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[DAY 3 pt.1]
Shipka Theater

As we started descending from the Buzludzha memorial, darkness and fog completely overtook the mountain.
There are two options for spending a night near the monument – some sort of small hotel/mountain lodge buildings.

We visited them both trying to talk to someone and see if they
have an option to spend the night but unfortunately no one was in the buildings. Only a lonely
guard dog that constantly barked at us. We were kind of hoping the noise from the dog would
alert someone to come out and talk to us – no one came.

We descended from the mountain, finally coming out of the clouds and fog. The nearest town
which we decided to visit and search for a place to spend the night is Shipka.

Shipka is a town in central Bulgaria, in the Central Balkan Mountains, 650 meters above sea
level. As of 2005, Shipka has a population of 1,398. The town is known for being located near
the historic Shipka Pass, the location of several key battles in the Russo-Turkish War of
1877-78.

Cruisng through town I noticed that it was quite peaceful and kind of empty. There was nobody
on the streets. We found a really nice hotel in the centre of town.

Due to the prices in Bulgaria being a lot lower then in Croatia, this hotel was our base for
the next couple of days. The owners were an older couple, really nice and they spoke really
good english so we learned a lot about Bulgaria and Shipka.

What was probably the most interesting fact is that basically the hotel operates for people
who come to visit the Buzludzha monument – like us. In the time of visit (2017.), the monument
was under lockdown from the authorities, and the owners were kind of stressed due to the fact
that it’s their only income and source of clients.

As we weren’t planning on changing our plans like this, we didn’t know what was near the town
regarding locations and interesting historical sights. The owners gave us a TON of information
which we used during the next couple of days while waiting for the weather to change,
including theater in the town center.

Shipka Theatre facade Croatia Infiltration

The state of the main facade overlooking a small square in the center of town. The roof started collapsing a long time ago, there is some damage visible in the front also.
The barricades people put up to keep buildings intact are still visible but it’s just a coulisse. Usage of buildings prevents decay, not barriers.

Shipka Theatre piano Croatia Infiltration

Viwe from the main stage, complete with a broken down piano.

Shipka Theater exhibition room Croatia Infitlration

A small room on the first floor of the theater – our guess is that it was some kind of exhibition space. The walls are full of prints and pictures that are heavily damaged by water and time.
This building won’t last long due to the fact that the roof collapsed and is letting in all of natures elements..

Shipka Theatre main stage Croatia Infiltration

View from the gallery overlooking the stage. This is the only theater in this small town – it’s seen some better days…
The interesting fact is that in close proximity, there is a church with gold plated domes. Quite the contrast.

They basically said that there was no interest for the locals for a theater or a cultural
building of similar sorts – it’s a really small town.

The next couple of locations were smaller in scale, all scattered across small towns in the
neighborhood.

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