MONDAY 25 ASSENOVGRAD, BASHKOV, SOFIA. ROAD!
We all slept very badly. I don’t want to blame anybody, but it all could be because that transparent shit that smells of gasoline and that must be the result of a mixture of children’s tears and vampire blood. Ough! Stupid Rakija..
First stop: Assenovgrad. We visited the ruins of the old fort and a beautiful Orthodox church, which is the only thing that remains whole, upon a mountain. The views, even with the mist, were very nice, because you can see the whole valley and the river that runs between the mountains. In a warm, sunny day it must be breathtaking.
After a very short drive we reached the monastery of Bashkov, where a brotherhood of Orthodox priests lives. We were impressed in Bulgaria by the amount of religious people… the churches were always full of people praying and lighting candles with solemnity.
We found out that, during the Second World War, the religious authorities of this monastery succeeded in saving thousands of jews from the nazi death factories risking their own lives. THIS is for me a good example of how to follow the ideals of your own failth and be consequent with them.
We had to start moving to go back to Rumania if we were not to arrive too late (how naif we were). We had to go through Sofia. We did not want to stop but, as always, we lost our way, so we did anyways.
We parked and the parking ticket decided that our stay could not be longer than one hour. Therefore, as I had already been in Sofia, I led the grup very fast to visit the monuments. I had bad memories of Sofia because all the problems that my Serb friends and I had a couple of years ago. In only a few hours in the Bulgarian capital, we almost got into a fight, the girls almost got their purses robbed by gypsy ladies in McDonalds and a friend was cheated 20€ in a money exchange office.
Thankfully, this time nothing happend and Sofia was redeemed in my mind, being the only city in the world that I have hated after visiting it. The basiliques are worth visiting and everything is very close…, making it an easy, practical and no too long stop.
But not all were good things… we realized that it was not the Tom Tom the one that was desoriented sending us again to drive through Ruse to go back to Rumania. When Gabri studied an enormous map in a book shop, he called us to him and told us “it seems that there is only one bridge along ALL the border….in Ruse….not one more…”.
This explained why the Tom Tom only found an alternative through Serbia…
What a setback! Instead of driving up directly to the North through Montana and then up in a straight line trough the border to Timisoara….we had to go back to the East, driving again through Ruse, where we maybe had to meet again our sweet lady friends at the border, go up to Bucarest and then drive back again the whole way in Rumania where we had already been…f*ck…
We started at 18:30 and made 2 hour turns for each driver driving through Bulgaria and Rumania with an alert copilot going through sunny, clouded, rainy and snowy and misty+snowy weather, and then, finally again dry…
Needless to say we were nothing worth when we arrive into Timisoara…Do you know how long it took us? Well…surprise surprise it took us….