Clau and I both had a week off for the Easter holiday, and I was seriously itching to travel. I always feel this way in the spring because of American spring break – most people get a week off during this time period and we usually use it to go to the beach or somewhere fun.


From the dock of our hotel

I had been researching cities and travel sites since February, trying to find an affordable place for us to stretch our legs, but no dice. Everything was expensive because lots of people travel during the Easter holidays.


This staircase earned their family the last name of “Snail”

However(!), Wizzair had a sale where all of their flights were 20% off. One of the cheapest flights they had was to Venice, so it made sense to me to take advantage. We used to find a decently priced hotel and it was settled.


From the Bridge of Sighs looking out towards the Venetian harbor

We left for Venice on Easter Sunday. Very early. OTP is 2 1/2 hours away and our flight was supposed to leave by 6:30, so we left Brasov at 12:40am. We did our sleeping on the minibus and the plane. It wasn’t really so bad that way. After we got to Venice, we walked to our hotel and our room was ready, so we took a short nap before venturing out.


The best view in the city is from the top floor of their mall

Wow. What a city. I am always super impressed by European cities in general. Everything is old. Like, really old. Hardly anything in the United States is old, and if it is, then it’s from the 1800s or something. With the exception of Boston, New Orleans, or Savannah, you’re not going to see too much that’s older than that. So, when I see buildings from the 1500s, I can’t believe my eyes. They don’t fix up the buildings either, so all the patina you see is authentic and from centuries of sea breeze.


There were a lot of tourists, of course, and we tried to see the favorites (Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s Square, Grand Canal, etc.), but I found the most enjoyment out of seeing the less crowded residential neighborhoods and getting lost in the maze of bridges and tiny streets. It’s also somehow comforting and life affirming to see Venetians hanging out their laundry to dry as they’ve probably done for hundreds of years.


No doges allowed in the Doge’s Palace.

We took two free walking tours. One was a five hour tour that took us to all of the major sites and gave us some helpful tips on the city (how to bypass the lines and great places to eat). The second tour was shorter, but the focus was more on showing us the non-tourist spots and their significance to the Venetian people.


Original Lady GaGa: Venetian women walked on these platform shoes to keep their dresses from getting dirty.

Interestingly enough, neither tour was conducted by a Venetian. Apparently, they are pretty pissed about the whole “free tour” thing because usually they can charge 35 euro a head for a one hour tour. The thing is, the free tour is a great idea. You are under no obligation to pay anything. However, if you get great tour guides like we normally do, you feel like you want to pay them. With a great guide, you know you are getting the value of your money and you decide how much it is worth to you. If I had to pay 70 euro for a one hour tour, that guide had better be doing cartwheels trying to impress me 😛


The price for a gondola tour is 80 euros for a 1/2 hour! What!

I was very happy that I had used TripAdvisor beforehand to find places to eat. We were on a budget, so I made a point to locate the best “cheap” food that wasn’t McDonald’s and I put the locations on a Google Map that I downloaded to my phone. I was able to access the map with the locations despite not having a signal or WiFi and it helped us out a lot.


Inside one of the many churches in Venice

We took one day to travel out to two of the islands in Venice’s lagoon: Murano and Burano. Murano is famous for its glass making and you can watch them do glass blowing and other neat things, but I think I enjoyed Burano more.


Making glass with a cigarette hanging out of your mouth…how very Italian?

On Burano, they are famous for lace and also the colorful way they paint their houses. I felt like I was on a tropical island. Also, it wasn’t nearly as crowded as Venice or Murano, and it was much more relaxing.


Island of Burano

The last night of our trip, Clau took me to the Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal and proposed. I said yes 🙂 So now, we have an even sweeter story to tell that begins with our Venice trip (and maybe ends with a Vegas trip? Who knows! lol).


We’re engaged!

After spending all the time in the Venetian sun, we returned back to Brasov where it was snowing. Y’all. I am not talking flurries. It was like a blizzard. I think we had a foot of snow in two days. Thankfully, it is all melted. But nothing is stranger than being sunburned and putting on your parka and snow boots.


Louis was very excited to run around in the snow

I would go back to Venice again, for sure. I would like to see one more of the islands (Torcello is largely uninhabited, but the 1000 year old church still stands) and maybe do some shopping. Obviously, this is in the very distant future because I don’t foresee having money for that kind of shopping anytime soon. I hope someday I can purchase some of the Murano glass and a handmade paper mache mask for our home 🙂

Here’s the video of Venice I made using Google Photos:

Balea Lac and the Ice Hotel

I wish I could say that I’ve been super busy and too distracted to post lately, but the truth is that I’ve had a lot of free time. I’m feeling pretty relaxed. Instead, however, of devoting this energy to constructive projects (like this blog), I’ve simply given up and become a human burrito.


