Our time in south eastern Europe came to an end all too quickly. We spent our last three days in Sofia, Bulgaria. Like all the cities in this region, it has a colourful history that includes periods of independence interspersed with rule of different large empires, all leaving an indelible mark on the culture, cuisine and architecture. Yes, Bulgarian yogurt is really that good, as is the wine. We especially liked the dry rosé. The more adventurous among us also tried horse sausage and donkey meatballs. The plates were empty, so I guess it was good.
At the end of the European leg of our adventure, we have been away from home for 166 days. We have slept in 71 different beds excluding the overnight busses, planes and trains. That is a new place to call home every two or three nights! Our feet have carried us just over 1300km, of which 580km were in Europe. Our morning runs accounted for about 225km and the reminder mainly from hiking in the Slovenian Alps or exploring the cities and villages. We again had to buy new shoes for Kali, Esto and Ruzow in Slovenia – the best Solomon trail running shoes worn through in just over two months.
We have thus far made use of some form of public transport 144 times, including four surprisingly comfortable sleeper trains. We have used considerably more trains and trams in Europe compared to South America, where busses carried us between cities.
Although we were initially concerned that our ratio of wine consumption to bus rides was dropping too low in South America, we managed to rectify that with the help of our American friends! We have, however, found that the ratio of bottles of wine consumed to number of beds are more closely correlated. We have also identified our favourite brand of beer in each country we have visited in Europe, but have conveniently not tracked any incriminating statistics in this area.