Bulgaria
City Garden

Here you’ll find travel reports about City Garden. Discover travel destinations in Bulgaria of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

8 travelers at this place:

  • Day4

    Sofia prise 2

    May 14 in Bulgaria

    On est aux anges dans notre confortable lit Queen. Tout à coup, la porte de la chambre s’ouvre puis se referme aussi tôt. On ouvre l’œil tout endormie. OMG il est 14:00. On croit revivre le jour de la marmotte. Encore passé tout droit!

    Et le téléphone sonne, c’est le lobby qui demande ce qu’on souhaite faire. Je leur dis qu’on reprend la chambre pour une autre nuit. De toute façon, on est trop poquée pour se courir. Bof! Pas grave, on est en vacances. Je rebooke donc une autre nuit! On est tellement bien dans cet hôtel moderne. Et quelle vue!

    Fini la farnisnte, on va au centre d’achat à côté pour manger. Ma mère veut un muffins et un café donc ce sera le Dunkin donuts. Elle commandera un petits gâteau sans le savoir. Oups! On en rit! Moi je me lance dans un dîner bulgare de saucisse. Le pointage de doigt est très efficace même en Bulgarie alors me voilà avec saucisse de bœuf gigantesque et salade Chopska. J’en raffole! On tente de prendre l’autobus mais avec tous les numéros, trop difficile de choisir. On ira donc en métro.. mais on ne trouvera jamais le moyen de traverser la voie rapide. On abandonne! Taxi, ce sera! A 5 leva, ça ne valait même pas la peine d’attendre!

    Par chance, on devrait arriver pour le tour de ville de 18h. On nous débarque dans le stationnement d’un grand immeuble et on nous pointe une direction. On devra faire le peu qui reste à pied. On est presque 18h et on cherche toujours le Palais de Justice où débute la visite. On appelle et par chance, ils parlent anglais. On était juste une rue trop loin. On approche de la dame au visage d’or (Sainte-Sofia) et on voit l’église au toit vert. Le Palais de Justice le voisine avec ses frères lions. Les Bulgares adorent cette majestueuse bête.

    Un tour à pied qu’on recommande sans hésiter! On manque de temps pour tout voir. On se promet de revenir plus tôt pour visiter plus en profondeur. On prend note de revenir plutôt le 24.

    On jase avec Alex d’origine Panaméenne mais élevée en Bulgarie depuis l’enfance. Elle nous conseille un resto pour locaux au-dessus des Archives Nationales. On devra dire au gardien qu’on va au resto. Péripétie digne d’un James Bond où, dans une entrée de building en totale rénovation, on nous demande de montrer passeport puis de les suivre en zigzagant à travers les travaux vers un espace de la grandeur d’un garde-robe à balais de type ascenseur. Pas très rassurant! Mais bien contente d’avoir laissé le body-guard ressemblant à un russe mafieux de série B.

    Arrivé au 6e, on sort et on en monte un autre. Et on entre dans un typique resto de quartier. On va tenter le Rakia (sans quoi, on n’est pas de vraies bulgares!), une bière tchèque, 2 salades (Hé oui! Encore une Chopska pour moi!) des fromages panés, du porc aux champignons, du poulet pour ma mère. On ressort de là en roulant presque!
    On admire la vue de la terrasse extérieure avant de redescendre.

    Deux filles nous devancent et remplissent l’ascenseur. On prendra le suivant. Et puis paf! Coupure de courant. Tout à coup, l’ascenseur devient moins attrayante, on prendra les marches! Au 4ème, impossible de poursuivre, escalier en construction. On devra se résoudre à prendre “l’armoire à balais mobile” Mafioso nous fait signe de le suivre vers la sortie, on ne l’astinera pas!

