Leon de Leeuw
Travel plans for 2021
Again this proves to be a challenging year to travel. In the sense that it requires testing and advance planning to go anywhere. However, in Bulgaria, all was fine. In spring, I made a road trip to Western Bulgaria. Blagoevgrad - Kyustendil - Razlog and many places inbetween. Re-visited the Rila Monastery and some other popular places, like Bansko. A great road trip with lots of surprisingly beautiful places. I drove all the way up to the Vihren mountain hut and also got to the Bezbog hut by cable lift. I had not been this deep into the Bulgarian mountains, so definitely worth it. All vlogs of this trip are on Youtube. Also I visited Egypt, but this was such a complex trip that it requires another blog post.
I've finally managed to visit the Netherlands in June. I hadn't seen my family in six months, a lot longer than I'm used to. It was just four days but definitely something I needed. A wonderful time to visit my country. The time for bike rides, getting strawberries and cherries and having a beer outside with my folks. It was tremendous. The week after, my brother came to Sofia. We went to some great restaurants, took a train to Svoge to hike a bit, and enjoyed our time in the city. We got him a haircut, he went to the dentist for some check-up, and then went back home. Indeed, my brother is far more satisfied with the service of my dentist than the dentist in the Netherlands.
Then I made further plans as well. I booked three trips to Italy at once. To Treviso, which is near Venice at first. I've done a trip here before but would love to visit Trieste, near the Slovenian border. Then to Bari the week after, for a full week. Just like last year. This was one of my best vacations. In terms of places to see, food, prices, weather and people it was amazing. I haven't really seen great beaches although I did swim. Beaches were pierced between the rocks and not as wide and sandy as in Bulgaria. I was limited by use of trains only so couldn't really venture out. I'll go again to relax and explore more. The last trip will be in August, to Rome, for a weekend. All flights cost 30 EUR both ways, making these great deals. Just the Antigen test, which I can do around the corner, will add another 20 EUR per test. Unfortunately, travel became more expensive this way, but we just have to deal with this now. Living close to the airport as well, this lifestyle can be afforded easily. It requires some flexibility and selecting cheaper hotels, but anything is possible. It is just wonderful to live here as an expat, still, and have these adventures while having great friends here in Sofia so this is really starting to feel like home.