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Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland


Lisburn couple loving new life in Bulgaria

Rosie and Gary who are loving their new life in the Bulgarian mountains.

Rosie and Gary who are loving their new life in the Bulgarian mountains.

A LISBURN couple who left the city last year to begin a new life in Bulgaria have recently celebrated their first year in the country and said they are loving every minute.

Rosie Finlay and her partner Gary Crouch left their Hill Street home in September 2006 to start their new adventure in the beautiful Rila Mountains, where they have since opened a guesthouse. Despite the ups and downs of the last year, not to mention a few language barriers, the pair have said they wouldn't change a thing that has happened in the the last 12 months.

Speaking from Bulgaria, Rosie commented, "We are absolutely loving it. It's like everything you see on those no-going-back holiday shows, you can't speak the language and there are all these barriers, but you just have to overcome them.

"It's more than we imagined it to be and the people are so willing to help, we do speak a little bit of Bulgarian but it is a hard language to learn."

The couple were holidaying in the region when they fell in love with the area and decided to begin their new life in the Rila Mountains, near Rila National Park. However, they soon found out that life wasn't quite as it was on holiday.

"Our first winter was a shock," explained Rosie. "One metre of snow fell in five hours but they are very geared up for it. A snow plough was brought right up to to door to clear the snow away so you can do your daily business.

"There are certain things we weren't prepared for, like your car has to have anti-freeze that works below -28 degrees and radiators at home have to have anti-freeze or they will crack. It was scary for the first couple of days and then the plough arrived and you realise it's just snow, people live here and get on with their lives."

The couple may have left Lisburn behind but they certainly haven't had the chance to be homesick with plenty of visits from their family. They are also being kept busy taking their guests on tours of the local area as word spreads about the guesthouse.

"It has been an experience I wouldn't miss for the world," said Rosie. "I wouldn't change any of it, it is all a learning curve. "It has been a fabulous time and if all goes to plan we will be here for a long time to some," she concluded.

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