I glanced at my watch; the display said ten minutes past midnight. I yawned. “It can't be that much longer surely?' I asked my new friends sat on the sofa opposite, sipping their beers.
“The sign said midnight,” said my friend.
“I'll hold on then,” I answered, thinking that it must be getting close to the time.
An hour passed. I was now fighting the sleepiness. I had to get a bus at 7.15am the next morning but the excitement had been building up and I had already waited four hours.
“It really can't be any longer can it?” I asked one of the security staff.
“This is a club,” he replied. “When have you ever known anything to start on time?”
Fifteen minutes later the best hip hop artist in Bulgaria came on stage. Two minutes later I heard myself saying “Is this really what I've been waiting for?”
Sunny Beach in Bulgaria is where it is at on the Black Sea coast and aside from the hip hop artist, the Bounce Bar is a very cool bar to hang out in. But beware, if you like quiet evenings, a sophisticated glass of wine and a stroll along the beach then this is definitely not the place for you. Think Majorca and you'll get the picture.
This is the main strip and it's full of bars, any type of food under the sun and plenty of sex shops and being a half cultural / half party girl – I was drawn to the neon flashing lights and the hard pumping beats – Sunny Beach is a place to party.
But Bulgaria Sunny Beach never used to be like this. According to all the locals I encountered throughout Bulgaria, it used to be a family resort; a place of green pastures with no high rise hotels but with new apartments popping up all along the coastline, it's hard to imagine how this was once a quieter, more refined area.
What hasn't changed is the amazing sandy stretch of beach. Try to jog on it and you'll be lifting your feet out of sandy dunes (it's a workout and a half honest), but the beach really does seem to go on forever and if you don't feel like walking it there's a small train that will take you all the way to the nearby historic town of Nesebar.
As you'd expect, the high-end hotel rooms and apartments are all near the beach so choose somewhere away from the coast if you're after something a little cheaper. A good tip is to visit towards the end of the season (mid September) and you'll grab an absolute bargain.
I booked through Booking.com and paid just €11 a night for a studio at Silver Springs Apartments with access to the pool and a supermarket around the corner. The beach was a 20 minute walk away but the studio was so worth it (and it came with a complimentary bottle of wine).
One word of warning though; the main strip can be quite far from most of the resorts so take a taxi if you're going in for the evening. The cost of taxis can seem quite high compared to the price that you pay for your drink and accommodation (equivalent of €10 for a 5 minute journey) but it is worth paying. Sunny Beach does have pick pockets so be careful with your belongings at night and stay with company in the evenings.
After the club, I chose to jog home and was nearly mugged by a man on a bike. Once you get outside the main strip, the roads are poorly lit and there is hardly anyone around so please take a taxi and don't do what I did. Sunny Beach is a really sociable place and if you want some company, there are several bar crawls to sign up to. It's a great place to sunbathe, have a flutter in the casino, eat to your heart's content and have lots of fun and once you're all partied out, you can travel around the rest of Bulgaria for some culture.
Have you experienced Sunny Beach yet?