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The Mystery Gypsy Wagon

Someone sent us these photos of this elegant little vardo, but we can't determine who. Possibly the photos made it through but the accompanying email got lost.

Please contact us if you know anything about it.


Anonymous said...

love the look of it...

and with that metal roof, should stay dry.

hope you find the "owner"..

can't quite read what is written on the door...maybe if you can enlarge it, you could google it?

Peter Robinson said...

I've enlarged the image hugely but can't quite make out the plate on the door. It appears to be an address or license plate in some Cyrillic script. The newspapers that line the inside roof also seem to be Cyrillic. Maybe Russian or Bulgarian? Perhaps a Russian speaker could help here.

Lloyd Kahn said...

Good observation. It reads: "COØPOHИEBO, 417." The 3rd letter looks like an "O," with a vertical line running through it, rather than the diagonal one shown here. It's pretty obviously from a non-English-speaking country.

Peter Robinson said...

"Sofronievo" is a district in Bulgaria! See:


So the plate on the front of the vardo is probably some kind of address or license, as I suspected earlier. I'm not sure that this gets us any further. You could either search the streets of the district with Google Street View looking for the vardo or could write to the authorities there and, potentially, cause problems for the owner. Probably not worth the effort!

Anonymous said...

the hunt continues

googled COØPOHИ (part of the word)

and got to here


a plot/municipal layout, looks to be in language as Peter suggested.

can't see an email though.

Anonymous said...

pardon me

link above, does have an email at the top of the page,

taっovishte@cadaStre bg Б

Peter Robinson said...

It's a funny world. Two days ago if anyone had told me that I would be looking at Bulgarian land registry maps, I would not have believed them!

Anonymous said...


me either

Last night I looked at so many of these beauties, all good though.

One thing though,

I have come to believe it is a

Basque Sheep Wagon
Basque Shepherds Wagon

this does not necessarily mean it is from the Basque region (although the newspapers on the interior might),
as there are huge "groups" of persons in the United States who have come to love / build Basque Sheep Wagons...(another thing I have now learned..grin)

Peter Robinson said...

The language on the newspapers is definitely Bulgarian not Basque. However, the owner may be a Bulgarian who loves Basque Shepherds' Wagons! This would make sense because, in parts of Eastern Europe, the Romani people are not held in high esteem, so a Romani vardo could be problematic.

Anonymous said...


ah..makes sense.

Am hoping its origin is discovered. Nice to know.

Anonymous said...

so Peter
did you enlarge that bottom pic?
notice the
cell phone?
binoculars hanging on chain?
type of wood used on interior?

any of that offer any clues to location?

I swear I have a cell myself that looks like that, but hard to tell..(I am not very techie)

Anonymous said...

(different "Anonymous":)
-The covered/sheep wagon profile is fairly common- you can find pretty recent photos from Romania of horse wagons, full of cargo, with a slightly rounded cover on top to shield the cargo- and easily picture how it might evolve into a Conestoga/round vardo/Basque wagon with a permanently rounded cover, now high enough to shelter a person.Intuitive design!

Anonymous said...

The case for binoculars looks typically russian
Very resistant binoculars

Tuff Bunker said...

It might actually be a Bulgarian AirBnB listing! They've put some 'colorful' properties up, often just a few bucks a night.. why not rent out a shack in the back forty to some romantic traveller?

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