Do you want to hear about the fortress light show? Or me busting up my toe alone at the top of a citadel? Or the night spent bribing Bulgarian train conductors…
Here we go.
The Veliko Tarnovo hostel was fantastic. Super homey, close to the fortress, a short walk from the old city center, the terrace in the back had these amazing gliders to sit and read or write in, chat and have a few beers in, and watch the hostel’s messenger doves walk around. Weird, pretty birds. Apparently only messenger by title though… Don’t be expecting any live postcards.
The hostel is fantastic at getting people to meet each other. This one served a full breakfast and dinner each night, pouring glasses of beers for the guests, going around the bedrooms to encourage people to join.
As seen in the posted pictures, Veliko Tarnovo has an incredible fortress. The city used to be the ancient capital. Most nights of the week during the summer, there is a massive light show on the walls, and I just caught it the first night I arrived. Walking up to the fortress with three guys from the hostel, I sat on the wall of the main entrance bridge and watched a show better than any light show I’d seen before. Again, like Disney, but real. Take a peek (skip around).
In bed at midnight, I was the first one in the dorm asleep. I’ve been fighting a cold (I have a slight cough and raspy voice right now), and have felt foggy – one of the reasons I’ve been slow to blog. No focus.
The following day, up the fortress I went. I love the line “I’m a student” – so handy when you look like you could still be a high school student, I don’t ever have to show proof.
I passed the warning sign three times. “Make sure you have water.” I wasn’t worried about my hydration, I’d drank plenty that morning and was only making a quick trip to the top and down, no walking along the walls. Also, regardless of the sign, there was nowhere readily available to buy water.
And I climb, climb, climb, it’s becoming a theme of this trip. And even when there are steps, it still feels like slippery, die at any moment climbing. And I reach the top, feel fantastic, take the MySpace- style photo of myself to prove I’m not just downloading these photos from Google. Up here alone. Feeling invincible.
Second step on the way down, I slip. Stub my toe. Nail is broken. Blood. Lots.
I’m at the top of a freaking fort, and I don’t even have water.
My favorite line from a hostel friend later: “Didn’t you cry????”
No, because then I’d be the crying bloody mess at the top of the fort, and no one needs that.
I survived. It was a long climb down.
On to a new post…