BULGARIA 2016 // SOFIA + RILA MONASTERY

BULGARIA 2016 // RILA MONASTERY
BULGARIA 2016 // RILA MONASTERY
BULGARIA 2016 // RILA MONASTERY
BULGARIA 2016 // RILA MONASTERY
BULGARIA 2016 // RILA MONASTERY
BULGARIA 2016 // RILA MONASTERY
BULGARIA 2016 // RILA MONASTERY
BULGARIA 2016 // RILA MONASTERY
BULGARIA 2016 // RILA MONASTERY
We were able to do a walking tour and free food tour on our brief stay in Sofia. Unfortunately, we didn't do it any photo justice. I know, I know. How dare us! Somewhere in between all of the above and meeting up Zory's friends, Maria and Vesela, for coffee and socializing with our hostel mates and catching up with the Korean dudes we've met a few weeks back in Kapadokya and waiting out the rain ... we somehow forgot to keep up with the photo documenting. Simply put, we were too caught up in the moment, so please excuse the lack of Sofia visuals! Everything's on snapchat, though! (Snapchat: missjinjin)

But I assure you, Sofia is not as bad as most travelers pegged it to be. Sure it's probably the least 'cultural' of the other Bulgarian towns, leaning more on the fast city life and vibrant night life. The very huge and very long Vitosha Boulevard full of trendy stores makes for a great leisurely stroll, and we hear from fellow hostel mates that hiking the Vitosha Mountain is quite nice, which is easily accessible at the end of the boulevard.

The one thing we did managed to photo document was our day trip to Rila Monastery offered by our hostel. Now we aren't fans of day trips provided by the hostel, mainly because it's kinda pricey and the allotted time given at these sites aren't nearly long enough for our liking. Also, these tours normally run in the middle of the day aka peak crowd hours. V and I like to spend a lot of time at certain places for photog opportunities and proper exploration, all preferably done early morn. But we didn't really have any choice as we lacked time to research the much cheaper option: car rental. (We heard roads in Bulgaria are awful.)

As expected, the 2 hours spent at Rila Monastery was way too short and rushed. The grounds were full of tourists and the noon day sunny conditions made for contrasty situations, a combination that no photog prefers. Though it's certainly worth the trip from Sofia, as it's the largest and most famous Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria. Not to mention it's quite the looker with an undeniable personality. Unlike any monastery I've seen. The monks did great with this one!

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When: May 2016
Temp: 70-85F
Stay: Hostel Mostel in Sofia. 24BGN/person for 8 bed dorm en suite. Free Breakfast and Free Dinner (with beer!). If you don't want to rent a car to Rila Monastery, the hostel offers day trips for 40BGN/person.

Recommended in Sofia: Free Walking Tour and Free Food Tour.


-jin-