30./31.05.2010: 11.30 pm arriving in Sofia, Bulgaria. We planned to take the next possible train to Istanbul. Failed. Security closed up the station, chased us away and let us stand outside. Next trains going at 7 o'clock in the morning. A taxi driver told us, no train going from Bulgaria to Turkey either. Fucking hell! Why couldn't anyone tell us this a bit earlier? Like in Greece? Nobody knows anything. Service sucks. And now? No money for a taxi nor hostel, we took the street. The problem or should I say the challenge was that we were in Bulgaria. Plain criminal and poor country with terrifying creatures running around ready to eat you. Believe me you don't want to spend a night outside in Bulgaria. We did. Felt like juicy fresh rabbit meat surrounded by hungry wolves with burning red eyes. No shit, not kidding. This wasn't funny anymore. Holding my pepper spray tight all night, telling all boozy life stories and eating carrots to stay awake. Yep. Eventually after dragging hours it got light somehow sometime. Train station opened again, all the homeless plus us both went inside. The question was, should we give up and go back to Greece and stay there? Or even back to Germany? Big no. Let's go the whole hog. Giving up is beyond debate. Okay. Our new plan, get to the next big town to make the most of our Interrailticket and from then taking a bus to Istanbul. Laura had some emergency money on her credit card. We could use that for the bus.
And we thought hell is over. But you haven't been on that train to Plovdiv. It must have been a third class one maximal. The toilet full of shit, actually just a hole on the ground where you could see the tracks passing by, if you were funny you even waved at them. Windows, yes there was something I would name it windows but funnily enough you couldn't see through them because of the thick smeary dirt. Seats, you sat on them, you felt wonderful springs in your arse and your bum was nearly touching the ground. Left alone the smell of feces and the deafening noise of the driving train. Okay. Nice. I mean after that night, this train yay. Anyway after centuries we arrived in Plovdiv. Nobody understands us, so to the bus station and there we met Stefan! A 70 years old bulgarian man who could speak german. He was like, girls what are you doing here? It's dangerous.Yeah we already knew that. He was an angel, he helped us with everything, to find a bank machine and to get our bus tickets (otherwise they would have charged us much more). He was our knight in shining armour. And then finally we got on that bus and became big big eyes! Screens for every seat, water and coffee and snack for free! Wow! Sheer luxury. Our night on the street felt far away. And after 72 hours we eventually arrived in Istanbul! Bingo.