Traveling without moving | Byala, Bulgaria

For all its lackluster, the otherwise uninspiring Black Sea resort town of Byala had a surprising variety of exciting grounds.

I couldn’t find out exactly what period the intricately arranged pavements in the town’s otherwise dismal center date from, though, judging from their quaintness, I would guess that they are from the socialist times.

Byala’s architecture is an unappealing mix of communist-era rest homes and community buildings, new marble hotels, uninspired (and often unfinished) private houses, shoddy shops and folky restaurants that border on tacky.

But at least the town seems pretty consistent with its pavements, including those that will be laid out in the future.

One of the place’s saving graces for me was, predictably, the sea (although a long hike up and down steep paths and roads under construction was required to get to and from it).

What also filled my five-day sojourn in Byala were the series of workshops, presentations and actions as part of a trans-border project on mobility and movement. It was run in part by uqbar, the same people who organized the Transient Spaces / Tourist Syndrome summer camp in Palanga, Lithuania, which I had the luck and pleasure to be a part of almost two years ago and which, in a way, provided the initial spark for the start of this blog.

But the most thrilling thing about being in Byala, by far, was the chance to see a few of the lovely people from Palanga again, meet several new exciting people and hang out with them (and infect them with the feet-photo obsession).

I’m still buzzing with excitement.

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