Bulgaria: January 2018
Braved the cold to take the first train of the day to Plovdiv, Bulgaria's second largest city, and a chance to see the countryside on the way.
The snowy countryside wasn't all that much to see at 80mph, and neither were the towns on the way. A little over two hours later, we found Plovdiv was eerily quiet as we walked from the train station onto nearly empty streets. I'd forgotten that everyone was probably at church on a Sunday morning (oops!). The big park lead up to the main pedestrian and shopping area, which was more welcoming than anything we'd seen in Sofia- although it too was very quiet. Further up the road, old town Plovdiv and the Roman forum within were well maintained and worth an hour or two of exploring.
An earlier debate about how far to wander was quickly settled as we looked north from the hill that old town Plovdiv is perched upon: it was very industrial and not all that interesting looking, so we headed back to the pedestrian drag. Lunch plans were foiled by the early hour, so we managed to make it back to the train station and somehow get on the correct train back to Sofia.
Two and a half hours and many rounds of Exploding Kittens later, we were back in Sofia. Saw a few more tourist sights, including the Tzum shopping mall (not much to see), and did a somewhat better job exploring the pedestrian/shopping streets. Unexpectedly got kicked out of Tzum as we watched a good chunk of the Serdica area of central Sofia get shut down for a VIP or special event of some sort.
Our exploration plans foiled, the weather too cold to randomly stick around outside for the parade or VIP or whatever was happening, so we instead wandered over to Momo for dinner. They were out of my first and second choice, but the roast duck and stewed lamb shank were both okay, and the frozen yogurt waffle bowl was nice enough. Considering how affordable food is in Bulgaria, it's hard to complain too much...