We made it safely!
Actually, the drive here was pretty easy and quick. The first night (picking up from where Amber left off) was crazy but it ended OK.
It was my charge to return the rental car yesterday evening. There was an Avis affiliate (inside of a Suzuki dealership) where I was to return the car. This place honestly took f-o-r-e-v-e-r to find! It was located on the outskirts of Sofia, which was no problem. I drove right there, but I was circling the same 4 sq. block area for at least 30 minutes trying to find the place! It was frustrating to say the least and I knew time was running out. I finanlly found it after many prayers – but it was closed! So I went over to the Suzuki dealership and there was a cleaning lady there after hours. I explained my predicament and she got on the phone and called a few people. She got someone to come down there (who lived only about 10 minutes away) and sign the car out for me. She was an angel! I thanked them both profusely and took a cab back to the hostel where Amber was happily waiting, watching “Ice Age 2” with a couple of American girls that are also staying in the hostel.
This is a really well run establishment, this hostel is. There are people from all over always coming in and out of the common area. Ireand, Switzerland, Scotland, Canada, USA, Portugal, Enlgand. For most of the Sofia is just a stop on their whirlwind tour of Europe, with their next stop usually being either Prague or Instanbul.
Our first night here was in a pretty beat up, crappy little room (not unlike some of my apartments while I was a missionary!) about 7 blocks away from the main hostel common location. It was smelly and small – I was OK with it, and Amber survived it like a total champ. For the last two nights we’ll be here in the main hostel where the accomodations are much better and more cozy – and it’s most centrally located in Sofia.
I was up at 6:30 this morning and went out to walk around a bit and get some bonitza (a morning pastry with feta). It was a typical, chilly Bulgarian morning – very crisp and pleasant. It’s surreal to be back.
Today we’re going to hit the main sites of the city – the cathedrals, city buildings, bazaars & other shopping. We’ll return and report.
We made it safely!