Our train left Bucharest at noon, crossing the Friendship Bridge into Bulgaria in the afternoon and arrived in Veliko Tarnovo around 6pm. Although the trip was long and hot, with six people to a cabin, it was nice to have a breeze from the window. We listened to music, read, chatted, snacked and played celebrity head. It was interesting being the only North American, as our views of celebrities are vastly different than the Aussies. For example, I listed Michelle Obama and Smokey the Bear, which were practically voted out as being unfair after no one knew who they were. We’ll have to give them a few months on Michelle Obama, but I think Smokey the Bear is out of luck.
Veliko Tarnovo is one of the oldest settlements in Bulgaria and was one of the strongest fortifications in the middle ages. The town consists of three main hills with a large canyon and river in the middle. There’s a massive statue of the Four Horseman out in the canyon area, which my room looks out over. It’s kind of ominous. After dinner tonight, we went in to town to a local club for cheap cocktails. It was very Eastern European slick, and a great place to people watch. And for $2 mojitos, who am I to complain. So far Bulgaria is incredibly budget friendly. The farther south we get, the cheaper things are.
Bulgaria uses the Cyrillic alphabet so it’s more difficult navigating than in Romania, since all the signs are in cyrillic. It reminds me of trying to read signs in China! Although, it’s a little easier, since many of the letters are similar. I’ll be carrying around my Cyrillic alphabet paper this week.