After we had our trip to Ohrid cancelled, we paid a visit to Sofia’s Central Bus Station to choose a new destination. We were already packed and ready for Macedonia and we had three days off, so we had to pick a new destination. At first we were thinking of Separeva Banya, but I’m happy we made the right decision and we purchased bus tickets to the world’s sixth oldest city, Plovdiv.
An important event was happening in Plovdiv on the nights of the 23rd and 24th of September. “Нощ на Музеите и Галериите в Пловдив” – The Night of Museums and Galleries, an annual event that combines live shows, free entrance to museums and galleries and the magic of the moonlight.
We departed from Central Bus Station at 1p.m and we arrived to Bulgaria’s second largest city at 3p.m. When exiting the bus we met Babu, a travel enthusiast from Kenya, who was also quite interested in discovering this place. We ended up heading the same way while presenting ourselves and getting to know each other better. I ended up providing him my phone number and Wild Wild Basch’s Website so that we could get in touch after checking in at the hotel.
Later we headed to the Old Town, where most of the museums were located, to meet with Babu for the promised beer and to discover all the night museums and galleries, that were opening at seven in the afternoon. We started by visiting the store Andromeda Art, where we got to talk with some of the locals, and then the Regional Etnographic Museum, that features six exhibition rooms and that had been used for many purposes before becoming a museum.
Joe, a colleague of mine, who’s a local, was also spending the weekend in the city. He was very cool in taking us to a traditional restaurant to have dinner and showing us some new places, such as the Dzhumaya Mosque, the Roman Stadium of Philipopolis, the very famous Knyaz Alexander I Pedestrian street and the City’s Artistic Gallery.
On our second day in Plovdiv we wanted to discover more secrets inbetween the city’s walls during the day, as we knew that at night it was our last chance to visit some of the remaining museums. We met with Babu by the Mosque, and later with Joe who ended up being our tour guide for the afternoon. As the Regional Historical Museum was closing at six, we picked it up first, and we got to discover part of the Bulgarian history related to the Ottoman Empire and all the famous national heroes. After exiting the museum we headed to two city tops to discover the Ancient Roman Theatre, the remains of the Puldin Fortress and to have the most incredible view over the city.
The sun was setting and it was time to attend the second night of Plovdiv. We got presented with plenty of art in several stores and cafés downtown, that were also part of this event’s 12th edition. I ended up buying a bulgarian comic book before heading back to the hotel, where we would spend our last night before going back to Sofia.
On our third and last day, we checked out from our room and we went for a walk in the city center. It was now time to buy the typical souvenirs and to shoot as many photos as we could, as we know we are not coming back in the next several months. Before meeting with our colleague, with whom we would share the ride back to Sofia, we wanted to visit the river Maritsa, which starts in the Rila Mountains and flows all the way to Turkey.
This weekend is the only live proof that plans are not needed in order to enjoy travelling. Making new friends is always possible and meeting old friends in new places although improbable is never impossible.
Check some of the most incredible photos of the city of Plovdiv below.