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Bulgaria

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With our whirlwind trip to Nepal taking all our attention for several weeks, pleasant, understated Sofia kind of got lost in the shuffle on our extensive Balkan holiday. That’s the thing about nice, normal cities, they are easy and enjoyable but don’t lend themselves to funny stories and bizarre anecdotes. Basically, Sofia has lots of impressive churches, pretty parks and a cool old tram system that lends the place a classic air. They also really love statues of important military dudes, we had our choice of international foods and I found a great place for a haircut. We really enjoyed just following our homemade list of what to do in Sofia, Bulgaria to wander in a disjointed circuit, picking a new area to focus on each day. It’s a very relaxing, walkable city. First, though, we had to spend a long day on the bus from Belgrade. And, although it…

The Balkans are nearly the perfect holiday destination. Wonderfully scenic, with a fascinating (although often brutal) history, this loose collection of countries tucked away in Southeastern Europe are easy to get to, extremely affordable and, for the most part, not nearly as touristy as comparable destinations in Western Europe. They offer extraordinary geographic diversity – from gorgeous Mediterranean beaches to spectacular alpine mountain ranges to lush valleys with crystal clear rivers cascading down the middle. The historical variations are endless, with a rich variety of castles, palaces, forts and bridges to explore. Culturally, this broadly defined region offers a diversity that seems almost implausible at times, with stark societal, political, religious and linguistical differences not only between nations, but often even neighbouring villages. So, the hard part isn’t deciding on a Balkan holiday for your next trip. It is deciding exactly where to go and what to do. Alexander Nevsky…

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