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7 Days in Bulgaria: Veliko Tarnovo to Plovdiv


This week, I wrote about my travels through Bulgaria last fall.  I loved Bulgaria for the amazing history and gorgeous outdoors. Sofia was a surprisingly interesting capital city and I loved being able to get outside and hike in Bansko. If I visit Bulgaria again, I would love to go in winter and see Sofia, the Rila Mountains and Monastery and Bansko. 7 Days in Bulgaria: Bucharest, Romania to Veliko Tarnovo – Deciphering Cyrillic in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria Sofia – Bulgaria Wishes We All Could Be California Girls Rila Mountains – Rila Mountain Monastery Bansko – Hiking and Bear Spotting in Bulgaria Plovdiv Read more…

#41: Visit Europe Again

My first experience traveling abroad was to France in 2006 (when I officially got the travel bug). Since then, I’ve wanted to go back and see more of Europe. However, with the euro and dollar exchange rate at $1.60 this summer, I decided to stick to the outer edges of the EU that don’t use the euro yet. By starting in Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria, I didn’t have to cringe every time I made a purchase, but still had the convenience of being in the EU. Turkey was my next stop, and while not quite Europe, it was an amazing Read more…

Overnight on the Orient Express to Istanbul

I spent my last Lev on snacks and baklava, changed into my comfiest outfit and headed to the train station to catch the overnight sleeper train to Istanbul. It’s kind of neat to be on the Orient Express to Constantinople. ;)  Our train was, of course, late so we ended up leaving two hours later than expected. I fell right to sleep and was awakened shortly at the Bulgarian border. Thirty minutes later we got to the Turkish border and then the real fun began. Everyone had to get off the train to buy visas and then stand in line. Read more…

Coffee and Cigarettes


Bulgarians don’t do breakfast. I went into town and ordered a cappuccino (while eating muesli and yogurt from the market). I sat outside, writing in my journal and enjoying my coffee, while everyone else was smoking and drinking coffee. So very Coffee & Cigarettes. I’m wondering if Bulgaria has a higher smoking rate than other European countries. We traveled to Plovdiv yesterday, and our hotel is right in the downtown, pedestrian-only area. Brilliant location. My plan was to walk up to the ruins on the hill to see the Roman Ampitheater, but the entrance shown on the map was locked Read more…

Hiking and Bear Spotting in Bulgaria


Hiking day! I’ve been itching to get outside since I was in Bucharest. Thankfully, Bansko has a lot of hiking opportunities since the mountain is used for skiing in the winter. We drove up to the last lodge area where the road ends and hiked for a few hours alongside the creek. Incredible views! It was so nice to be out in nature. I spent a little too much time rock hopping and got a little too comfortable in my surroundings, as there was a falling incident. I banged my left ankle up and have scratches up and down my Read more…

Olivia Raymer
Things I ♥: travel, food (I'm a pescatarian), the Pacific Northwest, bikes (I ride an orange mixte), beer (IPAs), summer, coffee, lists, and kitties. Travel enthusiast, former product manager, dabbler, and currently helping small businesses with digital strategy at Early Bird Strategy.

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