We were incredibly relieved (and impressed at the promptness!) when we saw a taxi pull in to the front of the airport at 6am!
Our cavalry had arrived!
We loaded up the taxi and set off through the early morning, beautiful Bulgarian countryside, on a gloriously sunny day.
At last, we could sit and relax for a little while and just enjoy the journey, and stunning scenery.
Before booking the taxi, we had checked with the company about the rules on getting food shopping whilst under quarantine, and had been assured that we were definitely allowed to go to a supermarket and pick up essentials.
If we hadn’t, it would have been dried milk and tinned beans for two weeks!
So we popped into Billa in Vratsa on the way and stocked up on a fortnight’s worth of shopping, for the first time treating ourselves to a few things that need to be stored in a fridge and freezer, now that we had one at last.
When we’d left last time, Ian had wrapped some green garden twine round the property gate (because we could no longer lock it), so that we’d know if anyone had been in there poking around.
So we were relieved to see it was still tied when we finally pulled up in front of the house at about 9am.
We headed up the path and as we rounded the corner, we noticed that the basement door was slightly ajar :O
Not a great sign…
As we came up to the cottage door though, we saw that was still locked, which caused a rush of relief to go through me.
Then we glanced up to the main house front door and saw THAT too was slightly ajar.
Now fearing the worst, we quickly got the cottage door unlocked and discovered that we had indeed been burgled.
The brand new fridge freezer, most of our garden chairs, most of the brand new tools and equipment, the almost new woodburning stove, and even our pack of toilet rolls had gone… 🙁
Surprisingly, we both took it very well.
My brain just instantly seemed to kick into problem-solving mode.
We had a stash of food needing refrigeration, with nothing to keep it cool, nothing to cook it on, in the middle of a Bulgarian summer of 25-30 degrees, can’t speak the language, don’t know the number to call the local police AND we were under quarantine so not allowed to leave the house or have anyone come to the house for the next 14 days!
What to do??
Thank goodness for Facebook expat groups and our eternal angels, Caroline and Danny!
I messaged Caroline to tell her what had happened, and she called me to say they would do what they could to help, bless her.
I put a message up on several Bulgarian expat groups, and was so grateful for the flurry of help and advice that so many kind people offered.
A wonderful Bulgarian woman who speaks excellent English contacted the police for us.
After that it was a whirlwind of activity, trying to unpack what we’d brought in between visits from the police, phone calls with the Bulgarian woman and Caroline, keeping B happy and calm, feeding us all, filling buckets with cold water to try and keep the refrigerated foods a little bit cooler, a visit from the local mayor to offer help and assistance and leave his business card with us (which was a pleasant surprise, and we got to meet him too!), going through the house and making a list of everything that had been taken, when we had already been awake all night!
Ian set up a makeshift firepit outside on the path so we were able to boil the whole chicken we’d bought to roast, in a pan of water (fortunately, they’d at least left us with our pans!), so we could eat that straight away, as we knew it wouldn’t last long in the heat.
We had that for dinner with a raw carrot and a bit of bread, and as we were pretty exhausted from the travelling and the drama, we crashed out pretty early that night!
Photos from today…
Mega cabbage; only 50p!!
Little boy exploring the jungle!
Back to primitive cooking facilities again 😀
And back to sitting on
the steps again too!
Little cherub asleep in his own
“other one house” bedroom <3
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