So here I am in Sofia, Bulgaria. My 50th country! I started this journey to bridge my young adulthood to real adulthood. Before I took off for Jordan in February 2006, I thought I would just travel wander around for a few months, come home and start my life as an adult. I had no idea at the time it was the start of my biggest passion in life.
At the start of my journey in Jordan, February 2006
Back at the same cafe as I went to for breakfast the day prior, I peruse my lonely planet looking for a few things to do. I have one more nigh in Sofia, then I have a train ride to Plovdiv, a flight to London, spend the night in London before the long ride to Detroit, then one to Buffalo, and a bus ride home.
I see a few things that might be interesting. On my way to the National Palace of Culture, I stop by a souvenir stand in a subway station. I see a drum and a recorder that I think my nephews might like. I try to get them musical instruments whenever possible, its something I know they'll like.
I reach the National Palace of Culture, and a few other things that are kind of cool.
Its the big night! I have to find a way to commemorate my 50th country! In my travels during the day, I decide to re-pierce one of piercings I got in Sydney. It came out months ago and closed over.
I talk to a girl from Germany. We decide to go out for drinks to celebrate.
50 and countries and counting!
My drink, translated means 'Blue Lightening'
No cigar, they didn't sell them at the bar or anywhere nearby. But I'm halfway to my goal, and I'm really happy about that.
I wake up and ask the hostel to call me a cab to take me to the train station. Since Ryanair usually departs from smaller cities, my flight leaves from Plovdiv, not Sofia. The girl who works with the hostel comes with me to the cab. As I put Sapphire in the trunk , the cabby says something to the girl and she laughs. He told her that girls from Bulgaria always expect men to carry their things. I've never even thought of having a man do my job for me.
I arrive at the train station and buy my ticket. I have a woman who looks like she speaks english tell me where the platform is. I go there and plop down Sapphire on the ground as I wait. I'm looking around at the broken down trains and the people getting on and off of them when I hear an announcement on the loud speaker. Its entirely in Bulgarian. I ask a young man what it said. Apparently, this train is delayed. Awesome! Will it will affect me making my flight? I always give myself plenty of time to make a flight, but I don't know how long its going to be delayed. Or how long its going to take me to get from the train station to the airport in Plovdiv.
I pace back and forth and periodically look down the track to see if there is a train coming. Eventually the train does come and I get on. I find a seat. Its really hot inside, so I bring down the window as low as it will go and try to have the wind blow in my face. After several hours, I get into the city and take the first taxi I see. I get to the airport with plenty of time to spare. I check in and unfortunately, my check in bag is too heavy. I take Sapphire to a bench near a garbage can. I look in and see what I can part with. I take my lonely planet, my towel, my knock-off Fendi purse and put them all in the garbage. I go back to the check in and I just barely make it. I go through security and make my way to the gate. I already reserved my seat, so I can go in first.
Its off to London for one night then back to Canada.