Travelling through Romania & Bulgaria

Trip Start Jul 27, 2004
Trip End Dec 13, 2006

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Friday, July 28, 2006

After leaving rural northern Romania, we arrived in Sighisoara, Transylvania (Dracula land) and immediately met up with an old friend, Vinnie (who we'd met when we had been travelling in Mexico nearly 2 years ago). Paul, Vinnie and I had a great 3 nights in Sighisoara enjoying the cheap beer, great views of the medieval style town and catching up... finally Paul had someone apart from me to chat to football about!!! After a weekend in Sighisoara the 3 of us headed to 2 hours south on the train to Brasov. This is an old walled town with verdant green mountains on either side of the town, as soon as we had checked into the hostel we headed for the beer festival in Parcul Central and had some great BBQd sausages washed down with 20p a pint beers - who said travelling was hard?? The rest of our 3 days in Brasov was spent looking around the town at the many beautiful buildings, taking a cable car ride up to the mountain overlooking the town and partying with others in the hostel - after all we did have a birthday to celebrate (Vinnie's ..5th). Our last stop in Romania was Bucharest where we had 2 days to take in the sights - the palace that Ceausescu had demolished 1/6th of the city to build was pretty impressive, if not a little extravagant (the 2nd largest palace in the world after the pentagon)... the picture doesn't really show how massive it actually is. Ceausescu also built his own version of the Champs d'Elysees and a mini Arc de Triumph just to show off his grandeur, all very nice but shame that he spent so much of the country's money on. We also visited the square where protests against Ceausescu first took place and it was sad to think about all the people who had been killed in 1989.
After nearly 2 weeks in Romania we crossed the border into Bulgaria and had an interesting 5 days in Veliko Tarnovo, the old capital. Vinnie, Paul and I stayed in a great little hostel run by an English guy - really relaxing and part of the reason we ended up staying longer than we thought. The other reason why we stayed for a few more days was because of the fab pool about 5 minute taxi ride away from the old town. Oh and I nearly forgot about the great beer, wine and food that we sampled. We spent one of the scorching days visiting the Tsaverets fortress which was impressive and made us feel like we were doing something worthwhile instead of just lazing by the pool or in the hostel. We had to say goodbye to Vinnie as we left Veliko Tarnovo for the Black Sea Coast.
The last 2 weeks have been party, party, party and this is only going to continue as we have just landed in another great hostel in Varna and met a great crowd here who are always up for going out. The hostel is just out of town but offers free trips to the beach where we have spent the last 2 days relaxing in the sun right next to a pool built in the bar on the beach - bliss!!! We're in no rush to leave but will have to move at some point as Mandy is flying back to the UK from Istanbul in 2 weeks where it will be bye bye Paul, hello work (what is that??)... Paul's off for some more adventures in South America while I hold the fort at home.
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