Sofia Grows On Us

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines
Where I stayed

Flag of Bulgaria  ,
Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Woke up at 10 and realised we were going to miss the Hostel's free 'all you can eat' breakfast. Decided to not worry and take on that challenge tomorrow before cycling. Instead went out for a wander, on the search for breakfast and a pharmacy as I woke up with one of my eye's lids completely stuck together - very disconcerting. Found a pharmacy with the men in white coats so I went in and pointed at my gunky disgusting eye, expecting to have a problem explaining. He looked at me for a bit then said very loudly and like a robot "What is wrong with your eye!" I said I thought conjunctivitis and he immediately produced some drops and told me to put them in every two hours. So far, so good. Think its probably from the hundreds of insects that fly into our eyes each day. Found coffee and croissants then continued on our tour of Sofia as recommended by the Hostel. Not really much to see so far, but have found side streets with interesting shops and bars and some buildings which aren't rundown concrete blocks. Did have delicious lunch in the most amazing restaurant, 'Escada' where they also sold enormous slabs of pizza you could eat on the street which is what most people seemed to be doing. It was really funning watching a continuous stream of people buy slices then slather them in ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard. We are now in the Internet cafe trying to update the blog which is seven days behind - aagghhh! It's fun to look back at photos though and great to hear from people. After our yummy lunch, tonight think we are just going to have free pasta and beer at the hostel then maybe go to the cinema. THANK YOU ALL for all your messages xxxxxxxxxxxx
Slideshow Report as Spam
  • Your comment has been posted. Click here or reload this page to see it below.

  • You must enter a comment
  • You must enter your name
  • You must enter a valid name (" & < > \ / are not accepted).
  • Please enter your email address to receive notification
  • Please enter a valid email address


Teresa on

Hi Polly and Mikey. Hope the weather is improving. The Great South Run was GREAT! Loved it. Ideal conditions. No wind and fairly chilly. Managed 1hour 42mins which I'm chuffed with. Hope you are both well. Teresa x

jojoe on

I feel quite exhausted now I've caught up with all the bloggs! You are truely impressive with what you have achieved so far. Just you make sure you make the most of that free breakfast tomorrow morning and you'll have no problems dropping into Athens on the way to Istabul - it must have been quite exciting to actually see the first sign post.

Amanda is busy practicing for her maths test on Thursday - she and Tricia had good fun on the literacy test this afternoon but it put paid to the crossword!

Take care all our love Jojo and Christopher

george_s on


Loved all the news laughing out loud with some bits (Polls being hit by cardboard box by small child)! Amazing to see so much progress and to talk to you again the other night. O dog is becoming trouble 'leopard crawling' all over the house - crawled into the wardrobe on Sun AM only to turn around so you could just see is little face peeking out laughing - sheer genius!

Its getting chilly now and the Williams road ice scraping competition is now in full swing early doors before work. Christmas stuff is beginning to appear in shops which I am sure Mikey will love to hear considering it is only October! As Polls would say - "George- quite frankly I think it's ridiculous"!!!!

Great to hear all and wish you both all of our love - must dash, O is making a bee-line for the wine rack!


tricia on

Absolutely amazing what you have done - what a team!
Anyway, this gives me an opportunity to inform Amanda Mae and Jojo ( who shouted me down in the grammar paper) that 'practice' is a noun and 'to practise' (with s as I said!!) is the verb - according to the Concise Oxford Dictionary - might be useful in your blog too. Off to get supper and then sort flights to India xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Mands on

Well Tricia - you are quite right, I really have never ever spelt practise with an s?!
I blame that backward primary school....
Missing you and Mikey lots, Olaf is keeping me very entertained though and I have bought him a pumpkin outfit, just so we can send you a nice picture of him on Halloween. Jojo and Tricia do not approve and obviously Christopher thinks it is pretty grim - I love it and you will too xx

