Day 71 - Sun 25 May 08
Up at 08:00 and skipped breakfast at the hostel, it's not that they are an unfriendly bunch, it's just that they are a bit weird, and such a strange mix. Walk over to the Hostel Mostel and it's really buzzing there. I chat to about four different people while I'm waiting for the tour to kick off. In the end there were six people who wanted to go out to Rila, so we're split between two cars. Suits me, it's a little more expensive, but there more space in the car!
It takes about two hours to get to Rila but it's well worth it. The monastery is set in a steep tree lined valley with a snow capped mountain at the top. Stunning. The monastery is a short square almost fortified building which contains a courtyard, in which is a bell tower and a small church with frescos inside and out.
The outer building has three storeys which loads of wooden stairways, balconies and walkways. It's a fab place and I now realise that I've seen it on TV at some point. Have a good poke around and take about a million photos. You can stay the night, if I'd have known that I'd have brought my bag with me..
On the run down the mountain our driver overtakes everything, and even knows where to slow down because of the waiting traffic police. I think that my travelling companions are a bit concerned by him, but I'm so acclimatised to this sort of driving still I just take it all in.
Back to the hostel by 17:00, and took a walk around the city. There appears to be some sort of May Ball taking place, there are loads of teenagers dressed up to the nines riding around in posh cars tooting horns. Back to my hostel and escape into my room to avoid the smokers.