Sunday, August 14, 2011

Day 044 Бов - София

Pretty much a perfect day. My hosts in Bov provided me with a reasonably late, perfect, typically bulgarian breakfast. I set off (after once again taking the adventurous way across the rickety railway bridge) to explore the remainder of the still amazing Iskar gorge. Finally the mountains on both side became wider and uncovered the view on Sofia which is surrounded by 3 mountain ranges. My first impression of Sofia was not very convincing. This city is clearly not built for cyclists. The only way into the city was a highway. I really mean the only way - no pedestrian path, no other street, nothing. Fortunately it was sunday, so traffic on the highway was low and the few drivers were more surprised than angry about the strange sight of a huge overloaded bicycle. I somehow made my way into the center, checked in at a great hostel and started exploring the beauties of Sofia. There are many nice churches around, some dating back as far as the 4th century. Taking pictures is forbidden in most bulgarian churches - somehow I like it like that, after all it is a sacred place. Unfortunately this means, that the only way to see the splendid murals is to go here yourself (which maybe is not so unfortunate anyway).
Later I met up with Zveti - who I remember seeing last time singing very very loudly at the farewell party of my fifth to last flat in Leipzig - yep, that is a long long time ago! It was really great to be led through the city by an experienced Sofia-cycler. Naturally we had many a story to share about what we did the last years, common friends and travel plans. Moreover Zveti is a superb city guide and she gave me very valuable hints on which way to take after leaving Sofia. And most important: thanks to her female intuition I have nothing to fear on the way to India, yeah!

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