Mum and Dad on

Been to Gunwharf today shopping for our trip-cant wait!It rained all day.
Tonight have caught up with your blog.Cant believe how far you are cycling each day and you look so welll.Great scenery-dont like sound of the tunnels.
Uncle Mick rang on Sunday and said he had been online all afternoon catching up on your news.He was very interested-must get him to send you a message.
Will speak again soon,Lots of love xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Spigaroo on

Hello lads. Epic blog-reading session: done. Just incredible what you're doing, can't believe the distances you're covering each day, you must be getting super fit. Half term is very, very pleasing indeed. Having a nice chilled time at home. Saw Chantal, Clare and Bob on friday at Kennedy's new flat. We all got very drunken indeed which was much fun. The next day I had to go and watch West Ham vs Newcastle for Jon's dad's 60th which was much less fun. The most entertaining bit was watching lots of Geordies get dragged out of the ground. Had Jacky and Ava to stay last night so spent most of the evening making a farm and having the international bed-jumping competition. Going to see MMP and PMP tonight for a pub quiz. Feeling strong! Miss you guys. Lots of love, spigs XXX

jojoe on

Phew what a day - Got Amanda Mae off to the station to go and sit her exams -she was not due back until 1.30 at the earliest but in fact got back to Elizabthe's at 11.30 having sat them back to back and SHE PASSED! (of course). The E,A, me and Olaf went off to Adsdene to get my steak for tonight and then played in Tesco with all the half term children to get the ingriedients for Christmas/Christening cakes. Olaf was as good as gold and slept through all the preparations and his cake is a real picture - mine is still in the oven which is maybe where it will have to stay until CJB finishes last years and releases the tin!
Not long now at all until you see friendly family faces - I am sure you are longing to reach Istambul and family and then heigh ho it will soon be Christmas - although we have the dreaded halloween this weekend!
Hope progress is going well and no hiccups along the way - looking forward to hearing from you again in the near future.
All our love Jojo and Christopher

triciagick on

Am really just experimenting with my travel blog picture - can't understand why it keeps disappearing. Anyway, this will appear with a new one or, yet again, nothing! Very excited about having booked our flights to India - Dads and I have three nights in the glorious 'Emerald Hotel', Mumbai - who knows what that's like. Dan will arrive in Delhi at 1.25 am on the 22nd - we 'could all go to meet him, but maybe not! Next decision - where shall we go for Christmas Eve, Day and Boxing Day?
Hoping to watch fireworks from onboard Alice tomorrow but, with gusts up to 48mph and visibility 'poor', time only will tell.
Bumped into Laura's Tom in Field and Trek (whilst buying your mosquito net) and he seems pretty pleased to have joined the elite at Williams Road.
Looking forward to speaking soon.
Much love to you both
PS - having to be a bit more careful now with spellings and grammar since Amanda Mae passed her exams!!

george_s on


"A couple from Emsworth have had their offer accepted on the White Swan. Their plan is to refurbish this lovely old building and reopen the White Swan serving good quality food using local produce and real ales - a real family affair!

Not sure on timescale at present but they are hoping the sale will be completed by Christmas and subject to planning and relicensing they hope to be open by Easter 2011"

Hopefully ready for when you get home.......we'll all be locals by that point!


Tracy Neville on

Hiya you two,

Sat here waiting for a curry to cook & for Andy to come back with a bottle of wine & am catching up on all your news, still love reading about all your adventures & still in total awe of you both!

I've got back into going to the gym so feeling a little less guilty.... Andy has now moved to Romsey which is great having him closer. Me & Lou have spent some time there as having a new bathroom fitted, it's all finished now so just need to decorate at the weekend.

Off to Blackpool next weekend for a few days, not really exotic but hey - a few days away is still good!

