The Tsarevets of Veliko Tarnovo

After our quick jaunt to Istanbul, we return to Bulgaria and Varna to spend more time with Maggie’s grandma and other extended family. I think they find me very odd. To say thank you for letting me stay with them, I cook dinner one night and choose chili as a sort of American meal –…

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Misadventures in Asian Istanbul

Here’s a list of things I knew about Istanbul before I arrived. Istanbul sits on both the European and Asian continents, separated by the Bosphorus The Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque are my must sees My friend Adrienne visited the year before and raved about this city (and the entire country) Turkish Delight is tasty Yep,…

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The Blue Mosque and Topkapi Harem

After a well earned a rest and some lunch, we head over to the Blue Mosque. From the outside, this is the building people often think is the Haggia Sofia. It’s definitely more impressive looking. However, while the Hagia Sofia is a museum of both Christian and Islamic art and architecture, the Blue Mosque (real name…

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The Hagia Sophia

After our tours of the Grand Bazaar and Spice Market this morning, we make our way towards the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. We arrived in Istanbul with no plan and only a map from the hotel, so we have to follow a few signs and other tourists to get to the right spot….

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The Bazaars of Istanbul

Whoop whoop! We’re going to Turkey! This isn’t part of the original plan, but when I mention to Maggie that Istanbul is an 8 hour overnight bus ride from Varna, we decide to check it out. I think she’s ready for a bit of a break and I always love a new adventure, even if…

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Nessebar – The Pearl of the Black Sea

Nessebar might be the most adorable town in Bulgaria. To me, it’s the Cape Cod of the Black Sea. It has a ton of charm, lots of cute little shops and is infinitely photographable. As such, this post is heavy on the pictures, light on the words. The town of Nessebar is over 3000 years…

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Varna on the Black Sea

Reunited and it feels so good! After spending the day visiting the ruins of Perperikon, I hop back on the bus to continue my journey to Varna. Maggie and her mom are waiting for me at the bus station, and it’s nice to be able to easily speak to people again. As an introvert, I…

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Thracian Ruins of Perperikon

The ancient ruins of Perperikon may not be well known, but if you have the time in your Bulgarian itinerary, they are worth half a day to see. Located on top of a hill in the Rhodopes Mountains, they are easily accessible by car from the town of Kardzhali, so I decide to take a…

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I’m Going To Iceland!

Here we go! It’s my first trip of 2016 and I’m so excited to be hitting the road again! Iceland has been on my bucket list for ages. I’ve tried a few times to stop over in Reykjavik on my way to other destinations on Iceland Air for free, but it hasn’t worked out. I’m not…

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European Charm in Plovdiv

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Plovdiv just might be the highlight of Bulgaria (Maggie would disagree and say it’s Varna, I’m sure, but she’s biased). It ends up being my favorite city in the country, and my second favorite city in all of eastern Europe (after the city where I…

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The Rila Monastery

The Rila Monastery is located about 70 miles south of Sofia, in the Rila Mountains. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to get there on my own easily, so I join a tour leaving from the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral early in the morning. I can’t resist one more picture of the cathedral in…

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Walking Tour of Sofia

After a fun weekend at Oktoberfest in Munich, it’s time for Maggie and I to fly to her homeland. I’m really excited to see where she grew up, meet her grandma’s and some of her childhood friends. As the largest city and capitol of Bulgaria, our first stop is Sofia. Our friend Todor (who I…

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