Sofia, Bulgaria 

What a great place once we got there. Took a train the 225 miles from Bucharest and it took 10 hours- nice train but an average of 20 mph is slow- 2 slow border crossing stops( 1 out and 1 in) didn’t help. The dollar goes far in Bulgaria. Following the weather is still working. Days in 70s- lower 80s, nights in 50s- windows open all the time- no humidity. The penthouse (8th floor) apartment is small but functional- it did have a nice balcony. The people are nice but the language is a bitch. It’s alphabet is Cyrillic, like Russian, so no reading or trying to pronounce anything- it’s google translate or your toast. The food is great- another carnivore country. We took a side trip to Plovdiv for a day, but otherwise stayed in Sophia with several guided and non guided tours. For some reason they love malls(big ones) so we had to investigate and saw they are just like ours- mostly small specialty clothing shops (international names) with hardly any customers in any of them. Busiest place was the food court- Subway/Mikky D/KFC as well as many local fast food.- a small ice skating rink- IMAX and multi screen movies showing 1st run American movies with Bulgarian subtitles (nothing worth seeing so far this summer or we would have gone). Now we rent a car and see what it’s like to drive in Bulgaria/Macedonia/ Albania/Montenegro/Croatia/Bosnia/Serbia/Kosovo before returning to Sofia with the car. It should be interesting-a little apprehensive but what the hell- you only live once. Anyway Beth will be navigating so we shouldn’t have any problem at all ( oh my God what am I doing- she can get lost going to the bathroom )couldn’t wear shoes in the apt (house rules) so chilling on the patiothe river that separates Romania from Bulgaria as seen on the (slow) train we tookcultivated fields on way to Sofia -2 picsview from our balconySofia mall-10 minute walk- they love malls???meat eaters paradise- 2 picsthe lion is the symbol of Bulgaria- lions all overanother cute tour guidecant remember but something old and meaningful Roman ruins unearthed while buildingnational guards in front of presidential palacenational theater and mallschool children performing in historic dress from different areas of Bulgaria- suppressed during ottoman rule and again during communist rule their interest in heritage is now revivinglargest christian Orthodox Church in Sofia more lionsmonument to some politician assasinated with a sword to the head in the 1800smore tour guides- some cuter than othersgroup pic of tour-can u find me?local shopska salad- represents colors of the flagmore carnivore delightand moretypical old house in Sofiasunrise from the balconyday trip to Plovdiv-many odd sculptures Plovdiv roman ruinsmodel of roman ruin-very large- sat 30,000 peoplerestored town house in Plovdiv- upper floor jutted out as taxes collected based on size of bottom flooroverlooking Plovdivanother cute tour guideanother sculpture- story was this guy played music for people and told jokes- he joked with the local head of the communist party-was sent to a labor camp and died in a few months- fun story-yesSofia is surrounded by mountains and this was a big thunderstorm in the middle of the night- it looks light out- I just caught the sky with the lightening to the leftcool shot of clouds with mountains in backgroundmain pedestrian plaza in old towntwo local drinks- white one is a yogurt type drink- brown on made from grain and sugar- both are drank by all the locals- both taste like shitand another cute tour guidelast cool pic from balcony

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