Frankfurt, Germany | August 21, 2005
Nürnberg, Germany | August 22, 2005
Füssen, Germany | August 25, 2005
Graz, Austria | August 26, 2005
Pliskovica, Slovenija | August 28, 2005
Maribor, Slovenija | August 29, 2005
Ljubljana, Slovenija | August 30, 2005
Zagreb, Croatia | August 31, 2005
Split, Croatia | September 4, 2005
Korčula, Croatia | September 7, 2005
Dubrovnik, Croatia | September 8, 2005
Sofia, Bulgaria | September 10, 2005
Plovdiv, Bulgaria | September 12, 2005
Istanbul, Turkey | September 14, 2005
Selçuk, Turkey | September 20, 2005
Samos, Greece | September 25, 2005
Naxos, Greece | September 27, 2005
Santorini, Greece | September 29, 2005
Crete, Greece | October 3, 2005
Rome, Italy | October 7, 2005
Ales, France | October 10, 2005
Chamonix, France | October 18, 2005
Paris, France | October 21, 2005
Delhi, India | October 27, 2005
Mcleod Ganj, India | October 30, 2005
Rishikesh, India | November 7, 2005
Varanasi, India | November 12, 2005
Agra, India | November 15, 2005
Bharatpur, India | November 17, 2005
Delhi (Paharaganj), India | November 18, 2005
Bangkok, Thailand | November, 20 2005
Chiang Mai, Thailand | November 22, 2005
Pai, Thailand | November 25, 2005
Amed, Bali | November 30, 2005
Canberra, Australia | December 6, 2005
Holidays Point, Australia | December 14, 2005
Port Maquarie, Australia | December 15, 2005
Noosa Heads, Australia | December 18, 2005
Coolangatta, Australia | December 28, 2005
Sydney Airport, Australia | December 30, 2005
Nadi, Fiji | December 31, 2005
Boulder, CO | January 4, 2006

Plovdiv, Bulgaria

September 12, 2005

Nichole: Super Plovdiv! is what our Lonely Planet guidebook says about this Bulgarian city and we heartily agree.

This is a wonderful place and the people are friendly and helpful to travelers who are obviously struggling to read the city signs and shops which are written entirely in the Cyrillic alphabet. Generously they come up to us and offer their help. Broken English, patience and a sense of humor from our Bulgarian hosts has made Plovdiv a perfect last stop on our trip through Eastern Europe.

There is a lovely, wooded central park with fountains and bike lanes running throughout. In the morning there are older folks visiting and playing chess on the park benches. Lots of young couples with babies walking day and night. A great Cyrillic and English language bookshop -- I am now on the 3rd Harry Potter book and feeling pretty proud to be catching up with the rest of the civilized world. I also finished the Da Vinci Code and Luke is now reading through it quickly. Our 1st night we had dinner at a place called Janet and it was really wonderful and English menu! Cheese and spice stuffed peppers for an appetizer that we can't stop talking about -we are going back tomorrow before our train leaves!

This morning for breakfast we sat at an outside cafe near the old town and had cappuccino and handmade Baklava that was sweet and heavenly. Plovdiv has cobbled streets that are beautiful and a bit treacherous (especially for Luke =). Gorgeous churches and mosques dating back to 1218. A Roman amphitheater that is celebrating its 2000 birthday this year. They still have concerts there today and it circled by an outdoor cafe and the College of Fine Arts and Classical music. There are art students scattered about sketching the sites of Old town. We also got the treat of listening to a classical piano student through the windows of the school during their lesson.

The fashion is bit, ummm, interesting I guess. This place seems to be addicted to retail, especially the women. The shop line up goes like this, knock-off women's clothing (D&G, Diesel, Prada, etc.) and then an Italian style shoe shop. Repeat and repeat again for about 1km. Luke described it pretty well by saying that the young (20s and teens) girls look as though they took exact outfits off of MTV. These girls are sweet and probably fairly innocent but they look like "working girls".

It seems that Bulgaria, like much of what we have seen in Eastern Europe is on the fast track to...somewhere. They were a bit more isolated under either direct communist rule, or were hindered because they were situated directly next to a communist country. Either way, we suspect that the internet and TV is the reason for the rapid change and the very distinct dichotomy in the look and dress of the people here.

From: Molly

God you two have been busy! WOW I hadn't had a chance t follow your travels till now and woah - this site is AWESOME!!!! I love you both tons and miss you. Gonna drive up to indian peaks thursday after I get my new tires on. Want me to check in on the ranch? Ah heck I will anyway! -Love Molster

From: Molly

Oh and I must comment on the fashion too... have you noticed how most of the women are striking and the men are um well.. not? At least that was how it was in Prague 2 years ago. So Bizzare...

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