By touring Europe the way we have, Northern Europe in the summer and Southern Europe in the winter, we had hoped to avoid extremes of temperature. We have had snow in July, and have sat on the beach in shorts in January, but generally we have had moderate temperatures throughout our journey. Not so these last few days, it has been snow and ice.
We have extended our stay in the house here from four to eight nights to sit out this Siberian blast, and have travelled far from base. Initially we wanted to make an excursion into the mountains, but that seemed imprudent given the conditions. Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, is just 75 minutes away along the motorway, and we headed there twice to visit the science museum. It is an interactive treat, with buttons to press, levers to pull, bridges to build and screens to touch. It is also well heated and has a cafe.
The boys loved it.
Another nice thing about Sofia is its parks. There are plenty of green spaces within the city. But at about 2,500 feet high, the city was far colder than chilly Plovdiv. Fortunately both Meg and Ben enjoy the cold so we were able to take some pretty decent walks between bouts in the museum.
One thing we have noticed about Bulgaria is how the old and new coexist. Each day we have seen milk being delivered by horse and cart, something I had not expected to see in the European Union.
On Monday we move on to Varna, a town on the Black Sea. From there we follow the coast into Romania and the Danube delta, before heading west to the mountains.