You see, it’s very cold here. Obviously from my last post (about the blizzard), we’re having an actual winter. I’m adjusting (? maybe?) but the truth is that being outside in the cold basically sucks a lot of your ambition out of you and you end up snuggled in your jammies watching Netflix. I’ve watched some very good TV lately. I watched The Crown, Poldark, Rebellion, and Vikings.


But every now and then we get an urge to go do something, and after the new year we decided to drive to the Fagaras Mountains and take the telecabina to Balea Lac. In the summer, you might actually be able to drive up to Balea Lac, if the Transfagarasan is open, but right now it’s under about ten feet of snow.


The Ice Hotel was our main motivation for making the trek up the hill, and it did not disappoint. We just visited, and I’m glad. I wouldn’t recommend actually sleeping there because the beds were very…firm. Everything, including the floors, is made out of ice. If you’re more of the Yeti/Sasquatch “love the cold” type, this is probably the hotel for you.


Trying to find a comfortable way to sit on the ice bed

Each room is decorated in a different theme, and they carve figures out of the walls. I think this year’s theme for the whole hotel was Hollywood. They had Darth Vader, the Gladiator, a dinosaur, and an Orc. Also, Mihai Viteazu and Jesus. Because this is an ice hotel in Romania, after all.


Jesus, dinosaur, Mihai V., and an Orc

We toured the hotel and watched the men use chainsaws to cut the ice blocks out of the lake. The blocks were this absolutely gorgeous color of blue. They looked like sea glass. The men used snow mobiles to drag the ice blocks over to the construction site. On this day, they were building an ice church.


I think we spent about an hour on top of the mountain. We were lucky because when we got there we had good visibility and we could see the view from the cliffs down to the valley. At some point, it became very cloudy and started to snow, so visibility was basically nil. We decided to leave at that point, mostly because we were becoming ice blocks ourselves.

Here is a short video with some more moments from the Balea Lac and the Ice Hotel.


Traveling: Rome


Rome, Italy – Mythological birthplace of the Vespa

A week ago, we found that we were both going to have a few days off work at the same time. The obvious thing to do in this situation? Book a last minute trip to Rome, duh. We had wanted to go at the end of October, but it hadn’t worked out.


Actual autumn happening in Rome, Italy!

Thanks to Google Flights and the ITA Flight Matrix, we were able to get a really nice deal on our flight. I highly recommend using both of those websites to help you plan your trips, especially if you have flexible dates. helped me find a great deal on our hotel  (located in the Vatican City part of town). I’ve used a few times now, and I guess I’ve earned some kind of status with them. When you book with them five times, any subsequent bookings are 10% off. It doesn’t seem like too much of a discount when your room is so cheap, but this time it helped make up for the nightly Rome city tax (which ended up being 32 euro for our trip).


Mosaic floor in the Vatican Museum

Getting to Rome was a bit of an experiment in planes, trains, and automobiles. Our flight was scheduled to leave OTP airport in Bucharest at 6:30. It takes about three hours to get there from Brasov. We didn’t have any luggage to check, so technically we didn’t need to be there two hours before the flight (the airport is not very big and there are no lines at security or passport control). However, our airport shuttle recommended we leave Brasov by 1:00 am at the latest in order to make sure we had enough time.


Bucharest under the clouds…

So our first day of our Rome trip, we left our apartment at 1:00 am and arrived in Bucharest at 4:00. We got coffee and settled in at our gate to wait for boarding. Our flight was short and sweet – I’m guessing – because I was able to sleep through the whole thing. We landed in Italy and after shuffling through their understaffed passport control, we decided to take the train into Rome.


The yellow line will eat your leg

Ciampino airport is outside of Rome, so you have a few options of how to get into the city.

  • You can take a taxi – I think it’s 30 euro
  • You can take a bus to the Termini metro/train station
  • Or…you can take the train that will take you to the Termini station

We thought the train would be faster. It probably would be faster. It’s just that you have to transfer to the train station from the airport by a city bus first…so taking the train ended up being about an hour. So you go plane -> bus transfer -> train station -> Termini (bus/metro/train station) -> bus to hotel. Did you get all of that?


