Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Located three hours by bus from Sofia and perched above the Yantra River, Veliko Tarnovo offers visitors narrow cobble stone streets lined with stone houses and amazing views!


Dating from the third millennium B.C., Veliko Tarnovo is seeped in history and was the former capital of Bulgaria before Sofia.


I reserved a room for one evening at the charming Gurko Hotel situated in Old Town with a view of the lovely homes overlooking the river.


The Samovokska Charshiya area is within walking distance from the hotel and the streets are lined with cafes and traditional craftsmen such as wood sculptors, potters, iron smiths, and carpet weavers.

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Day trip from Sofia, Bulgaria to Rila Monastery and Boyana Church

With over a million visitors annually, once you visit the magnificent Rila Monastery you’ll see why people flock to it!  Located two hours drive from Sofia, it’s a “must do” for any trip to Bulgaria.  The original structures date back to the 10th Century, but due to fire and war, certain sections have been rebuilt in the 15th and 19th centuries.


The Monastery has been a spiritual and cultural center for Bulgaria throughout the years.




The colors are bold and the frescoes are quite lovely…


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Day trip from Sofia, Bulgaria to Plovdiv

The picturesque city of Plovdiv, is a wonderful day trip from Sofia, Bulgaria!  Ranked as one of the world’s oldest cities and located just two hours away by bus, you’ll find cobbled streets, art galleries, and beautiful architecture!  You’ll have difficulty trying to book transport ahead of time though.  I went to the Central bus station in Sofia at 7:00am and purchased one way tickets for myself and my tour participant, leaving at 8:00am.  The women working behind the counters at the bus stations are not friendly and at times are rude, but I’m sure it becomes tiresome having to deal with foreigners that don’t speak their language.


We joined a free two hour walking tour upon arrival through Free Plovdiv Tour that supplied us with some of the amazing history of Plovdiv and Bulgaria.  While making our way from the bus station in Plovdiv to the meeting point in front of City Hall I snapped a few photos.

The man in the above photo reminds me of a grumpy “Joker” and didn’t appreciate me sneaking a photo in.

This fountain is really cool!


Their pedestrian only walkway is quite lovely…


I always take photos of fountains!


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Sofia, Bulgaria in 2016

I’m writing to you from my European Odyssey through eight European countries and wanted to share my adventures while on the road!  Acting as a Tour Director through my site “Travel Spirit Meetup” I have one lady (Jing), whom I now consider a friend, that is with me for the entire 33 day adventure.  A gentleman will join us for six of the eight countries beginning in Finland. 

We arrived in Sofia, Bulgaria in the afternoon on June 4th and took a taxi from the airport to our centrally located and very stylish two bedroom Airbnb.  I love to stay in Airbnbs because they’re typically less expensive than hotels and you’re able live like a local, picking up breakfast items and food that can be prepared quickly from the local supermarket.




This was our view from the living room…


We settled in, stopped at the supermarket, and walked a mile to join a free 2-hr. walking tour of Sofia through Free Sofia Tour.  Our guide was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic and in addition to showing us the highlights of Sofia, she spoke of the changes in Sofia since the fall of Communism in 1989.


A few of the highlights were the majestic Alexander Nevsky Cathedral…


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