Saturday, September 11, 2010


We got ready to load up on the Train and we quickly figured out that we were meant to be in the crack den looking part of the train... There were guys hanging out of the windows smoking with ripped t-shirts and dirty clothes - Rory went to check out seats and we were meant to be sitting in a 6 carriage dark room about the size of 2 toilet cubicles combined with 4 people and baby in there... he walked out completely horrified and we quickly went to go see if we could upgrade to the sleeper carriages.. best 30 Euro we have ever spent!!
Our Sleeper
We slept surprisingly well on the train and got woken up for a quick passport check at 3am and then arrived in to Sofia around 8am and got dropped off at the Hostel and had breakfast.
First day in Sofia we wandered down the food/flea markets (not much to see) and then got let in to our room and had our free pasta and beer for dinner before heading out for a couple more drinks.
We went a bar where they have taps on the walls and you pour your own beers, it worked out to be a bit more than $3 per litre of beer. We drank 4 Litres, it was wheat beer and very nice!!
Ale House
Went for a bit of a wander and found a place that sold hot dogs with chips, mayo, tomato sauce, chili sauce and some other secret ingredients... Way too delicious!!
Hot Dog

We headed to Rila Monastery the following day which was almost 3 hour each way - it was very beautiful - The colours of the paintings were very vibrant- they must spend a lot of time and money maintaining it!
Rila Monastery
Rila Monastery

Fresco of God doing a Poo and Satan at the bottom of the poo..

We also walked up a big mountain and checked out the Cave that the Rila Monk lived in for 7 years in solitary confinement - apparently if you can get through the cave without getting stuck all of your sins have been cleared and you are all good!! We fit through fine but it was actually quite hard walk and crawl through the cave! There was also a small chapel which was had some pretty paintings.
Hiking Section
The "cleansing" cave
Fresco in the Chapel
We cooked ourselves dinner rather than eating the free Spaghetti - We made a salad and had some pork chops that had been marinated in a mustard sauce - it was really really good - so nice having your own choice over what was in the salad - we had so many veggies!!
Our last day in Sofia we went to the main Cathedral and had a wander around the shops and streets.
Outside the Cathedral were some crazy markets with all different kinds of antiques and war memorabilia - lots of different Nazi items and knives etc. pretty full on!
we found a really cute little soup shop and had cheap soup for lunch before catching the bus on to Veliko Tarnovo.. updates of there to come!!

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