Bukgaris – Our journey from Romania took us down from the mountains into Bucharest and then a change of trains and on to the Danube plain which stretched on forever. There are no fences in Romania, apparently a left over from communist times when fences meant ownership so banned, and it takes a while to work out what is different about the landscape…and it just that there are no fences.

The only reason we were going to stop in Bulgaria was we wanted to break our journey to Istanbul and we had met a couple of girls coming the other way who had recommended a great hostel in a town called Veliko Tarnovo…so we were Veliko bound.

After many hours on the train we crossed the border to more flat dry plain and we were both thinking this looks pretty grim when the train suddenly dropped in to a canyon and the landscape changed dramatically with a river and tress it suddenly became very beautiful.

The hostel – the Hostel Mostel – was excellent.  We stayed in a private room with an en-suite, the hostel had excellent common areas including outdoor area, good WIFI, great breakfast included in the price and was in a good location. The town was interesting – once the seat of the second Bulgarian Empire it has an impressive citadel. We stayed a while in Veliko, the accommodation was good, the food good and we were comfortable however I can’t say I will rush back to Bulgaria – there are a few too many shady men with dark glasses in Mercedes with blacked out windows for my liking.

Our next stop was due to be Istanbul and we had booked a night train. The day we were due to leave we were sitting in the garden of the hostel talking to some Brits when the hostel manager came to tell us that the station had called to say that storm had damaged the tracks in Turkey and all trains had been canceled…so what to do.? We decided we would head to Turkey through Greece so the next day saw us on a night train Thessaloniki bound.

For Information on Travelling In Bulgaria Read Our Bulgaria Travel Guides