Advice?

Okay, so I'm in Sofia, and it's pretty rad, right? But see, it was already about a grand to come here, so I figure, while I'm here, I'll travel to some other countries.

My buddy from the States is planning on coming over in late May to start a job in Ireland, so I figured we could meet up some where, and do some traveling, because I don't like traveling alone.

Turns out, because of visa stuff, I won't be able to do that.

I can only be here for three months on a tourist visa (knew this) and then after I apply for an extended visa, I won't be able to leave.

So I figure, I can leave for like, a month, and then come back, and I won't have to apply for an extended visa (because I wouldn't have been here for three months).

Except, see, then I have to travel alone (not fun) and it'll be expensive.

Does anyone know a cheap, yet safe and interesting places to visit that I can get to easily from Sofia?

Gudy's picture

Embodiment

... is cheap? I have no great idea about places to visit in Bulgaria, but EasyJet gets you to London and back for as little as 180 Euros. AirBerlin gets you to Rome and back for 330. The same money also gets you a five country Eurail pass, good for 8 days of travel from Bulgaria through Italy all the way to France.

Mith's picture

Supplicant

is very? I'm really rather poor, which makes this harder. And I have to go back and forth between USD, Euro, and leva.

And most of the "cheap flight" websites, either a) don't fly to Sofia, or b) are expensive to fly to Sofia.

And see, I know about the good places to travel in BG, just not out :/

I have thought about the Eurail pass, but I'm too disorganized right now to pick one, and I think it's more expensive than individual trips. Also, to take it out of BG, one must go through Serbia.

Which is not something one wants to do, as apparently there is a great deal of anti-BG sentiment, and anti-US sentiment.

Gudy's picture

Embodiment

... that sucks. Sad

OK, so I have no idea about how safe it would be, or how cheap, but Istanbul is a mere 600 km SE of Sofia, and it should be plenty interesting. Honestly, though, I'm grasping at straws here...

Mith's picture

Supplicant

It's only like $70 round trip to Istanbul- but the hotels are expensiveish. And yeah, a little bit on the not-safe side :/

If I can find someone to go with me, I totally will, but I don't think I could alone.

Han-pan's picture

Postulant

Pssth. Blum 3

Also, you could go into Istanbul and take a dolmus or a bus to Ankara. City Of Literally No Crime. P:

Or if you are interested at all in turkey, I can look around for stuff for you. I happen to be here right now. o.O oddly enough.

Mith's picture

Supplicant

I'd heard bad things, before.

As to what you said below Wink

I uh, well, I'm not blond, but I kinda stand out. Maybe I'm just paranoid, but even here, in Sofia, which is probably slightly closer to me genetically than Turkey (although not by much) I feel sort of like I look like a foreigner.

And I'm not a big mini-skirt wearer in general, so that's no problem Biggrin

Where in Turkey are you?

Han-pan's picture

Postulant

Like what bad things? I mean, bad things happen everywhere. It's about being cautious in general, and women always have the short end of the stick in terms of safety, honestly. P:

If you have dark hair (medium brown to dark brown to black) and you're female, you can pretty much blend in with the women in Turkey. I feel like sometimes I should stand out like a sore thumb, but then people start speaking to me in Turkish. Then I'm like "Nope...guess not! :D"

I'm currently in Ankara. I'm studying here for a semester at the Middle East Technical University. Smile

Mith's picture

Supplicant

general bad things Wink Theft, murder, rape, etc?

I could upload a picture? It's... brown. Light/medium? Ugh, it was orange, then I died it brown, and it was really dark- but now it's lightening again, so it's... a colour. :/

How long a trip is it from Istanbul to Anakara? (And how much?) Do you know?

Han-pan's picture

Postulant

pickpocketing is a problem. Murder, rape, not so much if you're aware of what you're up to. Don't go out alone after dark, etc.

Lol. xD
https://secure.guciimage.com/store/images/P/Picture%20680.jpg
This may get a few looks.

http://www.style-hair-magazine.com/images/light-brown-on-top-and-dark-br...
This would not get any.

It's about a 6-8 hour bus ride from Istanbul to Ankara. By Metrobus, it's about 30YTL (approx 18-20 USD ish?)

Also, I clicked on your profile on your blog and it took me to a page in all Turkish. Oh, lol regional Internets......

Mith's picture

Supplicant

6-8 hrs? That's... a while :/

And yeah, it took me forever to figure out how to make it so google wasn't in bulgarian.

Anyway, I uploaded a fan pic Blum 3 my hair is lighter than both those. But what ever, I might dye it (again).

Han-pan's picture

Postulant

even better, I found out that there's an overnight train system. It's 18YTL for the trip from Istanbul to Ankara, and you get a real bed in a cabin with 3 other people. It leaves at I think 11PM and you get to Ankara in the morning, so you can sleep the whole ride Blum 3

I don't remember what I did to make Google in English, but I'm glad I did it. o.O It's funny on Facebook because I'll have like, 2 ads in Turkish and 1 in English...one of the Turkish ads is talking about how I should take English classes.... xD

JeVoudraisCake's picture

Supplicant

My expertise on things to do in Europe is closely confined to the British Isles. Still didn't want you to think no one other than Gudy was paying attention Biggrin

You should try Skyscanner.net. It will compare a very large number of airlines in one swoop, gives accurate pricing too. I see flights out of Sofia to various places for less than €50.

Mith's picture

Supplicant

Wizz Air.

It's actually cheaper than sky scanner Smile

(and thank you, I was feeling a little unloved)

JeVoudraisCake's picture

Supplicant

Ah, good spot on Wizz Air! Just make sure they're including those pesky taxes.

On visiting Turkey; I was there 2 years ago somewhere on the southwest coast with my girlfriend on holiday. It can be a bit odd; there's an impression that Western men are rich and the women easy, and we did get hassled a bit by young men and traders. That said, we did make friends there and spent the time mocking other British tourists' sunburn.

So how long will you be travelling the world?

Mith's picture

Supplicant

Particularly air taxes :/

I think I would feel alright (hell, I'd feel wonderful) going to Istanbul with like, a male companion? But as it is... the whole "all western woman are easy" thing becomes uh, really dangerous really quickly when you're alone.

I, uh, well, I can travel until May 11th, and then because of visa things, I have to stay in Sofia for another month. Then I'm going home. I'll be back, I've no doubt, my brother lives here, and I'm thinking really strongly of studying away in Russia during college. Or France, but eh, I speak French, and frankly, I'm not as interested in Western Europe as I am in Eastern Europe (and Russia).

Also- as far as British sunburns go, oh man, we're talking about going to the beach this summer, and... well, you don't need to be british to be freakishly pale.

And ridiculously easy to burn.

Han-pan's picture

Postulant

It seriously, SERIOUSLY depends where you are, how you act and how you dress. This is my third trip to Turkey and I have never, ever been hassled for being an "easy Westerner." You need to have some control of the language (yes, no, where, money) and you have to be conscious of the clothing you choose to wear. I know that sounds obvious, but if you're coming to visit this country, you sure as hell don't want to be wearing your tank tops, shorts, skimpy dresses etc. I wear nothing shorter than the knees, always cover your shoulders, never have cleavage, walk with a purpose and be willing to ignore someone and you won't have a problem here. The important thing is to blend in somewhat, and it's really not difficult to do so as a woman here. Turkish men are very distinctive, but Turkish women run the gamut in appearances.

(But, having blonde hair makes you stick out like a sore thumb.)

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