On 8-18 August 2017, I went to Bulgaria to visit my brother Greg and his family. As their children begin to spread their wings and set off on life's journey, opportunities for the whole family to be together will become increasingly rare. Gregory was about to leave for America to begin studying at Brown University in Rhode Island. Joyce is in her last year at the English National Ballet Academy in London, and was in Prague for a masters' class and a chance to meet representatives of a number of ballet companies. Mina still has two years at the Townshend School in the Czech Republic where Greg and Emi are now living.

After a night in Sofia, we drove to the Black Sea coast north of Burgos, where Greg and Emi have an apartment in a beachside holiday development called "The Garden of Eden" (although I could not find an apple tree with a snake in it). We relaxed on the beach and at poolside, and swam a bit, although I also painted the apartment's balcony railing. We then returned to Sofia for a night to pick up Joyce at the airport, and after some morning shopping and medical appointments, drove down to Emi's home village of Krupnik, beyond Blagoevgrad, for four nights in their house there with Emi's mother. The orchards were laden with peaches, apples and other fruits, and the garden provided fresh vegetables, so we experienced the benefits of village life.

Dahl family . brothersMina, Gregory and Emi 
With the Dahl family; two brothers; Mina, Gregory and Emi

view of the Black Sea . Emi and Greg at home . Home in Krupnik
View from the apartment on the Black Sea; Emi and Greg at home in Krupnik

Hiking behind Krupnik . Hiking behind Krupnik . their very dirty dog
Hiking in the forested hills behind Krupnik; their dog wallowed in a muddy stream, and then rolled in ashes, turning from light brown to black

Hiking behind Krupnik . Hiking behind Krupnikriver below the village 
Many hillsides were planted in conifers a half century ago; the river in the valley below the village

Dahl family . Family with Gregory's friend Merla
Family portrait; with Gregory's friend Merla

street in front of the house . morning rush hour . morning rush hour
The busy street in front of their house; the morning rush hour, also recycling any garden waste left along the street

Bulgarian countryside . Bulgarian countryside . Blagoevgrad
The Bulgarian countryside; view of Blagoevgrad

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Last updated 30 August 2017

Photographs copyright © Arthur Lyon Dahl 2017