This is a page which has information regarding companies we have come across so far that we have found to be really useful. Also we have listed information regarding our travels across to Bulgaria, and also costs of living. This page will be constantly updated as we come across more companies, or any information that we have found to be useful
Firstly we would like to start with the agency we used for buying our property, Investment Link BG. We can’t praise them enough for all of their help, transparency, and professionalism of organising everything for us.
If you have read through our blog you will have noticed that we bought our house off of Ebay, without seeing it first. Some people call this risky, but with the information we received during the bidding process coupled with the after service we can only say that any doubts / niggles we might have had, have turned out to be unfounded and we couldn’t have asked for a better service.
Everything in the listing on Ebay was as described and the company had continued to check on our property (to make sure everything was ok) until we moved over.
On another one of our posts on the blog you will see what “fun” we had trying to find a fridge. The best place we have come across if you want new is Technomarket. They are what would be considered as an equivalent to Currys back in the UK. When you go into one of their stores a staff member will come up and greet you with “dobra den” (which means hello), say this back and then like we do point at yourselves and say “anglo” (which means English), they then usually walk away and will find someone who speaks English, who will come over and help you with everything you need. We found it a bit off putting the first time as they follow you around everywhere, but that is their job so it is completely normal. Once you have an idea of what it is you would like or what you want to look at more, they go in the back, get the item out, and they will plug it in and show you it working, and how to use it before you are allowed to leave the store.
We have found that there are numerous places down side streets which sell second hand goods, these have been refurbished and look good as new, just make sure you ask about the guarantee, as a decent store will give you the guarantee which is normally for a year. Dodgy shops won’t, so just walk away as there are plenty more about.
If you want your English food (i.e. Heinz baked beans, Tomato sauce, etc) then the best place we have come across is Kaufland this is very similar to an Asda or Tesco’s back in the UK. The majority of produce is aimed towards the Bulgarian market but you can find your own little piece of England if you really want it. Bare in mind though that if you do stick to UK brands you will be paying alot more than if you go local. We decided to do as the Bulgarians do and have found that everything we have bought so far has been far more tasty than similar items back in the UK.
Another little gem we have come across is the local “indoor” market which is open 7 days a week and the local market which is held on a Saturday morning. At the indoor market you will find everything from fresh fruit and veg, clothes, linen, toys, car parts, tools, etc, etc, the list just goes on and on. Only thing to watch out for are the prices. If the item you want doesn’t have a price sticker on it walk away as the traders will spot that you are English a mile off and put the price up. But if it has a sticker on it, then that is the price you pay. The local market is held pretty much for the locals. Villagers from the surrounding area will bring with them produce that they have grown in the gardens, fruit, veg etc, they will also bring plants, honey, chickens, rabbits, ducks, horses, again the list goes on and on. Most of them have hand made signs that state the price they are looking for so you are fairly safe when buying. There are a few traders but nowhere near as many as the indoor market.
As an example of prices we got the following for the equivalent of just under £15.00
12 Brocolli plants
12 Cauliflower plants
120 Mixed varities of Pepper plants
20 Mixed varities of Tomato plants
7 Cucumber plants
12 Cabbage plants
10 Pansy plants
Now I doubt you will be able to get that many plants for that price in the UK!
For DIY materials just shop around, everything is very similar but there can be some considerable cost savings made if you look around enough. We have found a few good local suppliers from which we will purchase the bulk of what we need. Once you have selected the supplier (s) you will be using in, pop in there every now and then just to have a look and show your face. As with us, they instantly recognise us, and come to us to help us find everything that we need, it really does make a difference rather than putting every word into a translator or doing a mime show to depict what it is that your looking for.
Costs of Travelling over
We chose to take the ferry from Dover to Calais for our means of getting onto the continent. We did this for a few reasons, namely the cost (as we had to go on as freight) and also the speed of crossing (as we had two dogs with us). We went with P&O ferries and booked our crossing for 23:15. The cost for this for two adults, two dogs, a LWB high top van towing a caravan came in at £ 120.00.
We made sure we filled up with diesel before we left the UK, and only filled up 3 times on route (2 times were just half tanks). The biggest mistake we made was to fill up half a tank in Romania (that cost us 75 Euros – we know we were ripped off but at the time we just wanted to get out of the country).
Anyone who travels over after the 15/6/13 will be able to use the new bridge over the Danube, and the costs are suppose to be under 5 euros for a car.
Our total costs for ferry, fuel, food, vignettes, ferry came in at approx 460 Euros and we covered just over 1600 miles door to door.