Days 3, 4: Thessaloniki and Sofia

After a 5 hour train trip to Thessaloniki from Athens, punctuated with various games from our travel compendium, we found a bar on the waterfront and had our first beer of the day. As our connecting train to Sofia (Bulgaria) wasn’t for another 5 hours, one beer quickly became several more. In summary, Thessaloniki was a great place for bars and shopping but not so great for visitors.

Our connecting sleeper train to Sofia left at midnight and once we got over the shock of the pre-WW2 accomodation (and smells to match) we got our heads down for the night. The train had other ideas, bouncing us violently about in our bunks to wake us up conveniently for our 2am and 3am passport control sessions. Back to sleep at 4, the train went on go-slow all the way to Sofia where we arrived 2 hours late.

Sofia is quite surprising. It’s definitely the poorest place i’ve ever visited and now our Greek guides have left us, the language barrier has risen. Thankfully the word ‘beer’ appears to be ubiquetous so we’re not in danger of drought and with 0.5l beers costing around 50p we’re not in danger of becoming skint. That said, we did find cheaper beers when we stumbled into a British embassy party and had free beers. Only 2 though, don’t want to outstay our “welcome”.

Off to a proper Bulgarian restaurant tonight, 10 quid a head i’m told for 4 courses. We have to make the most whilst stuff is cheap – Western Europe is coming soon…


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