Quiet and lovely Abanassi is only four kilometers from Veliko Tarnovo, but a different world. This village is basically a small conglomerate of hotels and opulent holiday homes of rich Bulgarians. Such a peaceful setting in the midst of wine yards and rolling hills was exactly what we wanted.
Hotel Wine Palace became our all time favorite in Bulgaria, 1 kilometer outside of Abanassi: a very comfortable hotel set in a well tended garden with a large pool, all for 30 Euros. Most of the tourists were Bulgarians, except for one night, when a 30 person French orchestra arrived and gave a concert for the remaining other five guests and the small staff. We always wondered how it must feel to play in front such an audience. Nevertheless we showed great enthusiasm and tried to make up for the lack of a crowd.