About a month ago, I found myself in Sofia. I was over the moon about this because the Bulgarian capital had been a place I’d wanted to visit for about 3 years. The more of Europe I see, the more I realize how much more I enjoy being in Eastern Europe as opposed to Western Europe. This is purely a personal preference & has no reflection on the places themselves.
Sofia is an absolutely stunning city surrounded by mountains & I was fortunate enough to be there when the mountains were almost completely covered in snow. The architecture is interesting to observe because a lot of the buildings were built in the 1950s & 1960s. I would like to go back to experience the city in summer as the seasons do play a role in the feel of a place.
Now to my story, because what would this post be if I didn’t find myself in an amusing situation? I had spent the day seeing the sights with a few friends & we needed to find a place for a meal. My one friend had wanted to go to a specific restaurant & had roaming data connected so she could use Google Maps to find the place. When we were ready to eat, she looked it up & it was within walking distance. Wonderful. Oh, I did mention there was snow on the mountains which made the scenery beautiful, but I was cold & if you’ve read some of my other posts… you’ll remember that I don’t cope well in the cold. To say I don’t enjoy cold weather is an understatement. So we head to the restaurant. I wasn’t the one with the map, but I started to assume we weren’t on the right track after about 20 minutes. I asked her to check the map again, we had gone the wrong direction. Now we had to walk for another 15 to 20 minutes. This wasn’t all that bad, so I just kept my mouth shut & we walked. When we got to the pin on the map, there was no restaurant. I was hungry & cold – not a good combination. There didn’t seem to be other restaurants around & the people we stopped to ask couldn’t speak English. The best directions we got were “Around the corner.” & that’s where we went. To cut this story short, it still took a little while before we found the restaurant because it turned out to be a very traditional restaurant & it had no signage up. I’m glad we found it & ate local dishes, but I would have been a much happier man if we’d found it about an hour earlier.
With food in our bellies & the sun already setting, we decided to head back to our hotel. The person with the data had the honours of requesting the Bulgarian version of Uber. She showed me the name of the destination before I gave the all clear to request the trip. We talked & laughed the whole way to the hotel, got out the car & walked into the hotel. I looked around & things just didn’t look the same as they were when we left. I asked my friend “Was this chandelier here when we left?”. We all looked around & then at each other & then packed out laughing. We were in the wrong hotel. The company had 3 branches in different parts of the city & the exteriors looked the same. We quickly got another ride & laughed as we made our way to the correct hotel. Overall, a fantastic day in Sofia.
Keep traveling, keep safe.