The train moved me from Pernik to Sofia on a Monday. It was a complete and utter relief to be moving on from my booking error. It was, in fact, a new lease on my Bulgarian existence. It was my second chance at the country, seeing as I wasn’t going to be leaving anytime soon.
I stayed at a swanky (yet affordable) apartment on the outskirts of the city. This location set me up nicely to be able to wander outside of the city limits and experience the downtown area at the same time. Given that I had ample time on my hands, I made my way throughout my time in Sofia everywhere strictly on foot.
I’d say the whole experience of being wrapped up in Sofia for two weeks simply expanded my opportunity to digest my previous experience in weeks. It was odd, in that I don’t think I’ve experienced something like this before. I was still on an adventure, visiting someplace new, and yet I was using that time to digest a previous travel experience. Despite the awkwardness of it, I was happy to be in a place where I didn’t feel overly inspired. Had I found myself in a more compelling place, I may have felt rushed to figure out my feelings and begin enjoying where I was on the planet again. This would have delayed my chance to process my Leros experience. Instead, I got all of that out of the way.
Despite my emotional processing, I explored Sofia. Some days I did more than others, but I did my research and I milled about the city as I pleased. On the days I wasn’t interested in doing much, I found myself doing a lot more daydreaming than anything else. I kept up my messages and voice calls with the people I loved so dearly on Leros, but there was a lot of time I would prepare a meal and then just stare into the abyss off of the balcony of the apartment. This sounds a little sad to write, but honestly, it was necessary.
Being that I was on the outskirts of the city, my first day in Sofia, I wanted to head to the mountains. Like in Pernik, the city seemed to be surrounded on all sides by mountains. The mountain closest to where I was staying was still snow-covered, so I had something to gawk at out of my window for my two weeks there. I made my way toward the mountain for a while, getting out of the city and into a surrounding neighborhood, but I realized quickly that getting into the mountains was going to be more of a feat than I was able to handle. Nevertheless, having just come from a warm island, I was fascinated by the snow, even if it was at a distance.
*I am backdating this post. It’s October 28, 2018 as I’m writing this and the events that occurred in the above writing are from the end of March 2018 when I was still in Sofia, Bulgaria. I planned all summer to finish up this post, but never got around to it and now find myself preparing to jet off again for another adventure. Instead of leaving this post forever in the draft folder, I thought I’d publish what I’d written, just for kicks.