Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Dear all

Well, I’ve left the fun fun sea side resort of Varna and am now back on the road. Its official, I’m on my way home. The total length of the trip is 39 days and we’re on day 23. Whats more Varna was the most easterly place we’ll go to, so suppose coming back westward signals the second half of an eastern Europe tour. Nevertheless we will head a little further south before we head back up north.

The next two and a bit weeks are going to be pretty manic. As it stands we’ve traveled from Varna to Veliko Tarnovo in the heart of Bulgaria and tomorrow we will continue on to Sofia, the capital ,after some hiking around VT tomorrow morning. We’ll spend a day exploring Sofia, and end up spending 2 nights in the city most likely before heading for Macedonia. The plan is to get into Skopje the capital as early as possible so as to get a bus out of Skopje to Lake Ohrid in the south. Here we’ll spend a couple of nights – just lazing on the beach and swimming in the fresh water probably.

From now it gets tricky. We have to cross the border from Ohrid into Albania and then get a bus up to Tirane. From here we’ll base ourselves to do a couple of days trips to neighbouring towns. Somehow we need to get up into Montenegro through the northern border where apparently there is only one crossing. Into the capital to get out again as soon as possible because its a dump. Timing maybe difficult because I’d like to arrive into Budwar on the coast at some reasonable time in the evening so we’re not struggling for accommodation. From Budwar we make our way to Dubrovnik, which doesn’t look to far on the map but the border crossing is another bugger because there are no buses that take you nicely from A to B [Futureheads].

From Dubrovnik its not too bad, we’d like to get up to split on the same day to spend one night there before spending a couple of nights on the island of Hvar. From Hvar its back to split to then race to get to Sarajevo where we’ll spend one night. Sarajevo to Zagreb and the Zagreb to Ljubljana are pretty straightforward recognised routes – but its expensive.

There you go, thats our way home, a little modified from our original plan, but hey, thats the beauty of backpacking. I hope thats enough to keep Dan occupied. I expect some nice maps ASAP [even with exams!]



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