I ended the year 2014 the way it started, and the way a big part of it was spent – TRAVEL.
I feel so lucky to have had a dozen of trips abroad (not counting Strasbourg). Amsterdam, Istanbul, Madrid, Luxembourg, Scotland, Iceland, Barcelona, Lyon are just some of the places I managed to visit. My Flickr account keeps track of all destinations. All within Europe, though. So my NY’s resolution is the same as last year… I actually hope to fulfill it already in April this year with a Nepal trip, fingers crossed.
My New Year’s resolution is to travel to another continent.
As for NY’s eve, it was spent in the Bulgarian ski resort of Pamporovo and 2015 was also started with travel and a story of courage and unity. Since our trip to Colombia failed, we did not have any other major plans for 31st so when a friend of mine invited us to join him, we decided to do it. After all, I had not visited Pamporovo before and wanted to start the new year skiing.
It was such a last-minute trip that my friend had to sleep in the sauna of the house that we stayed in (he was nice enough to leave the double room for me and my girlfriend). If you ever want to go skiing in Pamporovo or Chepelare, villa Progled in the namesake village is a great place to stay. Make sure you book in advance, though. Otherwise you might end up like this:
As I said, this was my first and only time skiing in Pamporovo and really don’t have enough impressions for a separate “Skiing in Bulgaria” article. The half-a-day of skiing that we did on the afternoon of 1st of January was definitely not the most pleasant experience: -15°C, crowds of people, not enough snow for all the slopes and lots of ice. So we managed to go up&down just 5-6 times for 4 hours. At least the views were spectacular in all directions…
After we realized that skiing would not be pleasant in Pamporovo or Chepelare on 2nd of January, we decided to do a road trip and take the long way back home. Actually, friends of ours said that conditions for skiing were bad in all major resorts, including Vitosha, Bansko and Borovets. That’s why we took off for Kovachevitsa passing by Dospat dam where our four-legged companion had a blast.
On the road to Kovachevitsa, we saw some smoke coming from the village of Gorno Dryanovo. We thought it’s nothing serious until we got there and realized that the road is blocked because three houses are on fire. Firefighters were just arriving but in the meantime we were witnessing something extraordinary…
The whole village was there to bring buckets of water from the river and try to save their neighbours’ houses. To be honest, they could not do much but maybe slowed down the fire until firefighters arrived. Two of the houses burned down completely while the rest would need a new roof. The good news is that nobody was hurt. And to think that I don’t even know my neighbours.
I wish you all many travels and hope to see more positive stories like that on the road in 2015!