Australian Man Looks for Lost Bulgarian Love 38 Years Later

Society | October 1, 2011, Saturday // 14:22|  views

The picture of the beautiful Bulgarian girl, who captured the heart of an Australian man 38 years ago, as it was published in the Veliko Tarnovo Borba daily. Photo by

David Garrwin, an Australian man, has arrived in Bulgaria in search for his lost love, whom he met 38 years earlier in the city of Veliko Tarnovo.

The news was reported by the Bulgarian TV channel bTV, quoting Garrwinn saying that this is the mission of his life.

In 1973, the 21-year-old man was in Bulgaria as a tourist on his way from London to Singapore, when he met the Bulgarian girl in question and they spent two weeks together.

Before arriving to Bulgaria, Garrwin had his two suitcases stolen from the Helsinki airport, but the incident did not stop him from continuing with his travel plans – he hitchhiked his way through Germany all the way to Romania, then Sofia and Veliko Tarnovo, where he checked at the Yantra hotel.

This is how he met the girl in question, who, at the time, worked there as a hotel receptionist.

"This was love at first sight – the moment I saw her I felt hugely attracted to her. She was extremely beautiful and smiling, and spoke perfect English," the Australian remembers.

They spent the next two weeks together with the Bulgarian beauty taking him on city walks and nearby sightseeing. When it was time to part, she gave him a picture with the words: "I have the feeling you will return to Veliko Tarnovo one day.

Garrwin points out he still regrets he had been too young and indecisive and did not ask the girl to leave with him, adding he also feared the Socialist regime could create problems for her. He even considered moving to Bulgaria, but she convinced him otherwise.

After 38 years, the man, who managed to save enough money for the trip, arrived back in Bulgaria to look for his lost love with only a black and white photograph and a fist name – Snezhina. None of the people he approached, or even the private investigator he hired, were able to discover anything about her whereabouts.

In a desperate move, Garrwin published the picture in the local Borba daily, and the breakthrough finally came. He was notified that Snezhina lives in the US, after defecting to Austria in the 80s, during a trip to an identified socialist country, outside Bulgaria. She spent some time in a refugee camp there before receiving official statute as refugee in the US, after writing to the American Embassy that she wished to live in America.

Snezhina currently lives in San Diego and works as a catering manager at the airport.

The bad news for David is that she is happily married to a Bulgarian-born fitness instructor, whom she met while in the US.

"It is only normal to find out she is married – so many years went by since then; she is smart and beautiful, of course she will find a husband. I only wish to see her, to talk to her, remember the old days and become friends," Garwinn says.

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Tags: Australian, lost, Bulgarian, Love, David Garrwin, Snezhina, Australia, Bulgaria, US, San Diego, Veliko Tarnovo


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