Its Monday evening now, and I've been in Bulgaria since last night. It is a LONG journey to get here, or at least to Bansko, where I'm staying.
I started Saturday morning, flew to Washington/Dulles, then Frankfurt, and then Sofia, the capitol of Bulgaria. The flying actually wasn't too bad, in total maybe 12 hours actually on the plane. The worst part was getting to Bansko. It was a three hours on a cramped bus that had zero suspension on a road that was covered with potholes. I'm not looking forward to the drive back to Sofia Friday, although I can't wait to start my bike adventure.
Sofia itself is really run down, all the buildings (for the most part) are old communist block-style apartment buildings that haven't seen much in the way of maintenance. There is a ton of garbage on the sides of the streets, and the streets themselves are full of pot holes and there isn't any painted lines dividing the traffic. I would hate to try to cycle here, you would definitely get hit by a crazy driver!
Bansko is a big ski resort, I was told the biggest in Bulgaria. There isn't any snow here yet, but there are a ton of hotels under construction. I took a walk through part of the town and all there was to see is hotel after hotel under construction, but no shops of any kind. Its like a ghost town, but its the off season (skiing starts in December) so its somewhat understandable. I heard a few miles away there is a town center of sorts. Wednesday there is a tour in the afternoon I'm going to go on that should be interesting. I think we visit a village with a very old church...