Bulgaria: finding our hostel and pub crawl

Friday

After landing, we walked down the stairs to fresh, cool air and on to a bus. I didn’t understand why we got driven to the airport doors because it would have taken approximately 3 minutes to use my legs. Passport control was manic. There were crowds of people and few control boxes. We collected our bags and headed out. From our hostel, we got detailed instruction to get to the centre. Once we purchased a bus ticket, which was 1.00 lev (45p), we travelled on the bus, where two guys nearly got fined for not having a ticket for their bags. We panicked slightly. The stroll from the bus to the hostel was a mission: it took longer than anticipated and we got lost.

Eventually, we arrived at out hostel. It looked pretty. When we checked in, we got told that we would be staying in some apartments down the road. The staff gave us lots of information about the city and tours. It took about 10 minutes to get to our accommodation but the place was well-maintained, clean and had all the facilities we needed.

It was way past lunchtime, our tummies were rumbling so we set off on a mission to find a restaurant. We ate at an Italian restaurant (I know I could have eaten this in England but we were so hungry), where I had a tasty seafood pizza outing around 10 lev with a drink (£4.50).

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Next, we just decided to walk around the city centre to get our bearings and look at the architecture of the building around us. Quite a few building had gold on them and the building were block-like and tall. One thing I like to do in other countries is wandering around a supermarket comparing prices and seeing the types of food.

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When it started getting dark, we decided to head back to our room to get changed before going back to the main hostel common room for dinner. There were a group of loud, rowdy males from London sharing our apartment, who were incredibly drunk singing along and playing some cheesy tunes.

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With our hostel, breakfast and dinner was included, which was incredible. For dinner, there were three vegetarian options: rice with a bean casserole, fried eggs with creamy, yellow potatoes and salty homemade coleslaw or spaghetti with tomato sauce, which came with a beer. Over dinner, we were chatting with an American couple, telling us about the escape rooms in Sofia (unfortunately we didn’t get to go). However, if I came back, I would definitely like to go to one.

After we started playing some card games with an Australian couple and an American guy from Colorado. One thing I love about staying in hostel is that you meet loads of travellers: hear their adventures, recommendation and experience their easy- going nature.

We decided to go on the hostel pub crawl, where there was about 30 of us. The first bar was a dark, underground place near our hostel. I tried to order a dark rum and lemonade and failed. They didn’t have any of the dark rum I usually have and they didn’t understand the term lemonade. I got given a huge amount of rum in a glass and another glass with a sweet syrupy liquid. It cost more than expected but cheaper than England.

The next place was a blue bar, with a great atmosphere. The staff were friendly and did table service for drinks. We had a Bulgarian shot, where they lit the alcohol, put a glass over it so the smoke was trapped in a different glass. I had to take the shot then suck through a straw where the smoke was. Weird experience.

I was chatting with some of the other people from the hostel, where I found two English guys who had gone to the same university in Leicester. Completely unexpected.

From here, we went to our finally destination, which was a free club. Inside was a long room with a dance floor. The music was mainly Australian hip- hop so didn’t recognise it but it was fun dancing around. I was speaking to a Bulgarian, where he was trying to teach me some Bulgarian words but I found the pronunciation so hard. At the end of the night, I got some chips from a kebab shop with mayonnaise (it looked like runny icing) and then we kind of got lost finding our hostel.

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