Sofia has a huge mountain close to the south, the Витоша (Vitosha) with it’s highest peak reaching over 2000m. You can conveniently reach the mountain with several tram and bus lines, which takes around half an hour from the city centre.
We decided to hike up the mountain last Saturday. Because of Friday’s Erasmus Welcome Party in Sofia we were only two, but we decided to do it anyway (and it might had slowed us down anyway). We could have used one of the lifts up the mountain, but we preferred to walk. So we took Tram 5 to Knyazhevo and started walking up. We didn’t really have a plan where to go, we just kept on going up. It’s a very beautiful place, the flora and fauna is changing all the time. Going up over 1000m takes quite some time, we already thought about going back, because time was running, and we had to go down too. But finally we reached the tree border at about 1800m (GPS is a great invention) and we could clearly see a peak, not far away. And the view from there was really exciting, Sofia was lying in front of us like a huge map. You barely can see it on the pictures, I hope you can imagine. Maybe you want to see it yourself?
On the way down we took an other way, which was shorter and more interesting, but pretty hard, so we had quite a muscle fever on Sunday and Monday. It was about 1300m up and down. Sunday it got really cold and it was raining a lot, so the right weather for a lazy day. Vitosha now has white cap :)
Two other important things happened last Saturday. As we were in the Tramway and discussing about tickets (in German) a young german woman started talking to us. She is working for a german company in Sofia and after some talk she offered that we can live with her, she has two free bedrooms. Really good news, I will move there this weekend. Currently I’m still couchsurfing, I really enjoy the company of my hosts. The other news unfortunately is bad news … my bike got stolen. It was a risk I was willing to take, because taking it home every evening would have been too unpleasing. Next time I will try to find a better lock, mine was really weak. Currently I have no plans to buy a new bike. We’ll see. At least it was not very expensive, and it was not the best anyway.
Enjoy your time too!