For starters, we would like to apologize from everybody for the desultoriness of the posts, but for us the time seems to pass a bit differently during traveling. The moment of the departure does not seem so far away, however it feels like that our first stop in Crotaia was months ago. Probably our eventful days cause the disturbance, given that our last few days turned out to be also quite adventurous.
We did not plan to stay so long in Macedonia, we only wanted to check out the lakes of Orhid along with the orthodox monastery. For dinner we ordered the local specialities, and we were made to really wait for them, tho the view totally compensated us for the delay. After a short walk and the observation of the freely walking peacocks, there was an extra surprise, that is, there was no entrance fee to the abbey, we were just kinda ”sheperded in”, in order to get a bit more cultured. After a long discussion, we left for Bansko in the evening, thus night found us on the road, therefore we slept in a parking. Tomi and I in the car, Sziszi slept in a sleeping bag next to the car.
Roughly one third of the 6 hours long trip left for us, but at least our arrival ended up being smooth. Bansko is a holiday resort, virtually specialised for skiers and for winter sports, which meant two things to us: closed supermarkets and groundlessly cheap accomodation. We could pretty much ”own” a whole 4 storey hotel, from where we explored the area the next day. Since on the first day we got to the zero point too late, we could only go for a few hours long trip leading to a maar, and along the way we could also admire a 1300 year old tree as well. For dinner we had again something regional, which truly impressed us, then we went to sleep considerably early, so that we will have energy for the long trip the next day.
Our alarm went off at half five in the morning, but just like during the night, before the dawn it was extremely cold, so we opted for the snooze. But 2 hours later we left ”in warpaint” just to climb up to the highest peak of the Pirin mountains (Vihren, 2912 m). Besides, that it was almost unpleasently tyring, it was wonderful as well. The higher we got, the more we could see from the more and prettier mountains. On the top we could even play snowball, then we descended on a steep cliff to the valley, where our paths aparted. Tomi, facing distress, went back to the car through the valley, however Sziszi and I climbed up to the Koncheto. This is a ridge, which connects the second and the third biggest peaks, where we could only move while holding on the thick cable, tho it was an incredible buzz! After crawling up on the rocks – not once on all fours – was also ”incoronated” with a thunderstorm, which luckily got us on the way back, and not on the mountaintop. Even tho we got soaking wet, we still kept our positive attitude, and after getting back, we changed for dry clothes, and continued the journey to Sofia.
After the 3 hours long trip, the traffic in the city was a pleasent surprise, we easily found our next dwelling in the city, which has the population of about 1 million. We spent 2 nights in the flat of Sziszi’s cousin, where – probably for the first time on our journey – there was hot running-water (which we definitely upvalued along the way). The centre was 10 minutes of walk and 2 subway stops away, where we visited the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and another few memorablenesses. After that – regarding the swelter – we sat into a bar, called Raketa Rakija, which had been previously suggested. Martin, the waiter, greeted us, like there has been a years long friendship between us. If we just mentioned anything from the menu, he made sure that next time he shows up with tasters of it. The cozy convo ended with a tasty dinner and swapping phone numbers. We made him promise, that if he comes to Budapest in the future, he would definitely look us up.
The next they we were already on our feet at 5 am, so that we could do the bigger part of our trip to Veliko Tarnovo. The plan was immaculate, but tiredness was stronger, so we rather rearranged the departure to 10 am. The wind seemed to be very useful again, tho in the city striking swelter was horrible. We literally suffered from that 1,5 hour walk which we took from the car to the old town and to the castle, and then back, so we couldn’t wait to arrive to Sumen. We were put up again at some relatives of Sziszi, who were waiting for us after the long day with that typical ”grandparents like love” and of course the portion of the dishes was ”grandparents like” as well. Tho we did not speak any common language, the atmosphere was great around the table. In the evening a soon-to-be-a-relative showed us the area around. We planned to check out the monument only the next day, tho the view from the neighbouring hills was amazing. The night ended with an open air cinema, where we did not understand a single word, but it was still enjoyable.
Next day we are planning to visit the rightly famous socialist monument, and also, the musuem named after Lajos Kossuth, and then in the late hours we are heading towards Varna.
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