From Bristol to Bulgaria

“We’re not going away again for a while,” we said “going to settle down now,” we said. Well, it is true – somewhat. As of mid-October, Mitch and I will be officially living in Bristol together and I’m so excited.

Until then, however, we thought, “let’s go because we can.” We’re lucky enough to be able to book a flight for three weeks time and it not be an issue for our jobs. We also have no September commitments. We saw a window of opportunity and took it.

Any opportunity for me to try new food is a good one.

Why Bulgaria? It’s not far from home and it’s cheap. It’s a country small enough that we can explore a lot of it in a month. If we have time, we might head up to Bucharest, too. I’ve heard many good things about Romania.

This trip is a little different to our time in Mexico as we are working for the first three weeks and then taking two weeks holiday. We’re basing ourselves in the capital of Sofia for the first two weeks and we will move on from there.

Our First Day in Sofia, Bulgaria

We landed late on Saturday night and headed straight for our Airbnb for some much-needed rest. We’ve rented a whole apartment as it’ll be our base for work while we’re here. It’s spacious, got a well-equipped kitchen, and a comfy bed. What more could we ask for?

We had a luxurious lie-in on Sunday but that was for the best as there was a half an hour intense thunderstorm. After it cleared, we headed out to explore. Our Airbnb is about 15-20 minutes from the centre of the city. It’s a pleasant walk, mainly through pretty parks.

Sofia has beautiful parks and buildings

We saw some great sights on our first day including the beautiful Sevta Nedelya Cathedral. It seemed to be populated all day with wedding guests. Just one wedding after the other. After that, we strolled to the only functioning mosque left in the city: Banya Bashi. A stone’s throw away from both the cathedral and the mosque is the Sofia synagogue. It reminded me of Sarajevo, where they also have a mixture of different religious buildings in close proximity.

To escape the afternoon heat, we took a stroll around the Sofia History Museum, before having a drink in one of the many cafes that line the pedestrian street of Vitosha.

At 6 pm, we joined the Sofia Free Walking tour. This tour is excellent. It showed us all the main city sights (some of which we saw earlier in the day) but with some great history thrown in too. Of course, as with all “free” tours, tips are welcome at the end. However, our guide was superb and the tour lasted two hours.

The Aleksander Nevski cathedral is amazing. We had an awesome view of it from our plane as we were landing.

After the tour, we tried some local food with a couple of people we’d met on the tour. The food was excellent. Meat, cheese, bread, and salads seem to be popular. Mitch was adventurous and tried some of the local rakia… I passed on that.

This week we’ll primarily be working but using our evenings to go for nice strolls and try some more of the delicious food that the city has to offer. I can’t wait!

Do you have any recommendations for while we’re in Bulgaria? I’d love to hear about them!

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