After an easy check at the border customs, we entered Bulgaria. We took only a week to cross Bulgaria. This time of the year (December) is just not the best season to visit this country in our opinion. We drove through beautiful mountain ranges and plains, but all this will feel so much better when all is lush green instead of bare branches and brown colours. It did not help us that we barely saw the sun and that we were really battling the cold wet weather and accompanying moist air inside and outside the van for two weeks.
Even Binkie decided on wearing something extra to battle the cold… On both city visits, however, the sun decided to peek around occasionally.
We visited the Rila monastery, very beautiful and tranquil, at least in this time of year.
We drove further along the road where we ended in snow. Sadly for us there was a manned park ranger station, otherwise it would have been a nice place to stay for one night.
In Sofia we walked around the city centre, to see all the magnificent buildings,
and visited the The Church of Saint George that was built in the early 4th century, originally as a Roman bath house. in the picture you can still see the heating system of the bath house. During our visit a church service was held. We respected the request not to take pictures of the interior, but these can be found elsewhere if you are interested.
After that we drove trough the Central Balkan Mountain Range, covered in snow, and then following route nr. 6 along the Stryama valley to the black Sea.
Situated on the Black Sea coast is the old town of Nessebar. It has a surprisingly high amount of churches, and because of the season (and possibly other factors), the town was almost deserted, giving a bit of an eerie feeling while walking around.