Thursday, November 15, 2012

Road Trip to Bulgaria!

After spending the night in Bucharest, I headed down the road to Sofia. I wanted to see more of Bulgaria and hit some sights in eastern MK on my way back to Skopje. It rained all day. Literally all day long. I think I saw sun for about 2 hours, max. But it was still pretty. I got a pretty good start and made it to the border with no problems. It was a really weird border with a long driveway thing and then one stop check point followed by about 1 mile of road before reaching the actual border. Just when I think I have borders under control, something strange happens.

I pull up to the border control place and hand over my passport and the rental car papers. That’s all I needed or got at the border on the way in (see previous post). The lady askes me where this other paper is. *BLANK STARE* What other paper? The one that you get when you cross the border, (They gave me no paper) the one they gave you when you bought gas (Like a receipt? Well…..I through that one away!)…..pull over there. So I pull the car over and wait. About 2 minutes later I realize I can’t find any of the receipts where I bought gas (because it only happened once) and I don’t have this paper, and I can’t speak a word of Romanian to help me out to understand what this paper is supposed to be! I get my passport and the car papers. I walk back over there and hand this new lady the paperwork. They inform me that the fine for not having this paper is 10 Euro a day (total of about 80 euro for me) for all of the days I was there. But they give me no option to pay it. I keep apologizing, hoping this will change something. I can’t leave because they have my passport. After about 5 minutes of “You should have this paper!!!” “You need this paper!” They finally asked what border I came in on (Serbia), they shug and roll their eyes. I offer to pay the fine, but ask where I can pay it. They look at each other and hand me my passport and car papers back. Apparently there was nowhere to pay the fine and thus I don’t have to pay the fine…..(Make this the second time that I have gotten off of paying a fine for a law that I didn’t know about that I broke!)

I cross into Bulgaria over this amazing looking metal bridge- totally surrounded by factories. The Bulgarian border goes off with no problem (just had to wait a bit longer than normal). In Bulgaria, you have to have these little stickers on your car or you are driving illegally. I also had to get gas, so I stopped at the first gas station I saw. While filling up on gas, I go in and ask for the “vinegrette” for the car. After much discussion, I have to buy the 7 day one because that is the shortest one they have. Since it still wasn’t that expensive, it didn’t bother me that much. The drive was very interesting. The countryside varied so much! From rolling hills to forest to lakes. While totally rainy- just gorgeous!

I made it to Sofia just fine and stayed at my friend’s apartment. Got a bit of work done as he worked on his project as well. Then we headed out to dinner! We went to the Bulgarian restaurant that I went to the last time I was in Sofia (forget the name, but oh well). The restaurant messed our food up so bad they gave us free whisky. No joke. After walking home we both basically went to bed.

As I was typing this, I realized. I have absolutely no pictures. None. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Wow- way to go Cassidy!

See you around the globe!