Bulgaria, October 2003.
I didn't like Bulgaria at all. The resort ("Sunny" Beach) was closed; the weather was terrible; our hotel owner had died and was lying in state at the end of the corridor. We were surrounded by mournful Bulgarians and depressed Glaswegians. A week seemed to last a year. There was nothing, literally nothing, to do. The resort was being dismantled in front of our eyes. It reminded me of off-season day trips to Largs: icy winds blowing in off the sea, an air of gloom and despondency.
After a few days a Blitz spirit developed. We swapped stories of Bulgarian surliness, and counted the days until we could go home. Now I can look back on the good things: funny money, the Cyrillic alphabet; everything upside down or back to front (light switches, nodding for no); some nice architecture; Soviet memorabilia, and a few good signs.