Transalted by: Marian Kiszely
On the 4th of April, we arrived to our host in Sofia, who is Pavel, the acquaintance of Balázs.
We were standing in front of an old ten-floor flat, and I was pretty nervous for a moment when Pavko came; he was smiling and he told us that he was living on the 10th floor. We were so tired at that time that we started to think about how to carry all our stuff up there. But of course there was an elevator, we only had to carry the bicycles during a couple of meters.
Pavko lives with two other friends, the other Pavel and Ivan. They are all around 25-28, after university they all got a job in Sofia, so they stayed there. But somehow they would not really like to go back to the campaign, now they earn money and they build their careers with greater and smaller vehemence. This was an interesting parallel with the situation at home.
We had great conversations, mainly in English, although I asked Balázs several times to speak Bulgarian, but he said that he had already forgotten a lot...
With his Bulgarian knowledge we still suceeded when we talked to the market-women of the Zenski bazar, in the bicycle shop where we were looking for a screw for out kickstand and in the domestic shop where we were looking for a special stain remover...
In Sofia we tasted the genuine banica, we tried the one with spinach taste, the one with cheese and with apple taste as well. The first night we painted the town red: we went to a Bulgarian restaurant that is next to Studenski Grad with Pavkov and his girlfriend, Elena. We had Shopska salad, pie with garlic and we tried the satch. This is a typical Bulgarian meal, they roast the meat and the vegetables in a vessel that is made especially for this purpose. They season it and they served quite a big portion!
Unfortunately the weather was not nice, just like in Belgrade. It was snowing every morning, the snow did not remain, during the day the air got a bit warmer. Because of this, after the snowfall in the morning we had rain the afternoon.
We only had time for a fast sightseeing, but Balázs was nostalgic about the semester he had spent here, he told me about the town and about the markets. Of course we visited the Alexander Nevski catherdral, the Sveta Sofia and Sveta Nedelja ortodox churches, the Serdinka square and the statue Sofia. We spent some time in the Zenski basar (this means women's market: formerly women were selling their goods here), Balázs was interpreting and he talked very skilfully with the market-women.
One evening we prepared a Hungarian dinner for the boys, Plamy, the acquaintance of Balázs joined us as well. We had the following drinks: the Serbian plum rakija that we got from Slobodan, the Bulgarian grape rakija of Ivan's father and a small bottle of Unicum as well. ( one of the boys has been to Budapest a few months ago, and he bought one bottle as a souvenir)
We talked a lot and had a great evening!
We left Sofia on the 8th of April. In the morning we had some small issues when we tried to repair the bicycles, so Balázs and Ivan went to a bicycle shop. In the meantime I prepared our luggage. We halfly managed to solve the bicycle issue ( the boys could not find the right quick release that we needed) We hope that we can find the right parts and service in Edirne...