    On sort et le taxi appelé par un bon samaritain du resto, qui parlait anglais, nous attend déjà. On communique assez bien, grâce à Google Translate et mon super accent bulgare écorché. On revient dormir au Novotel. Demain sera le jour tant attendu pour ma mouman: Marcher dans le village natale de mon grand-père Tsanko. Et peut-être repartir avec de la famille qu’on ne connaissait pas! Qui sait?
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  • Day3

    The very last of Sofia part I

    July 8, 2017 in Bulgaria

    First of all: This is so what inspired Hergé! All the details in the Museum of Sofia History was taken directly from one particular Tintin movie. Or perhabs it was the other way around, same difference.
    Second of all: Today we did the rest of this city including a non-touristy walk with Stefan as a guide, picnic in the park, jazz festival with the sunset and the moon rising in the background, dansing barefood in the grass, and ending up at an irish kareoke bar. Sofia really got it all covered! We even experienced a bit of rain.Read more

  • Day28

    Transit

    May 1, 2017 in Bulgaria

    Feeling pretty good considering it's 6am.
    It was an easy morning because we hadn't unpacked anything and we had paid so we just quietly left.
    We walked into town but couldn't see a taxi, it seemed as if we would have to walk to the bus station wahhhh
    But out of the mist, a beautiful sight...
    A taxi.
    We jumped in, he was nice and spoke clearly.
    Will got us breakfast from the bakery while we waited for the bus to leave. It was like a feta cheese Pastry thing - was filling.
    Onto the bus we went. I'm always sooooo friggen hot on transport before it leaves. Planes and buses especially. They need to crank up the air con.
    The bus was pretty empty so at the halfway point I kicked Will out so I could have a double seat to myself which was a great idea cause I got some more sleep haha
    It was so misty is was ridiculous. Very horror films inspiring.
    Will said the mist was at its worst when I was sleeping and that you couldn't see 10 meters in front of the bus. Lucky I was asleep or I probably would have been a little scared.
    I hope the next bus is empty so I can kick Will out again. He takes up 1.5 seats with is stupid shoulders so I'm stuck rammed into a corner with a twisted spine all the while dying of heat because he is a fernus.
    We arrived in Skopje around 10:30.
    We bought our tickets to Sofia, Bulgaria. It was only 1900 denars so around 15 euro each. Our bus leaves at 3 so we have some time to kill. It's a long day. It will take another 5 hours to get there.
    We decided to walk to the main square but it was too hot carrying our backpacks with jumpers on so we ducked into the shopping center to eat and hopefully find some ginger tablets for Will.
    And sunscreen - have still remained unsuccessful in this venture. - but hopefully that changes shortly - we were offered insider information - They only sell sunscreen at pharmacies that's why we haven't found it anywhere.
    We are eating at a burgers place without wifi. Boo.
    There is a kindly gym next to me which looks fun, I just keep thinking that the fences are too low, I would have been out in minutes.
    I had a fright on the toilet. I sat down and the whole thing moved and CLANGED so loudly.
    2 of the screws are missing so the whole toilet moved. Didn't expect that when I sat down hahaha.

    Will was successful WOOHOOO!!!!!

    He also got motion sickness tablets. Apparently the worker looked at him like he was a lunatic when he asked for ginger tablets lol. I suppose if you haven't heard of it before that would be an odd request.
    Bulgaria has a different currency so we did our best to spend all of our coinage. I bought lollies at a junk store. The lady was very patient with me and I counted out cent by cent.
    We then bought water for the bus and walked back to the bus station.
    Only 1 hour till we leave now. Will just changed over our Denar to Lev. He has also taken a motion sickness tablet so hopefully it helps.
    I'm drinking the most delicious ice teas ever! It's forest fruits and cranberry flavored. A very pleasant surprise.

