A rocky plateau along the sea shore, covered in thick grass – this unlikely locale is where Bulgaria's dreams of becoming the next Saudi Arabia began - and ended.
You can still see traces of the travesty. Rusted tanks and petrol pumps cover the plateau on the northern Black Sea coast. Some of them still draw drops of oil and natural gas from the ground. The more resourceful locals have constructed self-styled piping to heat their houses with free natural gas.
The tanks first appeared in 1951 when some crude was accidentally discovered in the area. With Socialist enthusiasm and dreams of oil dollars, Bulgarians covered the plateau with pumps. They soon learnt the bitter truth – the reserves were small and of poor quality. The good news is that in 2007 the area on the northern Black Sea coast is still not covered with five-star hotels.
Where in Bulgaria are you?