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Published: September 17th 2006
Be My Guest Hostel/Sofia/Bulgaria
Got up around midday and went upstairs to pay the rent. The grouchy hostile owner had been replaced by a friendly girl from Lithuania so I postponed leaving to chat over a cup of coffee and a cake.
Got the tram to the train station North of the centre. Had some strange food in a cafe there >> it was a combination of peppers in some bizarre fizzing sauce, like popping candy. The woman in front of me in the queue had drained two of the dishes dry by ordering the whole lot, so I went for the large tray whilst there was some left. Also got a sandwich of some unkown meat product and a bag of rotten pistachio nuts. So I advise fellow travellers to avoid the station food stalls/ cafes.
Left buying the ticket till the last minute (25 minutes to go..) and got sent from queue to queue until I was finally shown the correct desk with 4 minutes till departure. The Bulgarians assume that alongside paying less than foreigners they should also not have to queue behind them, the poltroons behind the counters also hold this view.
When I did eventually get on the 1525 to Plovdiv I headed straight for first class and got a compartment all to myself. Pulled out the two window seats and stretched out my broken knee to rest it. A great journey and I could've stayed on longer than the 2 and a half hours. Fields of corn stretching to the horizon on the left and mountains on the right.
Marred only by the squinty eyed bloke who always offers his opinions on the channel four best 100 lists in the world ever series of adverts. His Stan Laurel shock of black hair and overall smugness threatening to bad vibe the train.
Plovdiv seems alright but I've yet to really explore. Had time to find the PBI Hostel, unpack and then it started to rain (first time so far) and get dark. The Hostel isn't very good and the owner is the most unfriendly I have yet come across in the world. But it is relatively cheap (10Euros) and clean. There is no social room and the owner and his "special friend" don't wish to be disturbed. Try another place first, I would recommend.
Walked a ways up the main street and saw the darkened Roman Ampitheatre, not as large as I'd expected. Anyway, I'll DO Plovdiv tomorrow in the daylight and sunshine.
Tot: 2.798s; Tpl: 0.05s; cc: 9; qc: 58; dbt: 0.0409s; 2; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.4mb