After time spent on the train cramming like a student the day before a language exam, I did my best to make sense of the cyrillic alphabet so that I would at least recognise the name of the train station I needed to get off at (which looked a bit like ropHa but actually said Gorna). The train gave me lots of cramming time, stopping for passport checks both sides of the border.
I’m currently in Veliko Tarnovo and I have been trying to pronounce words that I see, on posters, signs, in shop windows, getting a buzz of satisfaction when the word I’ve just struggled through says something like ‘hotel’ and I realise that I can both pronounce and recognise the word! Wahey! It’s turning in to a little game for me, what can I say, I like puzzles.
I am also currently in hostel heaven – so considered because of the free food and perfect showers. In my mind I have a tick list as to what makes a perfect shower. This was not important before I left because I’ve been fortunate enough to not experience that many bad showers. I’ve discovered that you become grateful for small things when you travel, your perspective changes drastically when you’re on the road. I also miss vegetables. And hot chocolate (again, which they have here, thus further confirming this is hostel heaven). And having a choice of clothes that isn’t one skirt, one pair of trousers and one pair of shorts. Actually, I miss jeans.
So, here, whilst sipping on my hot chocolate last night, I see flashing before my eyes – a firefly! It morse codes its way across the patio and I can’t help but smile at it.
Today I went into old town and bought some locally produced trinkets. I’m a sucker for earrings, so bought some delicately decorated copper earrings, a communist badge celebrating Lenin (it seemed so odd, these trinkets would be everywhere and are now dustly bits and bobs in a bowl near the shop desk – it also seemed like I needed something as a nod towards communism to remind me of the things I have seen and learnt here. It was also strange seeing the communist art exhibition in Brasov’s Art Museum – yes I realise I forgot to mention this in the last post) and a mask that I had seen everywhere in Romania (and I guess will see in Bulgaria) that was small enough to put in my bag. The mask was designed to ward off evil spirits.
Earlier I walked around a ruined castle and church. The church was really cool, all the paintings on the wall looked quite contemporary and a little abstract. This afternoon has been slow, which is good because I am still not used to this heat! However hope to take a walk amongst the greenery later…