From 22nd until 25th August, a team from the complex augmented with two junior but very talented EQ animators – Annie and Pipi – entertained a group of 18 children in and around the spa village of Voneshta Voda.
The village nestles in the forested foothills of the mountains and is renowned for its mineral spring – the source of the curative voneshta voda or ‘stinking water’.
The days were packed with outdoor activity starting with morning exercises that were more comical than earnest led by Annie and Pipi. The mornings involved exploratory treks. The first involved walking upwards through a birch forest to an idyllic meadow containing a small ethnographic centre and museum dedicated to the revolutionary hero, Philip Totia.
On the second day, the group managed a round trip of 15 kilometres to that involved walking through picturesque landscape given over to orchards and aronia plantations.
Afternoons were spent splashing in the hotel swimming pool although some children actually tried to learn to swim.
The group members played a large part in organizing their own evening entertainment and Tuesday was disco night while Wednesday involved a talent contest performed next to a raging bonfire.
While making its way back towards Ruse, the group stopped off at Kilifarevo monastery. Originally dating from the 14th century, the existing monastic complex is best known for St Dimitar’s basilica designed and built during the 1840s by the iconic Kolyo Ficheto.
After a picnic by the River Belitsa and an impromptu stone skimming contest, the bus continued homewards while the children sang and rehearsed their tales of adventure for parents and guardians.