Travel blog

Post-Lockdown Update #1: Bulgaria Again!

By on January 4, 2023

For those of you that don’t know us, my name is Mel. I’m originally from Montana and I’ve been living in Europe for nearly 20 years. My husband’s name is Armando, and he’s a filmmaker from Milan. We have two dogs that adopted us: Ziggy Stardog (Morocco) and Arya Starkdog (Montenegro).

For those of you that know us and want to know what we got up to once we escaped lockdown in Sardinia, this is the first installment. One of our favorite places for various reasons. 

-Our first ‘van experience’ was on a film lot outside of Sofia

-We got married there

-Some of our favorite people live in Bulgaria

This time around, we were actually on our way to Turkey. We were amped, chomping at the bit, really, to get back on the road. In our recon reading for what we’d need in Turkey (I needed a visa, for example) we also realized that Armando’s passport would expire under the 6-month requirement.

Then we realized we also needed to update Morkenstein/Mork (our van) with engine tweaks for the MOT. So Turkey had to wait, while we waited for paperwork. Instead of simply twiddling our thumbs, we opted to take short jaunts and pop back into Sofia as needed.

The TV tower above Sofia

We met up with a lot of Armando’s old friends at the top of a hill, overlooking Sofia. A nice sunset, good company and reconnections. We spent a lot of time with our friends and fellow camper enthusiasts Nadia and Alessandro, with their two dogs. The only time there was an upset was when one of the clever beasts stole some sausages. All 4 dogs decided that yes, fresh meat was something to scuffle over.

We also explored some areas of Bulgaria we hadn’t before, like the Rodopi mountains. Driving through the changing colors in October was pure eye candy. We took a side trip to a famed monastery, which had robed monks scurrying away from the tourists. We also had some pretty memorable parking spots.*

View from Rodopi mountains

When we had our normal T4, Armando acted like it was a 4-wheel drive sometimes. Now that we have a 4-wheel drive, I’m getting a lot more grey in my hair. Muddy road that might go to nowhere? Piece of cake! Almost vertical road down to the sea in the middle of nowhere? Why not? One rainy night we slept next to a cemetery. At least they were quiet neighbors.

The paperwork finally came together. With a spring in our step, we made our way to Turkey, knowing that at some point, we’ll always return to Bulgaria. If just for a visit.






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