Early April we said goodbye to Bucharest which got really warm and beautiful as all the trees were sprouting with leaves. We booked a shuttle van which picked us up from our Bucharest apartment; we loved that little place, it was just large enough and was a simple mix of hardwood floors and bright decor. My daughter’s room was a girl’s room normally so she was right at home.
Our driver came to get us and we had a pretty uneventful trip; though we were glad to have his help at the Bulgarian border. We had no issues but with Bulgarian or Romanian being spoken mostly (not so much English) we might have had to do some good pantomime to explain why we wanted to enter the country.
On the way we actually got a little hint of the change of scenery, one of our rest stops had a Turkish toilet:
Our driver was super incredible. I was being my typically social self and I asked him a tough question – if he had to leave Romania forever what would he miss the most. His answer was he’d miss speaking Romanian. Being with people from his home country. It’s so simple but so true. I wonder if because English is spoken so many places I take it for granted; I can live in New Zealand, the States, Australia, the UK and have no worries at all. But Romania has only several million inhabitants so its language is more rare. I’m grateful for his honesty.
Our host Julia met us at the apartment and it was a particularly beautiful spring day. Plovdiv is a bit of a dusty city, but like Bucharest it’s full of huge, old trees. I love trees, if you didn’t notice! She gave us the grand tour and a map and left us to it. If you’re ever in Plovdiv and need somewhere to stay consider booking this 2br place.
We are very close to Tsar Simeon Park and Old Town, only 5 minutes walk to either one, and we’ve had so much fun exploring. Here’s a view from the start of the Old Town walk.
And if you look left, you can see the fountain. It’s our landmark – it means we have either just started, or just finished our day.
Since we arrived in the afternoon the first day we decided to not go shopping to stock the apartment but first thing the next day we walked 3km to get food and take it home again. Because we love doing things the hard way. 😉
Alice tracks our steps and a 10,000 step day is pretty average for us now. So far Plovdiv is a very walkable city, and the public transport is good too; we can all ride for 4 Bulgarian Lev ($4 NZD). I had a funny conversation with one bus attendant after she heard me ask for four tickets in Bulgarian, I think she said, “Hey, look who knows some Bulgarian!”.
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