We were in Stara Zagora two and a half years ago as part of our Istanbul to Amsterdam train journey. There is one acceptable hotel. We found two people who spoke English or any other language we could understand in the four days we were there.
If you want to see what socialism did to destroy a country you can do it here. People are desparately trying to do well but corruption by rich businessmen and politicians keeps the brakes on. The people seem welcoming and one thing that impresses me was how well the women proudly display their femininity. Men, however, looks a little down at the heel. Or a lot.
Getting an international train ticket was an experience. They are not sold at the train station where we had to find a young person to help with translation. The tickets to Bucharest were sold in a hole in the wall office uptown. We had a street address to go by and that was modest help. Someone on the sidewalk aimed us in the right direction and through pantomine we secured our next leg ticket.
One more thing. Along the sidewalk near our hotel was the entrance to a church. We stopped in and it was like going back five hundred years. All we could do was stand and stare. My wife, being Orthodox, sort of took over from there. My, was that impressive.