Take care both of you,

Tracy & Andy

Ray on

Hi Mike and Polly
Hope the eye has cleared up - me and Lau had that once, not fun!
Mum and Dad are getting excited, not long until you see them. I finished work this week, enjoying a few days holiday and then on to try new things next week. Me and Lau are off to Liverpool this weekend to visit Lisa and Paul and, their baby Phoebe! Tom is doing the OMM this weekend in Devon - hope the weather remains calm!!Love looking at the photos and the videos.
Lots of love,
Ray xxx

cke on

Hey Guys,
Finding work hard so thought I would take 5 mins and write you a message.
Have the Stortons, Frifths and Mands coming over for supper tonight so looking forward to that. Can't believe it is only 4 weeks till baby Frifth aka 'Brian' arrives!!
Giles and I have booked a holiday to keep us going till we come and see you next year....need some sunshine as it is horrible here!
Have also booked house for New Years celebrations which will be fun - sure you couldn't just pop back ;-)
Anyway back to work....

Foos on

Just had a epic catch up of all your adventures; can't believe what amazing progress you've made! Not that I ever doubted you of course!

As I write this Ian is drying Bailey Cat who has just come in from the rain, a most amusing sight. I am at home for the weeked as it's a long base weekend so we were free as of 1200 yesterday, yay! However on arriving home I discovered that my kitchen window is leaving through the wall and that there is rot in the windowsill, a very displeasing discovery and a major job that is not easy to coordinate from 300 miles away! Other than that it's lovely to be home for a bit and chill out. My roots have started to take over the world so I'm off to the hairdressers tomorrow and then some shopping because although Chichester is not the capital of good shopping it is about a million times better than anywhere in Cornwall!

Other than lots of drilling and filling I have been obsessed with trying to organise a family skiing holiday for Christmas or the New Year, so I've mostly had my head in a brochure for the past week! I was looking at Bulgaria actually yesterday but the resorts are very small so think I'll stick to France.

Hope your eye is better now? Lots of love for a continued safe journey! xx

Ernest on

Fairthorne was probably the best ever this year. A blue sky and crisp temperatures for both days and the children were 'unnatural' ; not a single reprimand for the whole visit! There were seven in my group of eleven who had not experienced Ariel Runway but not a single one hesitated at the launch, I was proud of them.
I had insisted on a cooked breakfast, you remember last years selection of inadequate 'cold stuff'. I know I can be annoying and the previous night AW said "for goodness sake stop going on about breakfast" but on Friday morning we were the only school to have one and she thanked me for organising it. After her characteristically energetic performance at the disco where she appeared to be in the air more often than on the floor, I think she needed it!
The poetry day has developed from 'can you do 15 minutes for Year Four?' to something for every class and a full assembly on Thursday. Why do I always say 'Yes' ? I think I will have to curb that 'he who does not wish to remain anonymous' thing Polly.
I see Tricia has cracked the photo key, by the time you reach New Zealand I will probably have done it.
I am in awe at your stamina and the casual way you mention the vast distances you cycle in a day. It is fabulous reading of your adventure and the social and environmental differences of the countries you pass through.
Beautiful weather here at the moment, I am off to Glyndebourne this afternoon with C O-J.
Take great care x

triciagick on

Jojo and I have just cracked the crossword - despite your poor old mother noticing half way through that she had put her jumper on inside out this morning - SAD or what!
Dan interrupted the proceedings by ringing to ask if we minded him doing a paramotoring course over the Christmas period - told him you would probably kill him! His plan is that we( naturally!) would follow him and spend Christmas in Nepal - Oh well, who knows?!
Have taken note of extra supplies and I keep badgering Dads about the notebook.
He and I are having a window cleaning competition - he power hoses them and leaves the drops to dry off - I squeejy the drops off - he reckons it will make no difference - think I'll win hands down!
Definitely not long now Ellie - we're off to Edinburgh that day. What seasoned travellers we are turning into.
Fireworks at Gunwharf last night as spectacular as ever and a good day at sea was had with David, Nigel and Jo.
Lots of love again

jojoe on

I think you will have to have a gathering of all blogg followers on your return so we can sus out who is who - I got 'the Aunt by marriage' straight away but there are quite a few that have me guessing such as 'he who dosn't with to remain anonymous'. CJB whicked me off for lunch at the Doom and Gloom today with was lovely. E is suffering froma Williams Road hangover according to her sister wo is lunching at the Bosham Inn with Pete Hudson and Ed Cheriot - names from the past!.