    So once again we napped. So did everyone on the bus. The roads are ridiculous. Will made comment in his exasperated, cranky voice "I can't believe this is a national highway"
    It's like being rocked to sleep, you can't fight it, you just become so sleepy.
    I watched as much of the country side as I could. I find the brokenness beautiful. Everyone going on with their daily life's in pits of mud while others go to skyscraper offices in suits.
    I am so hot so I took the big risk and took off my shoes and waited for the smell... but it never came! Woohoo!
    Feeling better now.
    After nearly 3 hours we reached the border. It took so long to get through. There was 3 full buses in front of us and every person needs to be checked and stamped twice - one for exit one for entry. It was the first time in the trip I was bored.
    We got though and to my annoyance, once again Wills passport got stamped before mine so he has bright, clear, readable stamps and mine you can't even see the letters to know what country I was in. Boo hiss.
    I was pretty stamps :( he has a purple one from Thailand.. I want a purple one. Lol
    There was a quick toilet stop just past the border. Will went to the loo and came back in a state of horror. Apparently some girls have used the wrong toilet and left their used pads laying around hahahah he is mortified. Hahaha

    Bulgaria looks similar and yet different. I think it might've the foliage. It's got bigger paddocks and dirt.
    70km away now.
    We just came onto a highway and Wills mood changed. He is approves of its condition. Lol
    Got dropped off at the bus station and found a taxi.
    Showed him the address and he asked a few friends, Nobody knew where the bloody address was......
    lunatic driver. He was dodging traffic, on the phone, didn't have working seatbelts and had to rely on our phone data to have a working map which he kept checking over his back shoulder every 3 seconds.
    After this fiasco ended another one started.
    We were in the middle of what seemed a sleeping suburb with nowhere to go. The place we were dropped off at was wrong -.-
    We went searching. Will has the big shits by this time.
    We tried several buildings and asked 5 different people where the address was. The 5th person, bless her cotton socks was able to tell us and finally after 25 minutes of stressful wanderings in a dark, foreign city we found it.
    And it is great.
    It is like a hotel. It has key cards to open the door and keep the electricity on AND a big shower ! Woohoo!
    We popped down to the local dominos for dinner - we didn't want to venture too far until we know the area a bit better.
    First impressions of Bulgaria is that it's a hole and that a strong breeze will knock it over.
    It's a concrete city.. hopefully the city center is better.
    Keen for another good sleep.
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  • Day32

