A second strange thing that we noticed was, that at the 14lev (£4 at the time of our visit) mark, most menu items come served alone. i.e. you pay 14lev for a steak, you get a huge lump of steak and nothing else - you have to order garnish/side etc separate.
Drink is very cheap to English standards but due to the tourist nature of the place, is not the cheapest in Europe. £0.50 per pint of "local" beer.
Avoid where possible ordering anything you recognise from home, in the hotel bars at least. A pint of Guinness in the Rila cost almost £6.
Wine is extremely cheep and the local vintages are often very nice.
NIGHT LIFE :
Borovets is a big party town. Tour groups and package holiday firms rule as a consequence. Dues to this, do not expect a quiet night out... ever!!
It is a fact that a high proportion of goings on and activities in Borovets have some sort of mafia inclusion. This ranges from corruption of officials the street traders. My experience is that there is nothing to fear as these people rely on western tourists to a very large extent. The most common thing to look out for is scams but these are mostly opportunistic at best(i.e. getting police to come into the strip clubs saying that you have not paid for drinks, when in fact you have, making you pay twice) and not very common. On the whole not talked about and not really an issue. It turned out that our ski instructor was involved in the mafia but said that the only business worth doing was fake goods, a thing which has no laws against it as far as can be discerned due to the prolific nature of Okenly sunglasses and Tommy Hilfiga cloths etc, on sale literally everywhere.
ADULT ENTERTAINMENT :
The adult industry deserves its own mention due to its high activity level. The town is formed loosely around 3 street forming a triangle or sorts. This circuit measure less than a mile and has several branched streets, which bring the total road length to about 1.5 mile. In this distance, there are at least 40 restaurant/bars, about 20 shops(outside the hotels) and a minimum of 11 strip clubs. I wont go into too much detail but some(about 1/3) are mafia, remember the scams. The others are independents. All offer lap dancing(£10-£15). Most offer private dances(80lev/£30ish), some offer other services on negotiated price basis. These places are not as seedy as you may think and often locals meet up inside for a quiet drink. The ladies are very friendly, intelligent and genuinely enjoy their jobs apparently, so our mafia friend told us, purely due to the relatively large amount of money they can make.
Prostitution on the other hand is another business entirely. Girls will walk around hotel lobbies plying their trades. Very strangely, they will also drive round the streets trying to pick up stray men to take back to their apartments. Prostitution, although illegal, is accepted and very few laws relating to it are enforced unless a scam is active.
The snow season starts relatively late. Although dustings are common throughout the winter, in mid January, the real snow had yet to fall. We were told that the high season was around April.
There are 2, 4 chair man lifts currently in operation on the town side of the gondola, with several short drag lifts. The first of the chair lifts is directly outside the Rila hotel and cannot be missed. It is a little old and tends to throw you out at the top so beginners may be better to carry skies or boards. It tops out to a green run which in most places is unsuitable for boarding unless you like to walk, also a red run. These runs cross each other often and provide the opportunity to attack the black runs. In borovets, we found that black referred to ice due to low snowfall and made boarding tricky at best. Most skiers would not attempt. This is unfortunate for boarders new to the sport. If you have to stop to give way to a black/red run which happens to cross the boardable sections of green, you will not have enough momentum to continue down the green to the bottom without walking for over a mile. Alternatively, you can attempt anyone of the other 3 run-outs, directly to the lift. Unfortunately, these are all black runs.
A second 4-chair man lift can be found by going left out of the rila. A much better lift which actually breaks at the top. This is a better location for boarders and has a cafe just down the first bit of the run on the left but tends to be a little pricey. This run has a couple of choices but the black run offer a natural tube with a right hand turn which is quite fun and a bit of a change of scene. On top of which, it seems to be used exclusively by boarders. To find it, just keep right after the cafe. Unfortunatly it is unlikely that you will be able to keep momentum(due mainly to skiers and the narrow green) and will have to walk about 1/4 mile before being able to board again. Shortly after this, you will be faced with a choice, either rejoin the other runs from the other lift, or attempt the "wall". It is shear in places and has more mogel that a mogel factory. Try it, it fun but be sure you have good insurance.
There is a second area, which is only accessible via the gondola and almost double your altitude. It is well worth the 15-minute walk, the 5-minute wait and the 20-minute ride time. The gondola is situated outside the samokov hotel and is on top of a small supermarket. There are three stations, top, middle and bottom. Top is where we want to go to but remember the middle. Travel to the top and find a cafe or 2 toilets, access to many fantastic runs and a 40 wait to get back on to go down, as many people toward to end of the day ride up, just to have a look around. The some of the runs are green at best with access to reds and the odd black. As a border, there are really only 2 runs you should consider. The first is the main route direct to the middle station(told you to remember it) this run is very fast in places and is as most 3 miles long. It offers both very narrow section for speeding past skiers and worrying them ;p and relatively wide areas for carving. The middle station is off the right hand side of the bottom section of a black run. From here you can either go back to the top or avoid the long queues to get to the bottom.