Hope you are going to have a jolly well earned rest day over the w/e and manage a small up-date - I'm sure it muct be becoming rather a tdious chore when all you must want to do is relax!

Lots love Jojo and Christopher

jojoe on

Christopher would like me to point out that he whisked me off for lunch not whicked - just in case it has some connotation or other!

Bev Carter on

Hi Mike and Polly
At last I've got the link from Alison and posted it to my favourites. It looks and sounds amazing and the blog is brilliant, it's like living it with you (well huge more comfortably for me than you). Life is good with the Carters, it sounds amazing for the Nevilles. Will keep in touch via the blog, and look forward to all your stories. Take care, keep safe, keep cuddling and keep smiling xxxxx

triciagick on

Hi you two. Just got back froma very successful shop - got everything you needed from Field and Trek - all seemed to be at Sale price (nice!). Had my Japanese Encephalitis jab this morning - bit embarrassed when Dads got up and walked out when he heard it was going to be £75 - whoops! Had no after affects from the last three but, already getting a stiff arm with this one - the more you pay the more it hurts! The visas continue to give us grief - having to give lots of details about our diseased parents seems a bit harsh - I think an agency beckons. Hope to talk to you soon. Tons love xxxxxxxxxx

triciagick on

Whoops - please read deceased NOT diseased parents! Think we've cracked the visa form and I have got some very unpleasant photos for it - at least it's not like passport photos where you see them all the time.
Dan and his mates let off some amazing huge rockets in the front garden on Halloween night - quite spectacular and we got away without the neighbours reporting us to the police as usual!
Your notebook has arrived and also the Lonely Planet guide - brilliant map of the South of India too - think I'll order the Northern one. No progress about where we might spend Christmas - Nepal looks amazing but we'll see how things go.
Hoping to hear from you soon - Found Burgas on the map - imagine the cycle on from there will be stunning.
Masses of love xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

auntbymarriage on

Deeply bizarre to catch up on village gossip via the blog of adventurous cyclists who could by now be anywhere. Have got very good dog whisperer book that might help with chasing dogs, though have checked through book and strangely it does not cover training dogs in a foreign language from a bike. Must be oversight on author's part. I also did Great South Run. Would love to say I enjoyed it however...... got very angry at 8 miles and decided that I wasn't going to run for a moment longer so slowed to the slowest crawl in the world and was promptly overtaken by a bunch of bananas, a tortoise and a jelly. Very soul destroying! Struggled to the end and at 100 metres out could see the finish line..... and the huge throng of cheering people and the tv camera..... and immediately turned into Paula Radcliffe running full pelt to the line whilst smiling graciously at everybody. Gah, am idiot. Your blog remains as interesting as any book I've ever read and am lost in admiration that you can keep this up. Off to play bridge. Goody. Masses of love to you both from me and Adrian.xxxxx

Tom on

Guys. I'm sitting here in dreary London reading with great jealousy about your amazing adventure. Inspirational stuff.

Mozambique was amazing. Great to see where Sam and Amaka live and meet their dogs. Also played a bit of football in the British embassy and experienced some real Maputo nightlife.

Then off to an amazing little island called Bazaruto. Absolutely beautiful place: white sand, clear seas, blue skies... Very lovely indeed. We even got some semblance of a tan but that swiftly disappeared and I am now back to my usual pallid self.

Going down to see mum today who is making some progress although it is very slow. 10 weeks in intensive care now. She has been in the ITU in Chichester longer than you guys have been away for. I'm not sure that she has had quite so much fun though.

Rugby tomorrow then mate's 30th. Back to Arundel on Sunday.

Work is all good. Busy. Doing my first coroner's inquest on Tuesday which should be interesting. Big drugs trial the week after that and I have just been instructed in a huge fraud next year. All good but rather stressful.

Let's do some skyping. We just ened to sort out a date and time. Would be great to catch up.

Loads of love then and keep safe X

Sandrarackham on

Hi guys You can certainly for Britain Enjoying the blog Take care Lots of love Sandra x x x

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: