Provadia is a sleepy industrial town in the Varna province about 50 minutes bus or train ride from the sea. Squeezed in the narrow canyon between two plateaus it has been inhabited for 25 centuries, and the nearby salt mine is the oldest of its kind in Europe, dating back to 4700 BC. Provadia’s main attraction is the Ovech fortress founded by the Romans and greatly expanded by the Second Bulgarian Empire (XII–XIV centuries) on the high rock right above the city. Steep cliffs of the plateaus in the region gave home to many cave monasteries, man–made caves carved in stone of the seemingly inaccessible cliff walls. One of them, Shashkanite, is overlooking the city and now easily accessible by a little bit flimsy looking metal bridge.