We ended our afternoon in Arbanassi on a steep street where artisans produced jewelry, pottery, and embroidered linens for sale. There were art and antique galleries, too, among the inevitable souvenir shops. Prices were fairly low. Some of the ceramic wares would have made nice gifts, but I did not fancy hauling them back in my luggage. There were few motor vehicles on the main street. Day trippers, like bewildered time travelers, ambled slowly down the middle of the road.
One shop window offered a glimpse of Bulgaria's pre-Christian past. Pagan customs persisted throughout rural Europe, especially in villages isolated by mountainous, wooded terrain. Elements of ancient tribal rites were incorporated into holiday observances sanctioned by church authorities. Looking at these costumes, I thought of Stravinsky's Rites of Spring. Folkways are not always quaint.