    Sofia

    May 5, 2017 in Bulgaria

    We actually woke up on time! Go team!
    We left the house around 7. It was raining so we wanted to get a taxi as soon as possible but we only had 50's and don't trust the taxi driver at the end of the trip to not be like "oh sorry no change" so we walked for a little bit to a servo, bought a drink then jumped into the first taxi we saw.
    Another legit driver! He also had a meter and went the quickest way. He also asked if we were Cold and would like the aircon on. That sort of lovely behavior earned him a small tip and he was really thankful and I think, surprised.
    We were early so we found the cafe we were to meet at but it was closed :( 95% of things don't open until 9.
    So back to trusty maccas we went -.-
    Interestingly they don't have a breakfast menu which suits me perfectly but it's still different.
    I'm liking Bulgaria more and more. I don't know why I was so put off at first. Possibly because it was dark, we were lost and the taxi driver ripped us off or the outskirts of the city are dodge but now I love it. It has a similar charm to Macedonia but is more established I think.
    On foot is much better than by car. You miss so much of the everyday life vibe when driving.
    We went back to the meeting place and were first to arrive. We had our names marked off and talked to one of the owners of the company dudes. He was saying that he studied both in Bulgaria and in an American school in Greece and he said the systems where very different. He said the American school had a lot of focus on team work which Bulgaria does not. He said as a company owner that causes a lot of problems because everyone is a lovely individual but team work doesn't happen easily or naturally.
    There is about 26 on our tour but the bus has a microphone so that helps.
    Will has had to move away from me so he has 2 seats and can sit sidewards so he fits.
    We first drove to Boyana church which although beautiful inside was kinda boring. The church only allowed 10 people in at a time for 10 minutes each so we had some waiting to do.
    We pre bought our tickets online but the guide made no notion for people to collect tickets. He was really confused and said he has never heard of this before so I showed him the invoice.
    He made a phone call and we were allowed to enter and thankfully didn't have to pay again.
    Inside didn't have an inch not painted. The artist only used red, yellow, blue, black and white.
    We used the loo there which had a big 'free of charge' sign woo. turned out to be the cleanest public toilet I've been in. Like a church toilet. Spacious, empty tiles.
    We got back on the bus and are on the way to Rila monastery. I was doing fine before but now I'm exhausted and I think I had a sleep.
    We are currently 20 minutes out winding up the mountain.
    Will was so very tired so we went straight to the resturant first to get him a coffee and food.
    He ordered meatballs, or he thought he did.
    They brought a singular meatball out and I had such a laugh.
    I had a look around the shops while he finished his small chips.
    We bought traditional Bulgarian donuts (Wills meatball didn't fill him) and sat by a waterfall. Took selfies with the GoPro then went walking around the monastery.
    It's incredible! I love the wood, white and arches.
    We saw a monk :D Only 10 still work here. He was a super old dude too.
    I followed him so I could get a photo haha.
    We went into the gallery but we had to pay so we left. We could practically see every artwork from the front door anyways and it was just silly saint pictures anyways.
    We then went to its museum which had some cool stuff in it. (8Lev)would love to be able to enter the library and see old the old books they have. Only some were on display and some were replicas of ones in the library.
    There was a wooden cross carved by Rafail- it was insane!!!!
    There were gifts other countries had sent and and this really old door. Like stereotypical wooden with a big knocker.
    They had some of the monks personal stamps too.
    We couldn't take pictures inside.
    We also went to another museum type section (3Lev) which had your basic life stuff like a mill and logging stuff but it also had pots and pans but the BIGGEST pot I've ever seen with humongous spoons.
    In the pot you could easily cook 8 -10 fully grown men.
    The roof was awesome though. It was like the tower in the first lord of the rings that Gandalf gets thrown against by old mate.
    We learnt that it was designed like that for the smoke.
    I really enjoyed the monastery. Will was a bit eh but he gets like that when he is tired and hungry.
    I had a look at the gift shops but it was again all religious crap. I mean that with respect but I don't believe it praying to saints. Only God.
    We paid for audio guides but one was out of battery so Will let me use the working one only it didn't have designated spots to press numbers.
    There was only 5 bits of info but they went for 5+ minutes each.
    I listened to them of the bus home. Waste of money really. Oh well. I did enjoy watching the lightning flashes on the horizon on the journey home.
    The bus ride home was quieter than the journey there. The 5 Italians behind me shut up and had a sleep.
    Will was really hungry so when we got back he got a burger. On the way we saw a man holding a lawn umbrella for protection hahahah it was so big!
    We then went to the boulevard and had drinks. The roads were very blocked - we don't know what for but there was a very large group of people standing out the front of parliament with a horn that sounded like a duck?
    We decided to wait until it cleared to go home.
    We sat at a cafe for a bit then Will started crashing hard so we left. We walked across the bridge with pictures so I had a look at the other side. I would have liked to read the blurbs but I didn't want to push it lol.
    The first taxi we flagged didn't speak English so he drove off. The second guy I'm pretty sure took a longer than necessary route but it was still cheap so that's ok.
    Will is in bed finally so he is happier :)
    I'm at dominos writing this.
    Movie and pizza night!

    The monastery was founded by a monk in the 10th century who wanted to escape. He lived in solitude in a cave. People heard of him and eventually more monks joined and they moved the monastery to where it is now. The cave is about 4km away and founder is buried there.

