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Archive for July, 2006

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Relaxing in a beautiful country

Thursday, July 27th, 2006

Walking out of Town
Walking out of Town

We’ve been a little lax on the blogging lately – apologies. We’ve just been enjoying our surroudings – a lot.

So we did the day trip to the Rila Monastery from Sofia. It was a long day. The monastery is certainly beautiful, but we weren’t able to go and see ‘behind the scenes’, so to speak. Not at all like the sort of living museum set up of the monasteries at Meteora in Greece. So we saw the beautiful church, and one of the museums that was all in Bulgarian, and contained mostly crosses, and a few robes, a few books, a little of this and that. Not quite what we were expecting. The setting was absolutely gorgeous, though. I can see why hiking is such a popular activity in Bulgaria – there’s hardly any scrap of land that isn’t scenic and breathtaking. Well, cities aside. It is possible to stay at this monastery, but we didn’t look into it. Dunno why, we just didn’t.

[read on]

Churches and a Communist Legacy

Friday, July 21st, 2006

Early Church surrounded by Communist Buildings
Early Church surrounded by Communist Buildings

We’ve been travelling around Bulgaria for a few days now. After Plovdiv, we headed for the smallish city of Samokov, which is very close to the Rila mountains. Our goal in heading there was to spend a bit of time outside and rest up a bit. We were very impressed with the city, which wasn’t very touristy at all, but still had english menus in the restaurants. Unfortunately there was limited hotel space and we could only stay 2 nights, before some outdoor group came that had everything booked up. So we spent our one full day there visiting the nearby ski resort of Borovetz, where we did some hiking. It was amazing the difference in price between Samokov and Borovetz, which are only about a 10 minute drive apart, as our lunch in Borovetz, which wasn’t very good, cost more than breakfast and dinner combined in Samokov. Samokov itself isn’t overly remarkable, except for the historical tidbit that it was the site of Bulgaria’s first commune, founded in 1909.

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It’s Opposite Day

Monday, July 17th, 2006

We've now arrived in Bulgaria, where we're currently staying in the second large city, at a pleasant 300,000 people, Plovdiv. There's a fantastic old city here, though not super old, as most of it was built up in the ... [Continue reading this entry]

Beautiful City, but the plumbing could use some work.

Friday, July 14th, 2006

The Aya Sofya
The Aya Sofya

Well, so far we've been having a great time in Istanbul. People are much friendlier than in Greece, and ... [Continue reading this entry]

Bye Bye Greece, Hello İstanbul

Wednesday, July 12th, 2006

Since our last post, we spent 2 nice quiet nights in Delphi, the site of the famous Temple of Apollo. The ruins were much the same as many that we've already seen, but each ... [Continue reading this entry]

A Quick Update

Tuesday, July 4th, 2006

Leaving the Olympic Stadium
Leaving the Olympic Stadium

Well, we've spent the last couple of nights in Olympia. The town there was ... [Continue reading this entry]

Laidback Islands and City Crowds

Saturday, July 1st, 2006

Well, we haven't had much chance to blog since we've been in Greece. Unfortunately, affordable internet is a bit of a rarity, so usually by the time we've done our basic errands (check email, book hostels in next destination, ... [Continue reading this entry]