Bulgaria

Bulgaria: Nice cities, tipped off about an isolated beach, and getting perspective from a prostitute's cigarette burns

Written by Tyler Cole | 20 July 2011

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Hitching in, a challenge

I’m not sure whether hitching together with Anna helped get rides or I was just having bad luck, but thumbing up to Bulgaria from Turkey (click for my articles on Turkey) was much more difficult than in the rest of the country.

Taking a bus out of Istanbul was enough of a delay, and after a handful of short rides, with long waits in between, the border crossing finally popped ahead on the road.

Walking the expanse took a while, but actually going through customs was just a matter of them looking at my passport and waving me on. After getting through and wasting time at a bank that wouldn’t change my Turkish lira, I started walking into Bulgaria.

The story of long waits repeated itself; eventually, as the sun was going down, a girl who worked at customs picked me up and left me at a bus station in Svelingrad, not far from the border. Looking at the map and Wikitravel on my iPod, I decided my next stop would be Plovdiv (yes, incredible planning skills), a city with a quaint old district, Roman ruins, and cheap hostels. Of course, there were no more buses to Plovidv that day, so I just went out to the road after walking through some dicey Gypsy neighborhoods and started thumbing again to get back to the highway.

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