At Cherven, a 40 minute drive from Wild Thyme, has the perfect combination of a beautiful scenic location and mind-blowing ruins.
The remains of this medieval town are laid out for visitors on a dramatic plateau overlooking the modern village, the river Lom and the Rusenski Lom National Park. The preservation of buildings is so good because the site was abandoned soon after it was taken by the Ottoman armies in the 14th century. It is easy to imagine yourself walking along the winding lanes in a bustling town 800 years ago.
The defences to the town were strong with two massive gates and defensive towers which are still standing. One of these was used as a model for the reconstruction of a medieval tower in Veliko Tarnovo. In the centre of the plateau are the ruins of the citadel where the town authorities lived and here there is also a large Byzantine style church. The town was geared up to survive a siege and even had a covered stone passage that led downhill to the river where the inhabitants could safely draw water without being seen by besieging armies.