Ciampino Airport is a short ways outside of the city

Also, it was rush hour and we were on the main train into the city. Let’s just say, if you’re not cool with being smooshed into fifty of your newest best friends, maybe the taxi would be a better option. Many Euro Trip jokes were made. “Mi scusi!”


We purchased the Roma Pass at the airport, so once we got to the Termini metro station, all of our public transportation was free. The pass was a good option for us because we wanted to see the city by walking and public transport and it gave us two site entrances for free. We ended up taking buses and the subway quite a bit – especially over to the Colosseum side of the city. The only taxi we ended up taking was to the airport at the end of the trip. We walked about 11-12 miles a day even with this metro and buses.

We paid:

  • The Roma Pass – 38.50 euro – also gives you skip the line privileges at Colosseum (not to mention you don’t have to wait in lines to buy tickets everywhere else)

Included in Roma Pass:

  • Colosseum ticket (includes Roman Forum & Palatine Hill) – (normal adult ticket price: 12 euro) – note: if you want to skip the line at this site without the Roma pass or a tour group, you have to make the reservation on their website and print your tickets at home and this costs 2 euro)
  • Borghese Gallery – (normal adult ticket price: 20 euro)
  • Free metro/bus rides – (they cost 1.50 euro per person per trip)

So rude, these magnets (bottom row)

The neat thing about Rome is that there is so much to see – I think you could live your whole life there and not see everything. On every corner, on every building, on every ceiling is art, religious and secular. It’s overwhelming.


Note: We did our best to try and see the “big” attractions, namely the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, Pantheon, Vatican/St. Peter’s, Spanish Steps, and Trevi Fountain. I have tried to include as many photos of possible because everything was so beautiful, but I have over 400 photos 😦 So, I’ve selected some of my favorites to share.


Trevi Fountain

One thing that I recommend for any city is the free walking tour. These tours are a great way to quickly get your bearings and see some things you might have missed touring on your own. Normally, the tour guide is a professor or historian, and they love telling you about the city. If the tour is good, you can show your appreciation with a tip at the end. The tour we wanted to take required you to make a reservation, so I think it’s best to check the website ahead of time to see if you can just show up (like we did in Athens and Sofia).


We saw this protest on the walking tour…I was proud of the dog. So patient. So protest.

Our tour guide took us to beautiful churches where we could see real Bernini sculptures and paintings by the masters. These pieces were just tucked away and not advertised. Without her expertise, we would never have seen them. She also recommended some great places to eat.The pizza place she told us to go to was fabulous and well priced.


Looks like an abandoned shack on Google maps, but the food was delicious!

Without her advice, I would’ve never tried these baked rice cheese ball things. They were pretty good.


Interestingly enough, this tiny little eatery was right across the street from Bernini’s family home. But that’s basically the entire city. Everywhere is next to something historic!


Right across from Bernini’s family home!

Here are some of the places we visited:









Here is a video I made of the Pantheon using Google Photos:




Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica


Vatican City


“Hello, we’ve been up all night.” 😛


Inside Vatican Museum courtyard


A very Catholic pine cone – inside Vatican museum


Inside St. Peter’s Basilica


Borghese Galleryno pictures allowed  😥

Wonderful gallery, but you need reservations and you have to be there 45 minutes in advance of your tour time. You also have to check all of your bags (even purses), and you can’t take your phone out or someone on the loud speaker will remind you to put your phone away.

Palatine Hill


Ancient ruins – Colosseum in background

Palatine Hill is so huge, we could have spent the whole day there and not seen everything. I had no idea this place existed, but it’s amazing. The history of the hill is very interesting – it started as a settlement 3,000 years ago. Then, it became a suburb for affluent Romans. Eventually, the whole thing just became a palace. The hill itself is one of the famous hills of Rome, so you get an amazing view of the city from there.

Trajan’s Column


Trajan’s Column behind the trees


The history of the conquest of the Dacian people carved into a pole in the center of Rome. Yes, there’s a wolf head on a stick at the bottom.


Various other places – too many to name!


We also ate an amazing amount of gelato and pizza. All totally worth it, even the weird flavors of gelato that I had (like Marsala).

Most of the desserts that we had:


Upper right hand corner is Granita – coffee, ice, heavy cream. Wow.

I just realized the photo with the Cassata is messed up :/ Anyway, here is the Wikipedia so you can see what it looks like. I can attest it basically tastes like pure sugar.


