The big quarter century! I woke up at 4am to the sounds of thunder and heavy rain and went on the balcony to fetch our drenched laundry. Leo woke up too, wished me happy birthday and played the “Lisa it’s your birthday” tune from The Simpsons, while we wrung out our wet clothes in the sink. I went to back to bed and slept in until 11.30. We hit the road quite late, but I was quite happy to be riding a century today.
The road was busy, with a lot of trucks, but eventually it split onto a new highway with a 2m wide emergency lane for us to cycle in. It was really nice to ride side by side for a change and we originally planned to go at our own pace and meet in Sofia, but once it started raining we stuck together.
I’ve never splashed by passing cars before, but today trucks poured waves of water onto me, it was comical, just like in the movies. I looked to my left and a wall of water, at almost my standing height, saturated me and I couldn’t help but laugh. The tailwind whipped around and it was an intense headwind for a while. At the same time we passed sunflower fields and a double rainbow (I’ll attach Leo’s photo soon).
Eventually the rain stopped, but we still had quite a few hills before we could be rewarded with some downhill bits. We finished by about 8pm and met at Boyan and Gergina’s place in Sofia. A week ago we met them in Dospat, where they invited us to a barbecue with their family when we didn’t have food. It was great to be welcomed into their home and be treated to a feast of delicious food and such kindness. Everything was so warm and comforting, especially the rice, it has been weeks since we’ve even seen rice on a menu. We drank and chatted until we couldn’t keep our eyes open and then we slept like logs.
The next day I was keen to see the city and get my sweets fix, essentially following the food pyramid below, except I replaced the croissants with ice cream.
The city had lots of interesting buildings and construction as well, but we missed the walking tour, so we probably missed a bunch of stuff too. I was pretty tired, so Leo took more photos, although we’re having issues with his SD card so we probably can’t transfer the photos until later.
We had massages after lunch and it seemed like time was flying because before we knew it, we were heading back home for dinner. Boyan and Gergina are a hard working couple and were back from a long day, so we went out to try a new place. We ventured to Soul Kitchen, a vegan restaurant nearby and had a lovely time in their garden.
Even though our two nights in Sofia went by so quickly, we were happy to spend some time in a real home, instead of a hotel or hostel. I really enjoyed their company and the opportunity to swap stories and see into their world too. They’re an open and warm couple, definitely the highlight of our time in Bulgaria.
2 thoughts on “EU Day 39-40: 25th Birthday, Riding Blagoevgrad (BUL) to Sofia (BUL) and Rest”
Hey! Happy birthday for the other day Jenny!
Just wanted to say hi, I’m loving reading along! I’m definitely thinking I need to visit Bulgaria one day, it looks amazing. Though probably NOT on a bike – I’m a little in awe of you guys, all those hills… 🙂
On a completely unrelated note, I think you should change your blog byline from ‘exploring the world on my bicycle’ to ‘exploring the sweet treats of the world on my bicycle’…
Say hi to Leo for me!
Hey Mindy, thanks for the encouragement, we get a lot of waves and thumbs up from passing cars, but it’s even better to read some kind words at the end of the day.
Yeah I go a little crazy when I see cakes or any kind of sweets really… they look too delicious and it’s hard to pick just one treat!