Visiting Sofia, Bulgaria wasn’t part of the initial plan. But saying that, I didn’t have have a plan since the beginning of this trip. The trail that I’m following through the Balkans (The Iron Curtain Trail), would lead me through east Serbia, west and south Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece and finally Turkey. Sofia wasn’t on the trail, but being so close, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to visit the city.
Alex, one of my travel companions on the Danube river, showed me his travel book about Bulgaria, so I would have some initial information about the city of Sofia. The book was written in german, so I didn’t bother to read it. I just took some pictures of the most important pages, in my case, nice hostels were I could spend a couple of days resting and working on the blog. From the different options that the book gave, I chose Hostel Lavele. And it was a wise decision.
During large part of my trip I’ve stayed in a tent. This becomes your portable home, always ready to set up, wherever and whenever. But it’s always welcoming to have a bed to sleep on. And when visiting big towns I mostly stay at a hostel. They have all the basic services you need (bed, shower, food), information of all what is going on in the city (the options are more alternative and budget friendly), you get to know a lot of interesting people from different countries and the staff is always friendly. Hostel Lavele has this and more. The location near the city center is perfect, you can get to all the places and activities by foot. And the atmosphere is very familiar, which gave me the necessary time and space to rest.
I was well received by the hostels owner/manager Mario. He always gave me a hand when I needed help or some information. Mario being a bike enthusiast himself, accompanied me to a local bike shop for some spare parts and gave me some tips on bike maintenance. When hungry I trusted him with his tips about the local cuisine. And he was always ready to share or listen to a story. Very insightful person.
You can follows Mario’s passion for bikes on the following facebook page “I love Cycling”. And on his facebook page “The Armchair traveler”, you can read interviews of people that stayed at the hostel.
So you now know why the initial plan for staying 3 days became 6. Merci Mario for all the help and attention!!!