How a Cheap Flight to Bulgaria Got Me the Low-Cost Vacation I Craved
Summer came late to London this year, and in serious need for some warm weather my housemate and I decided to go on a mini break. But where would we go?
We decided on Anywhere. Anywhere exotic. And hopefully cheap. Oh, but most importantly, wherever we go, it couldn’t be raining. We didn’t think we were being too fussy. Cheap. Not raining. Exotic.
But huddled around our laptops later that rainy London afternoon, we discovered that it’s actually not that easy to find an Anywhere that meets our specific three point criteria. France was too expensive, Spain – wasn’t there a song about the Rain in Spain ? Italy…maybe. No. We had both been before.
Then we noticed that there were cheap flights going to…where’s that? Bulgaria? Neither of us had considered that one before (in fact we weren’t even entirely sure of its position on the map). So yes, we figured that Bulgaria would qualify as exotic. Weather wise? No predictions of rain at the beginning of July and to put the cherry on the cake, the weather report predicted that it would be ‘hot and sunny’…Bingo! Bulgaria it would be!
We landed in Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital. The city sits right in the middle of the Balkan Peninsula and historically, it has been through the hands of the Greeks (it was ruled by Alexander the Great for a little while), the Romans, the Ottomans and the Russians.
Sofia is a great city to experience – the place is packed with architectural gems from every chapter of the country’s history. Besides the very grand Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, I really enjoyed the St Nikolai church, it has a little green roof with golden trimmings and aqua blue tiles and a water fountain outside. It’s peaceful and pretty and named after St Nikolai-the-miracle-maker – quite an appropriate name I think.
Just around the corner is Vitosha Boulevard which is very modern and European – with chic street cafes and designer shops, that kind of thing. I found it quite enthralling. There are roses planted everywhere, and in the hot sun the sweet scent fills the air; it almost seems like the flowers are melting from the heat of the day. All around the city there are large sweeping trees with jasmine plants twisted around their trunks.
Speaking of roses, if you’re a fan of rose water, Bulgaria is one of the world’s biggest producers – there are ‘rose shops’ selling everything from rose perfume to rose flavored jam, tea and chocolate. It’s also worth knowing that there are fresh water springs dotted around the city, we didn’t need to buy any mineral water at all. Also, WiFi is amazingly available in most public areas, and the best thing about this is that the connection is absolutely free.
I will finish this article by saying that if you’re at a loose end, go to Bulgaria! We did, and we loved it. And to top it all off, this was the first holiday that cost me less than I budgeted for.