Friday, July 22, 2005

Europe 2005 - Bulgaria

Getting out of Turkey took another series of rooms and lines so it was nice to have an efficient border crossing. We paid 2 euro to drive through what looked like a car wash with sprayers coming up from the ground. It was to disinfect our car and it smelled very chemically. The border guard took the passports and registration and did all the paperwork while we waited in the car. We paid 4 euro to drive in the country and we were out in under 15 minutes. It took an hour just to get out of Turkey. (in Turkey's defense we would have gotten through faster if we knew the language to get in the right line. There is nothing more humbling then dealing with bureaucracy in a foreign language. We crossed both times on the roads less traveled so no one there and no signs were in English.)
Bulgaria is the first of the line of countries that we are going through that I never expected to go to. Growing up with communism eastern Europe was only where spies got in and out of. (While driving the MP3 for Mission Impossible came on and gave us a laugh while driving.) The very fact that it was an easy border crossing is weird to me. The signs are in the Cyrillic alphabet so luckily L. studied Russian in high school so that we can read the signs. (She is overjoyed that her language skills finally have a practical use.)
We wanted to drive along the black sea so we really had to take the back road in Bulgaria. We have been passing a lot more people riding their carts and donkeys then there was in Turkey.
Up until now when getting gas the lowest octane has been 95. Here all the pumps also had 92 so I thought great I get a break in price. The Gas attendant explained that that was Bulgaria old car gas and it would be terrible for fast european car like mine. I do think it is funny how many of the old soviet style cars are still on the road. Its looks like swarms of Volkswagon notch-backs only the engine is in the front as we are always passing someone working on one.

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