Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Before I truly commence the tale of my journey, I would like to provide a small warning to those of whom are not quite accustom to my humor. It has considerable tendency to be rather dry and sarcastic. If something I write seems distinctly arrogant or crude, it's intended as a joke so please take it as such. Continuing on.... 

Rather dull flight details
My flight from SF was the 17th of August, and I landed in Sophia, Bulgaria on the 18th where my mom and I stayed one night. The next day we had a 6 hour bus ride to Burgas and another bus to Gredina, a small beach town along the Black Sea, were we were set to stay at my mom's friend's appartment.

David's appartment was far from what I was anticipating. I was picturing a shanty, datcha-looking wooden house in the middle of the Bulgarian wilderness. The electricity would work only if the celestial patterns were correct, you would have to beat back the spiders and other wild, rodent-like mammalia for some room on the bed, and daily scavaging for food would be necessary for the nearest town was a three day donkey-ride away. I was admittedly rather dissapointed to discover that it was a fully equiped, newly constructed nest of civilization. The appartment was complete with a washing machine and a balcony overlooking the extensive beach and crystal blue waters of the Black Sea. My initial dissapointement came from my particular taste in locations being more nature-oriented and hermit-like than most people's, though I am by no means compaining, the place was spectacular.

Stuff we did
The first few days involved a lot of jet-lag sleeping in the middle of the day and waking up before sunrise. This did though, allow for me to watch Gredina wake up; sitting out on the balcony, staring at the empty beach, and watching the northern house martins flying and cling to the stucko buildings. One morning I was gleefully entertained to see an old man drive his mule-drawn cart accross the beach infront of the Snatch-esk caravans parked upon the sand. Once Natasha, David's daughter, arrived though, we did more exploring

Sozopol, south of Gredina, was the first town we pillaged. It was an extremly deliteful town, full of traditional architecture. The buildings were made with a stone base and wooden second story all of which was wonderfully preserved (picture).  They also had ancient roman ruins...but pretty much every town, city, and village in Europe can claim that. The Romans got around...litteraly.
We lunched at a restaurant called панорама (panorama) which lived up to its name for it was overlooking the expansive turquoise waters. The food was decent enough, though not astounding: grilled fish, some salads, and soup. 
The next day we explored Burgas which is considerably bigger than Sozopol, but I found it to have much less charm. Not all that much to say about it, we walked a lot, ate too much, typical tourist stuff.  
 The rest of our time was filled up lazying about reading and sleeping in the appartment and swimming in the sea. 

Interactive activity!!!
I would like you, the reader, to take a moment to conduct an activity in order to increase your overall experience in reading this blog:

1) fill a bathtub halfway full of reasonably warm water 
2) proceed to pour two jars/cans/whatever you want to call them of Morton salt (you know, the kind with the little girl and the umbrella) into the water and stir until dissolved
3) add sand to the bath    optional 
4) Then with a swim suit (or without, we are in Europe here), place yourself in the salt bath and completely immerse yourself
5) swim around long enough to feel the osmosis occuring as the water diffuse accross your membrane, out of your body, and into the water with a higher salt concentration (the bath water and simulated black sea). Feeel the pruney-ness

This experiment, besides wasting a lot of water and salt, was to illistrate the absurd salt concentration the Black Sea possesses.  

Overall the week in Bulgaria was exceptionally enjoyable. The sun bright and hot enough for me to curse my irish heritage frequently, the beach was made of foot-cutting shell fragments, the water a tid bit salty, the people a leathery I've-been-in-the-sun-too-long tan, and I reveled in every minute of all of this....except for the leathery people....and the old men in speedos.....the speedos were rather scarring 

My Istanbul post will come after I've already left the city (I leave Aug 30th...if everything works out that is). After less than two weeks I've already had some trying experiences, more on that later though. 

Hope all is well with you guys. If you have any questions or comments feel free to write it below or email/fb me. If you suscribe I believe you get an email everytime I post something new, either way, hope you all have a wonderful day.  

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Beginning is a very good place to start

Ya so I'm starting this a little on the late side, but I wanted to be able to share what I was up to during my travels, and it's a bit easier than sending out emails. Since I will probably have reasonably regular internet access (at least for the next two months) I'll try to post something once a week...we'll see if I succeed.

First, an explanation is in order, why the traveling turtle? Well, I had made a beaded turtle over the summer and was planning on having it as my mascot, sewn to my backpack, but I feared that he would get ripped off during the flight if my backpack had to be checked. So, I though it best to leave him at home. But he's still representing me back in California.....his name is pushan, he's pretty epic.


My current/past itinerary:

18th-25th August - in Gradina, Bulgaria with Mom
25th - 30th Aug - in Istanbul couchsurfing
30th Aug - 30th Sept - WWOOFing in Maksudiye, Turkey
30th Sept - 1 Nov - WWOOFing in Cerkezkou, Turkey
Early Nov - enter the Schengen Zone! and possibly pop by Budapest
Nov - Dec - wwoofing, traveling, we'll see. Hoping to spend some time with the awesome Brunet family
                   in the Alps, and stopping by Copenhagen if possible
Christmas/New Years - in the Paris region
Jan - wwoofing in france (I'm trying to get in as much France time as possible)
End Jan/Early Feb - wwoofing in Ireland!!! (if ticket prices are reasonable)...yes mom, I know it will be cold
9th Feb - flight back to SF from Charles de Gaulle airport

Some months don't have a solid plan, so my itinerary will be prone to change...probably often

One rather large change already occured. I was suppose to be wwoofing in Ukraine for sept and oct (farm description) sounds fricken awesome right!?! Endangered, indemic horse, pig, and buffalo, milking the buffalo, making cheese from that milk, would have been sick. Yet, they emailed me the day before my flight to say that they could no longer take me.....yes, i'm still bitter. But one must adapt, hence wwoofing in Turkey for those months.

more posts to come 

If anyone finds themselves in the Old World during my travels and wish to grab coffee or join me traveling, hit me up!