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Thread: Euro Friends! What's the deal with Varshilo, Bulgaria?

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    Euro Friends! What's the deal with Varshilo, Bulgaria?

    Hey all from the other side of the pond,
    I heard about this village in a post from Reddit, so I checked it out in Google Street view and... it looks abandoned. There's almost no information online about this place (its Wikipedia entry is one line long), and no statistics about its population, making it even creepier.
    There's a video on Youtube from 2008 in which people from Varshilo are having a lively fair:


    ... but just four years later, the town looks like this:








    The Street View images are from 2012, so what the heck happened during those four years? Or, am I just too oblivious to realize that people are still living in what appears to be a very abandoned town straight out of a horror video game?
    I just find this whole thing fascinating, and I'd appreciate any comments about this place. Even if you've only heard of it once, that'd be phenomenal!
    Last edited by Fredjan; 01-07-2019 at 05:27 AM.

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    Gagi's Avatar
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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't really find anything 'wrong' there. Some villages are just like that, especially if they are on mountainous terrain with poor population. A lot of these old houses might be abandoned - but people do sometimes live in those. It's just the grim reality of the Balkans.

    From what I can see on Google Maps, it's not on the sea (so no tourism money), and it has no agriculture potential - only hills and forests around it. Seeing as most houses don't even have the necessary facilities for cattle farming, I can only assume most of the population either works somewhere else for a living or just goes by, living a basic life.

    And while it has Burgas nearby, the 4th largest city in Bulgaria, the few nearby villages/towns of Gabar, Zidarovo, Indzhe Voivoda and Krushevets all have similar houses as Varshilo does - the only difference is the size and development of some areas.

    The difference between 2008 and 2012 shouldn't shock you either. First of all, Balkan people love to celebrate. Even if it means being poorer for it for the rest of the year, on that one day when there is celebration they will give their all and celebrate like they haven't a single worry.

    And secondly, the shortage of jobs just has to make a difference on a village that looks like it has no clear economy. For example, the inhabitants of a village I was born in usually depend on agriculture and farming for money. We're sitting on good land, and agriculture is really lucrative. We also have construction workers, teachers, doctors, barbers, hairstylists etc, but that's what happens when your village has a clear and developed economic dependence. But even that is in the decline. And here's why.

    The transition from socialism to capitalism is still taking place. More and more we see the big fish buying off land, businesses etc. The wealth redistribution is different - you get how much you make. The state isn't as responsible for the development of little villages. For a village that has little contribution on GDP, it's tough to survive that transition.

    The only thing that would save it is the accumulation of wealth into it - say, if most of its population started making a profit on something, whatever that is. People would be richer, the standard of living would rise, and all sorts of jobs would be required - rich people need bigger homes (construction workers), they might take care of their appearance more (barbers), they might want to eat out (restaurants), educate their children bla bla bla. It all increases population, develops the village and what have you...

    You probably got a bit more than you asked for, but I tried to answer the question to the best of my knowledge. I live some 900 km from it but I think I understand the Balkans well enough to provide an answer. @Fredjan
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    BladeRunner_ (01-09-2019), Fredjan (01-10-2019)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gagi View Post
    You probably got a bit more than you asked for, but I tried to answer the question to the best of my knowledge. I live some 900 km from it but I think I understand the Balkans well enough to provide an answer. @Fredjan
    No worries man, I appreciate it!
    Now that you mention how the region is still transitioning from socialism to capitalism, it makes much more sense.

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