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Published: October 6th 2008
We are now in Sandanski, about 25km from the Greek border. Tomorrow we will cross the border and arrive to Thessaloniki. The big question now is if to do it by train or by bus, anyhow, it is about 3 hours. Since Greece should be much more expensive then Bulgaria (that what we have heard...), at least we found a coach in Thessaloniki for 2 nights. On our route west, however, in the Greek Macedonia, in towns such as Edessa and Kastoria (each has population of about 20k) there are very few couches to select from (maybe 4 in each) so finding one would be almost impossible, I guess. Shame, this is going to be expensive...also in Bulgaria, BTW, in towns having similiar population, we could not find any. On the other hand, our CS guests told us that they were hosted in holes like Givat Ela and one of the Misgav settelements that each probably has something like 1,000 people. Maybe the Israleis are more wired.
As for Bulgaria, after 1 day in Sofia which is nice, we went south, first to the Rila mountains and after to the Pirin Mountains. Both are beuatiful with max elevation of
about 2,900m. It is very easy to hike as the trails are well marked and there are huts in the monutains where one can spend the night so no need to carry sleeping bag, tent, food, etc. We started a hike in Vihren hut where many trails begin. It appeared soon that the trail that we chose, was chosen by our Israelis collegues as well. Yes, all Bulgaria is currently concoured by the Israelies and Hebrew is currently the 2nd spoken langauge here. In the apartment that we have stayed in the town of Bansko, in the bottom of Vihren mountain, 2 old Israeli couples from Bulgary origin stayed as well. They imigrated to Israel while and after the 2nd world war (as you probably know, Bulgarian jews were lucky). They come every year to Bulgaria since the begining of the 80th.
But as for next plans, all Isralies are heading to east Bulgaria while we go south to Greece where I guess that we will meet only few tourists as Macedonia is not that touristic.
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