For Bulgaria we had one thing clear: we wanted to get to Sofia, the capital, as soon as possible. I have good friend there, Simona, I hadn’t seen her in over a year and we wanted to take the opportunity to rest at her place. But plans started appearing in front of us, and at the end we had to take an extra day in the city to rest from the “resting days”.
To get to Simona’s place from the southernmost part of the country was to take the national road all the way to Sofia. It was horrible. The road is narrow and truck and cars alike don’t give you much place. In general they drive quite fast and aggressive giving no compassion to the cyclists (or other vehicles). We thought after so many Balkan countries we had experienced everything, but this time we seriously got scared a couple times.
As it usually happens with national roads, it wasn’t very interesting, or beautiful. We just did kilometers, counting every single one because we really wanted to reach our destination. Quite close to Blagoedgrad we took a dirt road away from the traffic and we found a great place to rest. It was great, because we couldn’t even hear the cars.
The next day we managed to get to Sofia faster than expected, in part because we took the highway for a while. It seemed the only way continuing, and anyway we thought that if we didn’t take it, it would be the only Balkan country in which we don’t use a highway. So as we got so early, we had to wait for the TV reporters the outside of the city.
It was fun to be interviewed again. We got used to it just before starting the trip, but now we got a bit nervous again. Probably it will get aired someday today, we are not sure when, but we will try to link it to this website as soon as we get it.
From there we got to Simonas place and we rested, or tried to, because as we hadn’t seen each other in such a long time, we had to catch up.
The next days were quite busy, with lots of shopping we had to do. At his stage of the trip we have to start replacing some things, and besides, winter is coming. We already started getting warmer equipment. We tried to visit around and to meet some of Simona’s friends, but at the end everything was a bit to stressing. That’s why we decided to leave the city.
We went to the mountains! It was great! Hiking, snow, cooking in the fire, playing backgammon … and we even slept in a hut. We were thinking to sleep outside, but at the end we decided not to, and it turned out to be the right choice (it got -5 degrees!). I really enjoyed our time in the Rila Mountains.
The next day we went back to Sofia, but as the weather was so great Simona and me decided to leave it again. Javi stayed home to rest and we went to the Vitosha Mountain, really close to the city center. We met some new friends and we enjoyed the great view (the pictures don’t make any justice to it).
It was fun but a bit exhausting so after we got home we fell asleep while Javi cooked. I’m sorry for him that he stayed up while we slept, but at least we enjoyed lots of delicious things from breakfast. Thanks Javi!
We thought about leaving that day, but we were a bit sore, at to be honest, we didn’t feel like cycling, so we took a real day off, in which the only thing we did was rest, go for a small walk in the park and go to a vegetarian restaurant.
It was great to be back here and visit my friend. But again we have to leave a great place behind to get to the next, that’s what the trip is about. Now we are just a few days from Istanbul: Goiznabar, we are almost there!