Visiting pelican…

Maja and I have known each other for years, but we never got an opportunity to get more familiar. We met at the university, and after that a lot of times at various events, where we were starting to chat, but due to the circumstances we never get to develop our stories. However, from our the few conversations I guessed that the two of us would have a lot to talk about. When I discovered that Maja rides a bike with a basket, loves cooking and enjoys good wine, I knew I had a good presumptions about her. Maja is an adventurer who browses Europe on a bicycle, but she has the best feeling in the nature among the vegetation and the birds (so I was told). From her bicycle route along the Danube from Serbia through Bulgaria, she brought us the wonderful photos and the story of the kingdom of pelicans and warm-hearted people. Since I normally bind Bulgaria with good memories, these photos and stories only confirmed my remembrance.

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Our shadows and the shadows of our loaded bikes were slowly moving down the street of semi-deserted Srebarna. We were passing along the village courtyards and sun fell/shone into the rain pipes between the walls, and we felt on our feets the august heat beating from the stone. Srebarna is lovely Bulgarian village as well as the Biosphere Reserve, and our Bed and Breakfast place halfway to the Danube Delta in Romania.

Curiosity and tiredness after an eight-hour pedaling were rapidly growing as we glided under treetops and seeked where we gonna put down our panniers and exhausted bodies for that night. We could easily communicate with Bulgarians, but this time we did not ask them for advice where to sleep, but instead wandered through the village looking for the perfect lodging. Bulgarian smiling grannies, sitting on wooden benches, followed us with their questioning eyes and quietly uttered, “добър ден” (good day). They gathered like a flock of birds in front of their old house that represent a true example of old rural Bulgarian architecture.

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It could be said that the lodge found us. When we rang the bell, the green wooden door opened and we were greeted by Mike, Jerry and Peggy.

Pelican Lake Guesthouse is a magical house, lodging for travelers and also Environmental Project Centre for bird-watching on the lake Srebarna. The owners are Mike and Jerry, cute couple from England who was traveling a few years ago trough Bulgaria and decided to renounce everything in the UK and move right here.

Mike created ​​his little kingdom in the yard. He filled his small shed with books about birds, maps, photographs, where he spends a lot of time studying species that nest here, such as the Mute swan, Bleu nightingale, Dalmatian pelicans … Jerry prefers to be in her beautiful garden, and in addition she teaches English to children from the village.

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Visiting this unusual family, we had an opportunity (which we used to a great extent) to eat fruits and vegetables directly from the garden, hang out with Peggy, their three-legged dog who devotedly took care of small predators in garden and learn more about the birds of the local lake, especially about the pelicans (did you know that this feathered creature can eat over a kilogram of fish per day!).

Nature reserve Srebarna is not just a place where tired cyclists can chill out, it is also a resting place for migratory birds who travel between Europe and Africa. Hundreds of species nests right here, and for this reason the lake is a Ramsar site, as well as a natural World Heritage Site protected by the UNESCO.

PElikan

We were tempted to stay in the pelican’s house one or two more days but we had to stick to the plan. The peacefulness of the lake and the gently rising morning sun offered us a serene farawell , and we continued our way along the Danube to its river mouth.

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