The other run is not strictly a run at all but rather the gap made the feet of the gondola supports. This is known as "forest garden" much like any off slope area. The path is distinctive but not for beginners at all. It takes you direct to the mid station.
It can be hard to get back up to the mid station if you stray to far below it and will result in you taking a 6-8mile walk along winding green runs only to enter nowhere. A friend of mine did this and in a surreal moment, found a clearing in the forest in which stood a gypsy with a horse and cart(these people offer "taxi" rides). It cost him £10 to get back to the town. He added that he had never felt so scared for his life due to poor driving in his life.
I learned a few lessons while in Bulgaria; firstly a DIY shop wouldn't go a miss. Secondly tip your ski instructor. Ours was very good so I tipped him 50lev/£20ish and he was so elated that he gave me 3 more days personal tuition showed me some more advance techniques. It turned out 50lev was about the same amount he was being paid to teach our group of 9 for 6 hours over 3 days.
Thirdly, every one has an angle to work on you. Its a very commercial place.
Fourth, snickers bars cost more than beer.
Fifth, dont expect to always be given the correct change. There are 100 stotinkies to a lev and they worth very little indeed. Combine this with prices like 1.37lev(all very odd prices), pay with 2lev and only get 0.5lev back if your lucky.
People throw stotinkies away.
Sixth, The rich are really rich, the poor are really poor and there is nobody between them.
Naturally I learned much more than this and could write double what I have. My greatest fear is that Borovets will loose is frontier charm very soon. Bulgaria is set to join the EU and will probably adopt the Euro, bringing prices right up. Also, they are going for the 2014 winter Olympics which will mean the place will become a sterile tourist hotspot with the only advantage from my point of view being the large amount of money being spent to modernise and double to size of the resort.
Hope you enjoy and keep the dream alive.
I went to Borovets a couple of years back and thought it was really good value for money. Fair enough, it isn't the French Alps, the accommodation isn't four star and its not glamorous, but it was real fun. The people were very poor but also very friendly and helpful.It was a pleasure to speak to them and a privelege to be in their beautiful country. Hotel staff were eager to assist and always very pleasant. The room was spotlessly clean and quite comfortable but not the Ritz. There was plently of food and lots to choose from in the hotel. Meals in Cafes and Restaurants were really cheap. I am a beginner at skiing and found the lower slopes quite challenging enough. I also had my own private ski instructor at a cost of just £7 per hour and felt like an expert skier with his encouragement and expertise. He knew just when I was about to topple over, and invariably saved my injured pride. All in all it was a wonderful, inexpensive holiday. It was relaxed and the weather was brilliant. I came back with a golden brown suntan and money in my pocket! If you want an inexpensive skiing holiday and you are prepared to take it as it comes, you can't beat Borovets. If however, you are expecting to spend a week in the lap of luxury and you are the type that complains at 'the drop of a hat', don't bother going here, spend twice as much and go to the French Alps, or Switzerland.
My girlfriend and I went on a skiing holiday to Borovets a few years back....... and it was great! Sure, if we'd had the money Valdisere or Aspen would have been lovely, but the fact is we didn't have the cash! So Borovets it was! The country is quite poor, but the people are lovely! Be warned the Bulgars like to serve their food luke-warm, but they know not all people like it that way so, if you ask nicely, they'll warm it up for you! I'd never been skiing before but our instructor was great. An ex-Olympic team member, she pushed us just hard enough to help us get the best out of things. Moving up from the easier runs to some of the more 'fun' faster ones come the end of the week. Be warned, if you've not done it before, skiing is exhausting! You'll find muscles you've never even thought you might possibly have had, and though Borovets has a banging nightlife of cheesy clubs and karaoke bars, don't burn the candle at both ends! You'll never make it! Sadly, 2 days from the end of our holiday my girlfriend snapped a ligament in her knee! (make sure you have good insurance, Columbus have low costs, but higher Premiums) But no fear! The Bulgarian folk were great! We had a porter waiting for us at Sofia airport, who carried our bags, checked us in, wheeled girlf. around in her wheelchair and even wanted to carry her onto the plane! Give Borovets a bash! And bring back some cheap Schnaps, Vodka and bootleg CD's for me!
We decided to choose Borrovits as our first ski destination, mainly on the travel agents reccomendation. It was a cheep learn to ski week and a big mistake. We choose the best hotel as it was only slightly dearer than the rest. It had a good night club and grand lobby, plain but adaquette rooms. Terrible luke warm food. There wasnt much snow in the village so we used the upper slopes which were accessed after a 2 hour cue for the gondola and then a 30 min trip. Exiting the gondola involved decending thick ice covered steps in ski boots, which caused many tumbles. Big cues for all lifts at the top. A charge equivilent to there days wage was levied for the toilet, which was a hole in ground with no paper. They charged to lean skis outside cafes!, infact they cahrged for anything they could think of. The town itself was ok with good apres ski. A ski jump show was a highlight. The locals however tried to rip us off at every oppurtunity. We felt awkard as we knew they were very poor and in consequence we felt very rich, but we didnt want to be the easy victim who was ripped off. It was the only holiday in which I was glad to be boarding the plane home.