Thursday, August 27, 2009


Day 532
The cold woke me up several times. I was about to give up and just get my warm pj bottoms out when I realized that the train would arrive in just about ten minutes. Once I got off the train I hopped on the tram and then got myself so lost that I had to get a cab for an insanely short distance. At least the guy understood that I was just really turned around.

At the hostel I got lucky and was able to get on that days tour of the Rila Monastery, the reason I had returned to Sofia. After hanging out for a few hours I got in a car with a nice Aussie couple and away we went. Our first stop was a small chapel in the wood above the monastery. This is where a monk named John, that founded the monastery had lived his life. Well, he lived in a cave and the small chapel is built next to it. We then went to look at this tiny cave. To exit the cave you have to squeeze thru an extremely small hole. I just about got stuck. After no sleep spelunking had really not been on my to do list for the day.

Once our foray into the woods was over we went to Rila Monestery. This is thought of as Bulgaria's Jerusalem. The monastery was founded in the 10th century, but the current buildings date back only to the 19th century. It was really quite beautiful and I explained the different paintings to anyone who would listen. There was another car of three people and all 6 of us pretty much stuck together. As nice as the monastery was after wandering around for about 20 minutes we had seen it all. The 6 of us had a really good lunch at a nearby restaurant before heading back. I slept for the entire ride.

The hostel I was staying at was the same one that I had stayed at 5 years ago when I was here. I hadn't been able to go to my room before, but moved my things as soon as I got back. I then showered and took a bit of a nap. At 7 pm the hostel had its free beer and spaghetti dinner. I ended up chatting with some of the other people at my table. We spent the evening hanging out at the hostel with uber cheap beers.

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