An Unforgettable Photo Safari

"Happy Weekend" Magazine


March 2008
Alexander Ananiev


It was a warm sunny day in the end of February. I was just going to experience an exciting event that I even felt in the air. Two of our favorite brands of our happy team, had gathered colleagues journalists. The party was guaranteed.

Experienced with Audi, impressed with Olympus.

After we waited until the organizers came with their incredible cars and cameras, all of us were gathered in a circle around the „Leader” – Silvia (director of the company that organizes the event – TOdOOR). She gave everybody a bag, in which there was a piece of a puzzle. Very amusing, but what it is for, I was wandering? It appeared that in this way, they started the beginning of a battle, of a contest, in which there was no second and third but only the first place for the winners.

After we were separated in teams we had to go to Bansko, but driving what? And there was my wide smile, after some young boys appeared with three staggering cars, which we had to drive ourselves to Bansko.
Ivo and Kalin (this were the names of my angles), gave us the keys for two Q7 S-Line, one of which was white 3.0 TDI, and the other a beast with 4.2 l engine. Immediately everyone was in the jeeps and  my dream to drive this white beauty in Sofia, was broken. Well…once to be a… dodger myself! It occurred that there is only one other man in my team – Vasko. He gave me the right to drive first the car A6 Allroad 3.0 TD, that costs 150 000 BGN. I don’t want to tell you how I felt in this car. If I brake it I would have to work all my life for her. However, I get used to its automatic gearbox and silently we departed for Bansko.

It was about 01:00 p.m. and we already stepped in front of hotel “Perun”, which was our polite host (honestly, this hotel changed my opinion for the muddy Bansko, that I had seen on the 8th of December previous year). It was hard to take me away from the All road and to accommodate me at the amazing room with a glazed balcony. 

There were less than 30 minutes passed and we had to go. Of course, I was the first that arrived by the cars, because I was in love...Now I understand why men say that the car is like the woman…You can fall in love with her (unfortunately, I fall in love always with wrong ones). After all of my team mates were in the car, we departed to an unknown destination. On our way we figured out the fundamentally name of our team – THE OLYMPIC HOPES! The other teams had already done it, like one of it (the ones that stole the white jeep from me), named theirselves “The White Fat Swan” and the others IQ7.   

We arrived in front of an incredible hut in the middle of a forest. It was isolated from the awful noise and tumult in Bansko. Well, here I must say that such a lovely place can be only for some special  people…like from the Council of Ministers. Then, we parked the luxurious cars right in front of the hut and slowly turned our steps toward it. 

There, again our “leader” Silvia gave us the instructions and informed us for a crazy sledge contest, that slightly chocked us. The stages of the contest were: a clay model of Audi and of the Olympus camera (by the way, the camera knew what will happen, as it was cooling in ice); next - a mystic contest and a photo session themed Audi and Olympus.  
Suddenly, Nadeto appeared (she is an editor of a popular magazine). What do you think happens when a man, a woman, an enormous jeep and a camera gather together?

It occurred that an amazing lunch was waiting for us at the hut and everybody was dreaming of it. And during the lunch, I messed with clay.

After all was done, the jury, representatives from Audi and Olympus, were estimating the work of the teams.

Strangely, after that, they gathered us outside the hut, dressed us with T-shirts and hats of Audi and gave us these things…

It appeared, that this is an inflatable sledge of Olympus and it had to be pumped. I must say, that the track looked very steep for these …sledges.

The first team was The White Fat Swan, which was our main competitor. After that, it was our turn.

The start was given by Nadeto, after that I flew and there was nobody that could stop me.

In fact, the experience was unique and the evidence for that was the fact that Kalin (from Audi) couldn’t take it and flew with the sledge, despite his clothes…

A dinner was waiting for us after we had a good 2-3 hour rest and a warm bath. It was not an ordinary dinner. Something bad was waiting for us in the Piano Bar. Everyone was eating and drinking too silently. And in this moment…booom!  Silvia came and asked a pair from every team by her. Of course, I happened to be in a pair with …guess who? Yes - with Nadeto! We had to start the party with the dance “Swan Lake” with bundles of ballerinas and halos…oou, yes! Swimmerets also… After all our team mates laughed at us, I remembered, that the swans die and immediately I fell down dead. Of course we were the best.

A little bit hopping, I had to cope with the next test. I was happy when Vasko came to help me. The aim was to handle Nadeto with the excuse that we are wrapping her with paper. And during we were amusing, the others were ready. It occurred that we had to make her look like a statue. How to know it?!  


And here is the big moment when the results came and the winner should be announced. And it appeared that we are on third place…I was strongly disappointed, but I accepted the loss. We were given the statuettes and tried to calm us with a bottle of rakia…

These were emotions and moments that happen once in lifetime…