    We also did enter the main church in the monastery, its beautiful and covered with gold. There are the founders relics inside. Supposedly they have magic powers and many many miracles have happened.
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  • Day33

    Sofia

    May 6, 2017 in Bulgaria

    Woke up just in time to talk to mum and dad. We talked for a about an hour. I love talking to them. :)
    Cat still doesn't recognize me. It's all an act I'm sure..
    I miss him I just want to squeeze him.
    Jess called through to talk to Will while I was talking to mum and dad. I'm getting really sad :( I want to talk to everyone too but they keep calling through to Wills phone so I don't get to talk to them cause I don't fit in the screen and/or they call through when I'm not available i.e. In shower, sleeping or talking to someone else :(
    Wahhh.
    I like listening to their voices though.
    That my small whinge for the day done.
    Boots apparently rubbed herself against the screen. Stupid Thaddeus, why can't he do that?

    Will took forever to get ready. Our convos ended about 12:30 and we left the house around 2/2.30. We decided not to do the communist tour - we will do one in Berlin or similar.
    We were going to walk to the center but I made the point that if we walk and the museum is shut because of St Joshua or whatever public celebration it is today - then we will need something to do and might have to do the tour anyway but won't have enough time to eat beforehand (both starving at this stage) so we did end up getting a taxi. The guy didn't speak English but got us to the right spot. :) we keep going to church Alexander because the name Alexander doesn't change with the language.

    (While I was whining for Will to hurry up he told me to eat some Nutella, so I did :)
    Hardly satisfying but it got me through til after the museum. )

    We went straight to the museum to see if it was open and it was - woot! We decided to push through and eat afterwards. The museum had some interesting things but the vibe was nowhere near as good as Macedonia. It had lots of statues, gravestones and all your other general museum type things. There were paintings in the upper section that you had to stand 70cm away from or an alarm would go off. One lady set it off, I had a little giggle.
    The highlights would have to be the old helmets and armor. I like looking to see if they have any obvious signs of impact rather than have just designated with time. I also like the weapons and like thinking about how many people (if any) had the weapon used on them.
    There were also old animal bones but the best was the jaw of a cave bear dating back 250,000 -45,000 BC so that was pretty awesome.
    After the museum we desperately needed proper food so we went searching but most places were just cafes. We did eventually find a place wayyyyyy up the end.
    The food was average but there was a cat sitting on the mesh awning above us :)
    We got a taxi home and I had a 2hr nap. It was magical.
    Will woke me and we went bowling at the joy station directly behind our building. It was pretty hip inside. It had a bowling alley upstairs and downstairs was like this massive bar/club place that had a stage that's obviously booked for events - it also had pool tables and dart boards except it was very clean - more like star city than a pub.
    We played 3 games of bowling - it was so cheap in comparison to home. It was about $10 each for 3 games. #winning.
    Will won the first 2 games by 1 point and by then 3 points- but I won the 3rd game by 20 so I was the overall winner :D
    We remembered to return our bowling shoes ( not like the time me and Andrea walked around Macquarie center in the bowling shoes for an hour because we didn't realize hahahaha)
    We then played pool downstairs. You don't pay for one game you pay per hour.
    Will won all 3 games it was bullshit. I was smashing him in the 1st game but the silly yellow ball lost me the game. In the first game I broke and then proceeded to sink 3 balls straight. I'm basically a professional.
    We then went to club 35 and had cheeseburgers. Delicious again.
    Came home and packed and possibly downloaded more movies...
    Earlier we also looked at transport to Hungary but it's not really convenient so we got super duper cheats flight to Brussels - 26€ each.
    I think it ended up being $209 all up once we added our big bags. So pretty stoked :)
    Booked for 2nd June - woo!

    Other notes:

    -Tourism is up 200% since last year in Bulgaria thanks to Ryanair.

    - The Mountain is the closest to any city in Europe and is responsible for their clean air

    - Will randomly knew that the Desert pea is the national flora of south Australia ??

    - we also emailed grandma and granddad to see if they have received their package and to give them the link to this journal. If they ever read this please know I apologize for the terrible grammar, spelling mistakes, occasional swear word and disorganised thoughts but it's acting as a personal journal - so it's meant for me, not others :)

    Plovdiv tomorrow! Woohoo!
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