The Adventure begins...
27th April - Saturday.
It was a 7 hour flight from Miami to Amsterdam.  Earl & I lost our seats to a sick lady on the plane when we both got up in the middle of the night.  Had breakfast in the Amsterdam Schipol Airport.  Earl notes that even the fast food in Europe is better than in America.  I tried out the internet connection for the fun of it. Connected to the flight for Frankfurt where we had a 3 hour layover, so we had some German beer there. Thus fortified, we embarked on our 2 hour trip with Balkan Airlines.  Earl says the old Russian plane swayed side to side upon landing.  Our friend and host, Vic was ready for us and we get settled in at 10pm in the renovated Rodina Hotel in Sofia.  We’re all impressed with the girlie signs in the elevator.

28th April - Sunday. We slept fine and got up around 8 am to have the buffet breakfast.  Rodina’s food is better than it was for our last stay in 1999.  The buffet had all types of cheeses, pastries, yogurt, fruit, hard boiled and scrambled eggs, lunch meats, salamis, and Czech rollades – lunch meat rolled with relishes and cheese inside.  Earl invited the German lady who was on our plane to Sofia to join us for breakfast. 

Vic arrived around 10 am with his mother, Nelly, and drove us to

It is “Flower Name Day” and the church is handing out the traditional wreaths for everyone to wear.

When in of my names is Rose
so I qualify for a wreath.

There is a light rain and Nelly doesn’t like the rain.  It’s probably in the 50’s, quite comfortable. 
I switch to my hiking boots and am quite happy that I brought them along as it makes walking
the cobbled streets much easier.

Earl & Vic  look at the antique stores while I take some photographs. 
Click here for Scenes of Plovdiv

Nazdrave "Cheers"

Vic takes us to
Janet Restaurant, Plovdiv.

Earl had  tomato/cuke/cheese salad, I had cream of mushroom soup which is made with the right kind of mushrooms, and palacinta (which Vic insists on calling pancakes) Nelly had a grilled pork chop and Vic had chicken with raisins.

Vic then drove us to Haskovo to meet his cousin Nikola. 
Earl takes a nap while Vic teaches me a Bulgarian card game. 

Early evening, Nicola shows us the basins,
which are prehistoric stomping grounds. Some folks think it was used for making wine. Earl jokes about virgin sacrifices.

The local hot springs/mineral water fountain. We all have a drink.  Lots of kidding about the “effects” of the mineral water.  It tastes fine, very hot and not sulfuric. 

Nicola has prepared a large dinner—pickled fish, chopche salata (cucumbers, tomatoes and cheese), grilled duck breast cutlets, pate, and of course, homemade rakia.

Nicola has an outside kitchen and dining area and It was cool enough for a fire.

Now imagine, we had several plates like this to eat. Nicola is a great cook!