Escape to the Balkans – Part 2 (Bulgaria)


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August 8th 2013
Published: August 8th 2013
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When I planned our couples trip, my male asked me to organise it with the sky as the limit. I figured if we were going to fly into Macedonia we may as well visit the surrounding countries as well. Luckily I found the perfect man that likes exploring as much as I do.

We crossed the border into Bulgaria in the late evening after our day spent caving in Macedonia. Our first experience in Bulgaria, at a restaurant, was an interesting one because no-one there spoke any English so we almost had to guess what we were having for dinner. We had free entertainment as the group next to us was quite drunk and were trying fruitlessly to stop the rain getting on them. They had constructed a rickety shelter out of pool umbrellas over their table and, comically, one woman kept moving them so that the rainwater was dripping straight into her food. They kept laughing and talking to us in Bulgarian – we just laughed along.

We carried on to the Budapest Hotel in Sofia, which I thought was quite confusingly named, and I had to triple check we were actually booked in for Sofia and not Hungary. After visiting many European capitals, they all seem to mush together, but Sofia was a refreshing surprise as not far from the centre there is a national park which has winding trails into Vitosha mountain, and up to the most amazing waterfalls. We started at the bottom and chose to take the more intense but shorter route up to the waterfalls. I can’t tell if we somehow got onto the wrong track or not, but what we ended up doing was more rock-climbing and bush bashing rather than hiking. All this was done in jandals/flip flops as well, because clearly I am such an experienced hiker I can just bang these trails out in inadequate footwear. (I can’t actually; my feet were DEAD at the end of the walk.)

We ended up following the river right up to the top where the waterfalls were, and the trek was completely worth it. It was stunning, and we had the most amazing view of Sofia city. We took the easy way down which was a leisurely walking trail, and probably a better option. We got back into the car and started making our way across countries to Plav, Montenegro – where our next nights’ accommodation was.

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