Wes here, reporting to you live from Bulgaria.
Well, all is well in BulgarLand. Amber and I survived (barely) the flights over here. We had plenty of glorious leg room during our flight to Chicago. Amber got to watch “Danger Min-” err, wait, “Freedom Writers.” I read my computer magazines and started “A Prayer for Owen Meany.” The flight to Milan (that’s in Italy, kids! You know, like in “And I’m too sexy for Milan, New York and Japan”) was hell. Ten hours of discomfort and cramped necks. Amber and I occupied a middle, 3-seat section towards the back of the 3/4 full plane, so that meant Amber got to lay across the seats and sleep with her head on my lap. Let’s just say I’m not looking forward to the flight home. And the flight to Sofia was one I don’t remember because I was passed out from exhaustion. But guess what Amber was doing right as we touched down onto Bulgarian soil? Throwing up! I didn’t think Bulgaria would have that instanteneous of an effect on her.
Getting our rental car was painless. My Bulgarian wasn’t as sharp as I’d hoped, but I made it through, thanks in large part to the fact that the guy renting the car (a 2005 compact Suzuki) could speak a little English. The drive to Plovdiv was very quick (1 hour! Eat that all of you who are used to 3 hour bus rides or 4 hour train rides!). But it took us (OK, OK, it toom me) an hour of driving around Plovdiv to find our place at the Bed & Breakfast. No streets are ever labeled and I never actually served in Plovdiv. But I didn’t feel that bad when we finally found it (I actually felt horrible for putting Amber through all of that) because it was located in the middle of the insanely inaccesable Old Town in Plovdiv. It’s literally 20 steps away from the ancient Roman coliseum that Amber will no-doubt describe in her post (I’m just here for mundane, comic relief). We went out and wandered, ate at this phenomenal Russian restaurant (a place like that would be at least $150 a plate in the States – here it was $27, for both of us). We got back to our room – the cleanest, cutest place I’ve ever stayed at in Bulgaria – and crashed after watching a bit of Bulgar-vision. We slept for 12 hours. It was awesome. I had a dream my mom had been hiding this crazy secret room/hangar in our house that had two small planes in it. We woke up at 8:30 when our hostess brought us breakfast. I can’t give Amber enough props for finding this place on-line.
Today we got to do a lot. We skirted around Old Town, visited the coliseum, walked down on the “glav” (that’s like the main street, but cars aren’t allowed on it) – the “glav” was like 3 miles long, the longest that I know of in all of Bulgaria. There were just tons of people out today – you know, the holiday known as “the Monday after Easter.” They’ll use any excuse for a holiday from work. It was really fun just walking and talking. We needed a break so we went to the theater and saw “300.” It was a great flick, and it was fun to read the subtitles. I’m always amazed at how the nuances of the English language are completely lost in the subtitles. It kills me.
After the movie we went to a cafe for a light dinner, and then we hiked up this small mountain with a monument erected for “the glory of the invincible, socialist army liberators” and now we are returning to our humble accomodations. We’ll probably go back our a little tonight, but we’re getting up early to drive to a few sights that are out of town. These should be the best. I’ll save the surprise for later.
I don’t have SD card access on this computer, so to appease you all here is a picture of a sweet goat.
I love being here again, and I love that I’m here with Amber. I don’t think there’s anyone else I’d truly enjoy being here with. She’s usually the one saving me from situations, blunders and embarassment – it’s nice to finally be the one that gets to save her from Bulgars, language barriers and shkembe chorba (google it, if you already hadn’t thought to).
Love you all!