- $7,035.57 = How much it costs to travel around the world through nine countries over five and a half months
- Revisited: How to pack for an independent traveler with no set return date
- A glimpse in the thoughts of Bolod Namkhai Mukhadi
- Beijing to Ulaanbataar Mongolia: The nitty gritty of independent travel
- How to get Chinese and Russian visas as a United States citizen: My experience
- Writing assignment: "Inside The Candelaria Festival of Puno, Peru"
- Marathon hitchhiking: Southern Mexico to Michigan in 7 days over 3,400 mi
- Mango Surprise: Being the victim of a random, delicious act of kindness
- Legendary Vagabonder Rolf Potts with priceless advice on travel
- Fire juggler in San Pedro de la Laguna, Lago Atitlan, Guatemala
- Romania: WWOOFing in Transylvania and back to the US
- Bulgaria: Nice cities, tipped off about an isolated beach, and getting perspective from a prostitute's cigarette burns
- Kazakhstan Pt. 3: Almaty, where kids watch pole dancers, and joining the family
- Kazakhstan Pt. 2: Astana, WTF? Diagnosis: major inferiority complex
- Kazakhstan Pt. 1: Whoa Aunt Jemima's!, the Darth Vader Mosque, and a failed haircut
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
Hitching in, a challenge
I’m not sure why, 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.