07.12.2010 - 07.13.2010 84 °F
Hi everyone! Still here in Sofia, waiting to take our night train.
On our second day in Sofia we decided to escape the city and go on the hostel tour to the Rila monastery. We almost went there on our own but decided to take the hostel excursion because we would have more time that way. Two other people we had met in the hostel also went with us so that was cool.
The ride over there was about 2.5 hours long. It wasn't bad and the scenery was interesting at points. Once we got there the driver passed the monastery and we had no idea why. It was really cool that he did, though, because he took us to a cave where St. John lived a hermit-like existence. We got to the cave after about a 10 minute hike, which wasn't bad at all compared to the other hike we did a few days ago.
The cave was super duper dark and the little flashlight the driver had wasn't very helpful. At the end of the cave, we had to climb up and go through this tiny hole that even I had a hard time getting through. After that, we got some water from the springs and the driver took us to the monastery.
I decided to wear a sleeveless shirt because it was so hot, but it didn't cross my mind that I would have to cover up for the monastery. As soon as we walked to the gate, I saw the signs saying that I couldn't go in the way I was dressed and the guard shook his head at me. Thankfully, these two ladies from Hong Kong, who also went on the trip with us, had an extra jacket they were able to lend me, otherwise I would have missed it!!
The monastery was beautiful. The outside is completely covered in murals depicting different scenes from the Bible. Inside was very nice as well. It was so peaceful and tranquil. Definitely a nice escape from the city. After we checked out the monastery we went to have an authentic Bulgarian lunch with our hostel friends.
We both had trout and I had some stuffed peppers, which were awesome. I slept part of the way back to Sofia and then we just relaxed the rest of the day.
Today we decided to check out the Woman's Market, which pretty much reminded me of the flea market in Miami. But we were able to find nice things at very cheap prices.
My thoughts on Sofia:
- was pretty weirded out when we first got here because everything is written in the Cyrillic alphabet and we kept running into sex shops everywhere
- people are extremely nice and willing to help you even if they can't understand you
- the more I've walked around the city, the more I like it. It's very chill and you can find anything you want here
- cheap, cheap, cheap!!!!
- awesome ice cream
That is all! We're heading to Bucharest tonight and then on to Transylvania!