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Europe » Bulgaria » Sofia City » Boyana March 15th 2020

12th March 2020 Sofia, Bulgaria Bulgaria just keeps getting better and better, and Sofia is beautiful!We have booked our ongoing tickets to Belgrade Serbia, although this time they have asked for our phone number in the event that the border is closed. Mmmm! Our apartment is really central again and we've found the local supermarket and walked to the centre of town.The free walking tour tomorrow will show us everything we need to see, so better wait until then to explore more. 13th March 2020 Sophia Being next to the tram line can be a real advantage. When you are on the first floor right on the tram line, it is not conducive to good sleep when it feels and sounds like the tram is running right through your bedroom every 60 seconds from 6am! Our ... read more
Rila Monastery
Rila Monastery
Rila Monastery


I'd arrived in Veliko Tarnovo quite late the night before. The minibus driver had been kind enough to drop us near the centre of town instead of the West Bus Station, which is about 5 kilometres out of town. It dramatically shortened the walk to my hostel. I was surprised at how quiet the streets had been. I was happy that when I got to my hostel there was still some of the free dinner left. After helping myself to some breakfast, I made a rough plan for my one full day in Veliko Tarnovo. Since Bulgaria had entered a state of lockdown, I was unsure what was open, so my first priority was to secure a bus ticket back to Sofia for the next day to make my flight out. The bus station where you ... read more
Ulitsa General Gurko
Ulitsa General Gurko
Ulitsa General Gurko

Europe » Bulgaria » Plovdiv Province » Plovdiv March 12th 2020

After a good night's sleep in the lovely warm room, I headed down to the breakfast room to get breakfast. I love that this guesthouse/hostel is in a traditional old building and is full of character. The breakfast room is no exception as it has the original foundations of the building on display. The breakfast was great, there was a selection of cereal and breads. You were also given a plate with ham, cheese, egg, cucumber and tomato. There were plenty of different drinks on offer and the homemade lemonade was particularly delicious. Feeling full, I headed out for the day to explore more of Plovdiv. Yesterday, on the walking tour, we had visited the Regional Ethnographic Museum. Since we'd only had a look around the grounds and the exterior of the building, I headed inside ... read more
View from Nebet Tepe
View from Nebet Tepe
Nebet Tepe

Europe » Bulgaria » Plovdiv Province » Plovdiv March 11th 2020

9th - 11th March 2020 Plovdiv, Bulgaria After taking the first class train (hilarious in itself, but so much better than 2nd class!), we arrived in Plovdiv and caught a taxi to our apartment. The service of Hippo taxis in Varna was second to none. They dropped us off initially and didnt try to rip us off, they prebooked a taxi for our departure, and they showed up right on time as promised. Why would it be any different in Plovdiv? Dirty old thief. This ride cost us three times as much for the same distance in a grotty old taxi, where he used a hand held navigator and pretended not to know where he was going. Then he dropped us off at the top of the street indicating he couldnt go any further because it ... read more
Plovdiv
Plovdiv
Plovdiv

Europe » Bulgaria » Plovdiv Province » Plovdiv March 11th 2020

I headed to the main bus station in Sofia to take the bus to Plovdiv. I had done a bit of research online and found that buses leave fairly regularly and there were a few different companies to choose from. I had hoped to make it to the bus station for the bus at nine, but I was too lazy to get out of bed, which was a blessing in this case as when I got to the bus station that bus had sold out earlier as had a few others. You can book tickets online for some buses in Bulgaria, but you have to print out your conformation and then exchange it at the station for a paper ticket for the driver. Seems like a total waste of time and doesn't exactly minimise human interaction. ... read more
Plovdiv Old Town
Plovdiv Old Town
Plovdiv Old Town

Europe » Bulgaria » Varna Province » Varna March 8th 2020

5th March 2020 Istanbul We flew back to Istanbul today and will head to Varna on the bus tomorrow. The Celul Sultan hotel is right in the centre of Sultanahmet, so it was a nice to walk around again in a city that has become so familiar, one last time. The hotel manager tells me he has given us an upgrade. It's an OK room at best and I dread to think what we might have faced otherwise! We can't believe the increase in people here in just three weeks! The centre is buzzing as people wander about taking pictures of the city lights. It dawns on me that I haven't taken a single photo all day. Better get snapping! 6th March 2020 Istanbul - Varna, Bulgaria Our cab to the bus station this morning has ... read more
Varna
Varna
Varna

Europe » Bulgaria » Sofia City » Sofia March 3rd 2020

Today was a holiday in Bulgaria. Bulgarian Liberation Day celebrates the liberation from the Ottoman Empire during the Russo-Turkish War in the 19th century. Hopefully, it wouldn't be too busy with people out and about. My first port of call was the bus station to get my bus ticket for the next day to Skopje. I took the subway to the Railway Station and took the exit for Serdika Bus Station. Domestic buses go from the main bus station and international buses go from the Serdika Station. Luckily, the two stations are next to each other. Something that I found quite annoying in Bulgaria is that buying bus tickets is not on a centralised system, for both domestic and international, so you have to go to the specific office or counter for the bus company you ... read more
Sofia Regional History Museum
Sofia Regional History Museum
Sofia Regional History Museum

Europe » Bulgaria » Sofia City » Sofia March 2nd 2020

Since the free Sofia walking tour didn't start until 11 am, so that let me have a leisurely morning and saunter up to the meeting point. I was surprised when I turned up at the meeting point, the Palace of Justice, to see so many people. I haven't been on a walking tour with so many people since I did an evening Ghost tour in Krakow. There were three guides at the meeting point and they were offering two different two tours; the normal free walking tour or a Bulgarian Experience tour which was more hands on and you had to pay for. It did sound interesting, apart from the dancing bit, but I decided to stick with the regular tour. I was a bit sadden that they counted the group of people and that they ... read more
Banya Bashi Mosque
Old City
Sofia Regional History Museum

Europe » Bulgaria » Sofia City » Sofia March 1st 2020

I booked a tour through the place I was staying to visit Rila Monastery. I waited to be picked up and was a little concerned when the driver was late, actually the pick up time had been changed and I could have had longer in bed. A little late we were on our way, just down the street we nearly hit a car as the other driver just opened his door without any regard for passing cars. We drove out on to the motorway and left the city behind. We got about half an hour out of the city and then the engine made a loud noise. That was the end of the trip, there was no way the car would last the distance, and we turned around headed back to the city. I was a ... read more
Sofia
St. Kyriaki Cathedral Church
Statue of Saint Sophia

Europe » Bulgaria October 3rd 2019

A long coach ride from the river up to Belogradchick in the North west of Bulgaria. This is a series of fabulous rock formations which have formed over millions of years from when the area was under the sea and later when the sea receded were gradually formed from sedimentation and weathering. If you have a good imagination you can see a bear, a turtle, Adam & Eve kissing, an elephant and various faces. A medieval fortress was built around it with a second gate higher up. Beyond this there are steps carved into the rocks to get right to the top which I achieved as the views are lovely from high up. Luckily I went back to the bottom just as a large group from a Viking cruise were coming up the first level. My ... read more
Can you see a hiker with rucksack?
First gate
Walk up to second gate




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