A quick trip to Bulgaria

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November 26th 2010
Published: November 26th 2010
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I know, I know it's been a while since I've posted a blog and I have quite a few that I need to do and so am hoping to do them this week.
Justin came back "over" for 2 weeks, during which time we took a "quick" trip over to Bulgaria on a night train! Amanda, Sarah and Ellen (all of whome I traveled to Lebanon and Syria with and Amanda is a roommate) joined the adventure.
Bulgaria is actually a beautiful country so we were glad that we chose it because well 1) it was a random country of choice and 2) when else would one ever decide to go to Bulgaria.
Bulgarian people are really friendly but are unfortunately, the Eastern European country suffers a poor economy in a former conflict region (think the Former Yugoslavia, for example). The food though oh boy, let me tell you about the food - some of the best food that I've ever, ever eaten!! Delicious. From the start we had tasty Bulgarian champagne for literally only a few dollars and well, I'm not a big pork fan but a stick with amazingly creamy cheese wrapped in a slices of bacon, really can't get much better than that!! Dinner that night also, well for me at least, consisted of choose - camembert (sp?) to be exact - once again a delicious meal!! After lunch we were so surprised with the quality and PRICE of the Bulgarian champagne that we stopped off at the local liquor store and bought 3 more bottles! We then went back to the hostel where we spent a few hours sipping (okay, let's be honest, more like chugging champagne - for a few of us its been a while since we've had such a "luxury") and playing cards - Shanghai to be exact. Now, did I mention yet that only hours earlier I had seen a sign at the hostel for bungee jumping and my eyes lit up and suggested that we do that..okay, no? Well, yes that's what happened. It was over cards that a hostel employee came to us to confirm and well, with a few glasses of champagne already down our throats we eagerly said yes!
Nothing too exciting about our night in Bulgaria - I ended up a little ill - it's been even longer since I've eaten pork products and that much cheese that it didn't go over too well. Fast forward to the next morning, "Umm, are we really going to do this?" is exactly what I said to Amanda...yep, we were!
We met our guides (please note: we had heard about the Bulgarian mafia and were pretty sure some of these dudes could have been high paid hitmen and didn't speak a word of English - though "luckily" Maria spoke enough!). We drove about 90 mins outside of the capital of Sofia. As we drove over a bridge I said to the girls (Justin was stuck riding with the men in their car), "Its a good thing this isn't the bridge cause I sure as hell wouldn't be jumping!" Only a minute later as we got on the other side of the bridge did the car stop - yep, it was THE bridge! Umm, FML!!??!?
Amanda went first, then Justin and then yours truly but not before quite a few tears, shaking limbs and 2 of the Bulgarian mafia men literally peeling my fingers off of the railing of the bridge (Yes, I DO realize I was the one to suggest bungee jumping and normally I'm quite "brave" but you put yourself on the other side of a bridge with 200+ feet between you and the bottom and see how YOU react). THey told me to look up at the mountain and jump outwards - chest first, not head - so with tears running down (I guess it was better than pee running down my leg) I said a prayer and jumped...it was scary as hell and I will never, I repeat NEVER do it again - unless I'm in New Zealand and only because I heard the bungee jumping there is amazing. The scariest thing was the waiting at the bottom as you're upside down and you have to wait for them to lower the other rope down to you to hook onto your chest carabiner to pull you back up and you're swinging back and forth and there is still a LOT of space between you and the bottom (We jumped 200 feet but between the bridge and the ground was around 265 I think?!). I cried as they brought me up because 1) I was happy to be alive but 2) wasn't sure I'd actually live through the event until me feet were firmly back on the ground (aka bridge). Ellen and Sarah then jumped and then Amanda decide, crazily enough, to jump again...crazy indeed!
We then went to visit a few towns and had yet another delicious meal before heading back to Sofia and getting on the night train to come back! A fabulous time, very short, but fabulous nonetheless! Definitely will NOT be the last time I'm in Eastern Europe!

Check out the pics here (sorry FB is just SOOO much easier to load and then post the link here):


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