I died and went to pasta heaven, basically

Rome was an amazing city, but we definitely felt like we had enough time there. In a way, it was overwhelming, really – the amount of things you feel like you “have to do” coupled with how every single building is basically a thing to see in itself…yeah, it’s exhausting. Our last day there, I was glad we didn’t have anything really planned, we just went where we felt we wanted to go.


Pasta and Pizza and Pasta and Pizza

We ended up splitting an airport taxi with a nice Polish couple from the hotel, so thankfully we didn’t have a repeat of our arrival to Rome. Our flight was later in the morning, so we got some more rest than before. Nevertheless, we still slept the on the flight.

I hope this is a new trend. I look forward to sleeping through all of my future flights 🙂

We ended up getting back to Brasov by way of Gara Nord in Bucurest (airport –> bus transfer to Gara Nord (train station) –> train to Brasov. We slept on the train, too. I think overall, we felt pretty rested when we got home. It was a great trip, and I think next time I go to Italy, I’ll try Florence or Venice.



Traveling: Athens, Greece

As we traveled from Zakynthos to Athens, we saw so many ancient cities that I’ve only read about in my world history classes. Corinth was the biggest one. I was excited because in Sophocles’s Oedipus, Oedipus is raised by his adoptive parents (who happens to be the king and queen) in Corinth. Giant nerd alert. It was one of those moments where you are finally getting to see the actual setting of an amazing book and it just becomes so real.


We got to Athens and I used Trip Advisor to find (what else?!) a Mexican restaurant. Don’t blame me, it’s been MONTHS since I’ve had Mexican. Anyway, I got the fish tacos and they were amazing. NO RAGRETS.

I also had a margarita (8 euro). As I was basically pouring it down my throat, I realized that Athens is expensive. A pitcher of margaritas was over 20 euro. That’s way more than you would pay in Atlanta. Too bad, because I wanted like ten more margaritas. Alas…


We found a little studio apartment on VRBO that let us rent two nights. It was tiny and hot (because like Romania, places in Greece don’t really have air conditioning) and we were on the ground level, so we couldn’t sleep with the windows open. But, we got to stay in Plaka, and we got to stay there for cheap.

There was this cool street art right outside of our front door…


…and a genuine butcher a few doors down. I enjoyed watching them bring in their meat harvest.wp-1473645038622.jpg

We loved our free walking tour of Sophia so much that we decided to go on one in Athens. And truly, if you are traveling and don’t have much time to see a city – do a free walking tour! Our guide was a local Greek who had the most interesting story. He was born in Greece, grew up in Australia, forced into the Greek military in his 20s, became a special forces soldier, jumped out of planes for a few years…and then he became an English teacher. Now, he gives the free tours to show people his city (and because of the tips at the end). He knew so much about the important sites and saved us a ton of time and money by giving us great tips about where to go (and not go) and how to get around.

Here’s a map of all the places we went on the tour (yellow) and where we went after the tour (orange). Our apartment is the red circle.


The tour started at Hadrian’s Gate and the Temple of Zeus


Zeus’s Temple


Before the tour (and the humidity) in the morning


Hadrian’s Gate

It says on one side: “This is Athens, the ancient city of Theseus” and on the other side:”This is the city of Hadrian, and not of Theseus” – you know, because he built a shiny new city and he wanted to make sure you weren’t confusing it with old, crappy, Ancient Athens.


This is the site of the first modern Olympics.wp-1473645039834.jpg

We spent some time at the Presidential Palace for the changing of the guards.

The king liked horses so much that he decided the guards had to emulate horses. So every few hours when they change guards, they have to do this ridiculous horse dance.

I hope you enjoyed that video. I “made” it with Google Photos. If you haven’t played with that app yet, you seriously must. Sometimes it just makes movies for me, like a weird, helpful stalker.

We were joined by Leo, one of the city’s dogs. In Athens, not many people have dogs because space is so limited in apartments. What the city does is take in stray dogs, sterilize, vaccinate, and tag them.When the city releases them, they belong to the people of the city. Some of the dogs are famous, like the one outside the King’s guard. He has decided it is his job to protect the guards. He takes his dog job very seriously and barks like crazy at any taxis that go by.

Apparently, Leo has a schedule where he joins the tour for a bit and then goes to cool off in the lake in the park.

