Snow And Freezing Temperatures Halt Traffic In Bulgaria

While (unsuccessfully) attempting to reach the region of Bulgaria worst hit by the recent floods I took a couple of shots that show the road conditions in western and central Bulgaria.

Vehicles of more than 10 tons are banned from driving in all of Bulgaria, the only bridge over the Danube between Bulgaria and Romania at Ruse is also closed for freight traffic. Moreover, ferries over the Danube are stuck in their ports because the river is almost completely covered with ice.

The Bulgarian State Railways advised travellers not to use trains unless absolutely necessary. The important line from the capital Sofia to the northern city of Montana is closed, as is the most heavily frequented direct connection to Pernik, 25 kilometers southeast of Sofia. Trains to the Black Sea port city of Burgas run with delays of up to one hour, in the flooded area around Svilengrad near the Turkish border buses are used to take up for the closed railway line.

Even on motorways like the one between Sofia and Bulgaria’s second largest city Plovdiv the driving is hazardous because of lacking road clearing equipment. Trunk roads all over the country are hardly passable at all and some country roads at higher elevations are completely blocked as are a number of bridges.

(All Images Copyright: Johann Brandstätter/JB Photography)