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Friday 15 Sep
Veliko Tarnova, Bulgaria

Bulgaria---Just gets better and better

The day that we had planned to leave Plovdiv---it just didn't happen. We made our way to the bus station with two new australian friends just to find out that the bus was sold out. So, we bought our tickets for the next morning and back to the hostel we went. It was just a relaxing evening, cooked dinner, read and played cards.

The next morning being the brilliant girls we are we almost missed our bus. We set the clock for the wrong time and when we thought it was 630 it was actually 730! Ooops once again. But we did get on the bus along with 6 others from Hikers Hostel in Plovdiv. The ride took 4.5 hours and from the station we were met by owner of the Hikers Hostel in V.T---super nice guy.

Ok---V.T is amazing. How can I even begin to write in words what a fabulous place this is. We are staying in the old town once again with small cobblestone streets and tons of cafes. This city is 1/4 students and is classified a university town...what amazing energy. We arrived to the hostel and felt totally at home. What a great view, location and combination of people. Off we went to get a few 'house' supplies and to the fruits and veggies bazaar. We were planning to cook dinner for some people at the hostel. What a great bazaar. For 4.10 we got 15+ tomatoes, peppers, onions, watermelon, pasta, bread, cheese, olives etc. SUCH tasty vegetables. I love it here!

Last night we hung at the hostel because we heard that there was a light show going on at night. From the terrace on top of the hostel we watched a 15min light show. In the center of the town is a HUGE castle, fortress and with the light show they shut all the lights off and to music they light up the fortress with all different lights. There is a story that goes along with the colours...it represented the invasion of the turks, death, victory and then life. Both Leanne and I had a moment---a 'I am so happy to be traveling' moment! Then we cooked up a fabulous pasta and salad dinner and drank a bit too much wine! We stayed up quite late with people from the hostel. Laughing, visiting and getting to know one another.

This morning I rolled out of bed, ate breakfast and off I went to hike to the monestary. Leanne and I decided to have a day apart ;-p so she went horseback riding. This hike was brutal. How out of shape am I? HUGE amounts! It was 14km all together through the beautiful mountains, passing streams and waterfalls. It was just great. Now, because we were all a little hurting none of us thought to bring food!!!! By the time we hit the monestary we were starving! The monestary wasnt too much to see. The one in Plovdiv was a lot more interesting and maintained. This place had a run down church and one upset looking monk AND no food! Down we went the 7km back to the town.

What a day---what a walk---what a long walk---how swollen are my feet!!! LOL.

It may not seem that far but when you have been doing nothing for over a month---it was far!!!!

We went straight to a restaraunt to chow down on some amazing food. We had potatoes, 2 gigantic salads, this pot filled with mushrooms, onions, cheese, chicken and baked in the oven PLUS this thing called Gypsy Meat. Basically it was a gigantic stew full of beef, pork, sausage, meatballs and everything else. SOOO good.

Now, I am back at the hostel ready to take a solid nap, have a shower and relax!

I just wanted to share my day with you all because it was great.

xo
ash

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