Here we are halfway through the walking tour. Still smiling!


have completely given up on hair at this point because humidity is about 1,000% 


woman in the red shirt getting bracelet scammed


bracelet scammers

Okay – I took these two pictures to illustrate something to be wary of when you are touring in a big city. I’ve seen this scam before in Paris.Basically, the men have bracelets and their goal is to get one on you and then charge you for it. They high five or fist bump you and then while you’re talking they put the bracelet on you. Most people are so nice they don’t even realize it’s happening – how can you be rude to a charismatic stranger wishing you peace and love? Once the bracelet is on you, they demand payment. You can’t give the bracelet back. If you don’t pay, you’re stealing from them. That’s the scam. It wasn’t the only we saw in Athens. The last night we were there a very disoriented woman came up to us (not drunk, but definitely dazed on something) and gave us a sob story about how her husband abandoned her in Greece with her baby and could we give her some money to help her get home? This sort of thing really plays with your emotions because who wouldn’t want to help this woman. Unfortunately, it’s not legit 😦

~back to the fun stuff~


Church wrecked in the 1999 earthquake just re-opened after almost 20 years of renovations!


Hadrian’s Library



Other side of Hadrian’s library and a great shot of our tour guide and former paratrooper, Jimmy (blue shirt)


Ancient Agora


Ancient Agora


Our tour ended at the Agora at the bottom of Acropolis Hill. We decided to get some lunch before heading up to the top. We tried the ouzo. It’s basically Absinthe that is white. Like white licorice.



Did we like it? You be the judge.

We also had the souvlaki. This was about as adventurous as we got with the Greek food.




After lunch, we headed up Mars Hill to drink in the beautiful Athens city views. If you’re a Christian, you might be interested to know that Paul gave a speech from this hill where he said, “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands.” Paul was definitely throwing some shade at the Greek temples. I find as a citizen of 2016 that I agree with Paul. Let’s go find God in nature and in acts of lovingkindness – he won’t be in some cold marble building. But aren’t they lovely marble buildings? And what a testament to the Greek spirit that they built them with their hands and without modern machinery?


On Mars Hill with a view of the Acropolis


Odeon of Herodes Atticus


The Odeon of Herodes Atticus can hold 5,000 people. Yanni performed here in 1993 and later released his album “Live at the Acropolis”. I heard this album so many times. Yanni was so big in the 90s. Admit it, you loved Yanni.


More beautiful structures in the Acropolis…




Erechtheion with my girls, The Caryatids


Temple of Athena Nike

and the coup de grâce:




After we finished touring the Acropolis, we returned to our tiny little apartment and readied ourselves for our return to Romania. We ended up driving from Athens to the Romanian border in one day (like 14 hours of driving).

I’ve run out of adjectives, so I will just sum up by saying it was an awesome trip. I’m glad I got the chance to share it with you on my blog 🙂

Traveling: Zakynthos (Zante) Island, Greece


Port of Kylini and Island of Zakynthos (Zante)

After we left Meteora, we headed straight for Kylini, which is where we would take the ferry to Zakynthos (called Zante by the locals). On the way to Kylini, we went over this incredible bridge. I say incredible because we paid 13 euro for the toll crossing 😦 I couldn’t believe it was so expensive.

20160901_140905.jpgJust a heads up to anyone who wants to drive on Greek highways: Prepare to pay. Just take out 40 euro out of the ATM and keep it in your car because you will use all. of. it. I think we went through at least twenty tolls while driving through. That’s not really so bad in America because you’re paying fifty cents here, a dollar there…Greek tolls are like, 2.50 euro. Or more, depending on what kind of car you’re in. Tractor trailers were paying something like 15 euro every thirty miles.


Olive trees everywhere!

But I digress. Let’s get back to the BEAUTIFUL MEDITERRANEAN WATER. It was unreal. I have never, ever seen water that blue, and I have been to Destin several times. It doesn’t even come close. I have no idea what makes the water that color, but holy heck it’s like simultaneously bright turquoise and clear at the same time?


We caught the ferry at Kylini and spent the next hour just staring at the water. Some people just sat in their cars the whole time, looking bored, but we felt like we were on a cruise. We walked all around that ferry boat.20160901_152034


Port of Zakynthos

But mostly we just couldn’t stop watching the water. Personally, I was inspecting the water for jellyfish. If you know me, you know that I am scared of jellyfish. I have no idea why. In Finding Nemo, they were really cute, so I’m guessing it’s my irrational brain thinking jellyfish = ocean spiders. I didn’t see any from the ferry, so I felt relieved.


We could get into the swimming pool from our hotel room!

Once we were off the ferry, we made our way to our resort. We chose an all-inclusive beach resort because we wanted to eat and drink and lay in the sun as much as possible. And that’s what we did for four days.

