The gang at Boyana Falls
Bath time - Royce, Arwen, Aya
View over Plovdiv
Aya's best day ever in Plovdiv - motorized kid vehicles
Arwen, Aya, Ronin, Royce having a blastAya freezing at Boyana waterfallAmie, Steve, Aya, Arwen, Rachelle, Assen, Ronin, and Royce ready to ascend Mt. VitoshaAya climbing up stairs of Bunardjik Hill in PlovdivJump to daddyWalking the streets of old PlovdivArwen almost big enough in Kazanlak downtownDon't touch my babyBoyana waterfall on Vitosha Mountain near SofiaAya's new toyAncient Roman amphitheater in PlovdivArchitecture in old PlovdivAya making a new friend in Plovdiv

It is the most incredible feeling when you hear your name being called while standing bleary eyed and completely lost in the middle of a foreign intersection, trying desperately to find the right building as noted on the GPS. We'd hiked down from Buzludzha that morning, caught a taxi then a train then another taxi, and were finally dropped off one one of Sofia's thoroughfares.

And then we heard our names! Seeing Rachelle, Asen, Ronin and Royce in their home city was such a thrill! We were spoiled staying in their home, clearing out the fridge, and being surrounded by the familiar faces of family. Oh, and because the kids hit it off so well, we even had times where we could sit and sip coffee and catch up uninterrupted.

Rachelle and Asen, thank you so much for your gracious hospitality!

-Amie

We made sure to sample both urban and rural of Bulgaria and both left us feeling that this is a laid back, peaceful and pleasant country to visit. All the cities had excellent walking quarters that were vibrant and full of activities (for kids). Best of all was visiting Amie's cousin Rachelle and family in Sofia for a real in-depth local perspective.

Russian adventures in Bulgaria lasted just long enough to leave a quirky edge to both town and countryside and every gloomy urban area was sprayed with colourful graffiti to lighten the mood (maybe not if we could have understand it). The old city of Plovdiv was especially pleasant and we were surprised by even the rural towns of Kazanlak and Enina being much more enjoyable and hospitable than expected.

-steve-

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