Day 6 Pirot-Sofia 87 km

We left Pirot around 5:30 and had a beautiful sunrise over the mountains as we pushed on towards the border of Bulgaria, after a quick stop for our last Serbian pastry (sniff) we crossed over, the difference was almost immediately apparent, the Serbian border guards were friendly and posed for photos while the Bulgarians looked at us and shook their fingers as we pulled out the camera..yikes…

Then came the Bulgarian foothills, beautiful but scary with large trucks. Best part of the day was Anna scaring me with stories of fake Bulgarian policemen who would stop and then rob you, sure enough as soon as she is done telling me that story we cross a bend and there is one flagging down a car. Anna says don’t stop keep biking, and I couldn’t help but imagine ourselves huffing and puffing up the huge hill with the cop chasing after us…haha… Would never have worked but thankfully he was busy with his current victim.

We entered Sofia around 12:30 only to realise we were in a new time zone awesome! But then we also realised that Sofia is HUGE! Took us over an hour just to get to the center and there we waited for our host Ivo. Ivo had at the last minute agreed to host us after our original couchsurfing host stopped replying to our emails, he wouldn’t be in town til 5 so we stopped for a beer at a local cafe where no sooner had Anna sat down when she fell promptly asleep (its like she has an inbuilt off switch). After about an hour we heard thunder (ok I heard thunder Anna was snoring like thunder) and we experienced our first storm that this part of Bulgaria is famous for due to all the mountains surrounding it, we sought refuge at the cathedral and soon after our host Ivo arrived by car. He asked us if we wanted to put our stuff in his car since it was raining and we could follow it to the apartment, since I was wet and tired and he seemed like a decent guy I agreed. No sooner were all our bags in the car did it hit me. A stranger has all our stuff in his car!!! And the car was pulling away rather fast…Yikes! Quickly we chased after it while all the time I was desperately mesmerizing the licence plate number Red honda, red honda, red honda.. I don’t think we ever drove so fast as we did that evening whizzing through traffic running lights and dodging pedestrians. When he finally stopped he joked about the fact that he couldn’t lose us as if it was a big game, thankfully he was not a weirdo and we were safely in a nice apartment with a good meal and comfortable bedroom, (his own which he gave up for us so sweet) We were treated to some traditional music and the best salad ever!