We had good company. Literally every person there besides us was British. Hundreds of Brits. Blimey.


View from the restaurant to Tsilivi Beach


The pool had all these pretty sparkle lights at night – this is the view from the other side of the pool. You can see our room (second from the right).

We got out from the resort a little bit to go sightseeing and do some activities. We went to see the Shipwreck Beach and the Blue Caves. The Shipwreck beach was beautiful, but it was really overcrowded. I think there were hundreds of people there, which is to be expected of a tourist site.




We had enough time to go swimming and explore the shipwreck (and watch people take ridiculous photos with the shipwreck) before we got back on the boat to go to the caves.


I watched at least ten people take this photo “pulling” the boat. The best was this guy in the speedos.

We stopped at the Blue Caves to do some picture taking and more swimming. We had a glass bottom boat and you could see the fish swimming around the sea floor.



I spent thirty minutes just swimming around the area. Okay, I say swimming, but it was basically me doggy paddling around. The water is so salty you hardly have to try at all (eat your heart out, Michael Phelps).  I think it was like 30 feet deep, but you could see all the way down to the bottom.


Me succeeding at not drowning in Greece



We also went horseback riding. It was Claudiu’s first time. I think he enjoyed it 🙂



I found a cute dog at the horseback riding place. His name was Rocco.



Rocco loves me, see?!

After several days of gluttony and sun, it was time to start the last leg of our journey: Athens!

Traveling: Sofia, Bulgaria


Recently, I went on an awesome road trip through Bulgaria and Greece. I’ll cover the entire trip over the next few posts. The first day of the trip, we drove to Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. We only planned to spend the night there, but we got there early enough that we were able to do a free walking tour of the city. For two hours, we saw most of the important historical sites and buildings in the city.


For those of you who don’t know about free walking tours, omg. I recently discovered that this is a thing in almost every city (Brasov included). Basically, you meet up with a tour guide who has agreed to do the tour for free. If the tour guide does a great job, you can give them a tip, but you’re not obligated to pay anything. However,  our tour guide in Sofia (Nikola) was  so incredibly informative that we really wanted to give him some money. He really gave us an awesome view into the history of Bulgaria and the city.


St. Sofia, symbol of wisdom

Sadly, I spent a lot of time out in the sun after I took this tour, so my brain didn’t retain too many details. I’ll try to describe what I remember.


“Important Government Building”

Sofia has been inhabited as a city for thousands of years. Over time, it’s been conquered a bit by various empires, but it has retained its spirit and beauty. There are lots of ruins right in the downtown part of Sofia. They are always discovering new archaeological sites as they build.



Recently, they’ve finished preserving a new section of ancient foundation. You can see where the ancient foundation ends and the reconstructed part begins at the line. These foundations are thousands of years old.


One of the things that I liked the most about Sofia was its symbols of religious tolerance.


There are several houses of worship very close to one another in the downtown area – an orthodox church, a roman catholic church, a synagogue, and a mosque.


During the second world war, the Nazis insisted the Bulgarians send their Jewish population to the camps, and they basically refused, savings thousands of lives.


Sofia is built on many thermal springs. The water is supposed to be really healthy for you, but I couldn’t get past how hot and kind of sulfur-y it was. Lots of people were filling up jugs and jugs of water at this public water station.


Naturally, bath houses were a thing back in the day. This was a really popular place for Sofians to come and socialize and enjoy their delicious hot sulfur water. Our tour guide said it was like the Facebook of the 1800s. Now, I think the building is closed (? correct me if I’m wrong) for renovations, but it’s usually an art museum.


Bulgaria, like Romania, was a communist country. The statue of St. Sofia replaced the statue of Lenin when Communism fell. Other monuments are not so easy to replace – the former headquarters of the Communist party is still a centerpiece of the buildings downtown.


Former Communist Party HQ

The people of Sofia are laid back and like to be outside. The parks were jam packed full of people enjoying the night air. I can’t imagine staying cooped up in an apartment when you have such beautiful parks like they do.


This fountain was very long and when the sun went down, it had beautiful lights!

What would Freud say about our food choices in Sofia?

We got some street food and hung out with the locals before we returned to the hotel to get some sleep for the next part of our trip.

As we were walking back to our hotel later that night, we witnessed some kind of street kid gang roundup by the gendarme. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t feel as safe as I normally do. Watching those kids get hustled up reminded me that there’s definitely a darker side to all beautiful cities.