March 2015 – it’s my birthday and we’re going back to Bulgaria!

I always get excited on my birthday (even though I’ve had over 50 of them!) and this one was no exception!  The alarm clock sounded at a ridiculous hour for a Sunday, but I didn’t mind, I was instantly awake – it’s my birthday! rang out in my mind- I shook Ed, “time to get up babes”.  He wished me a happy birthday and went down to make me a brew.  I bounced in to Ben’s room, and happily and loudly said again “time to get up babes”.  Groggily, Ben came to, not too thrilled at being woken up, “come on get up, it’s my birthday !”  Annoying?  You bet I am!  It’s my birthday!!  Normally, I would have a slow start on my birthday but not on this one, we had a flight to catch 😀 🎊🎉🎁✈️

We made good time on our journey to London Gatwick and before you knew it we were waiting to board the flight to Bucharest.  I’d booked the extra leg room seats, which gave us priority boarding.  We (and I must admit, smugly) made our way through the crowd that had gathered at the gate, no orderly queue to walk to the head of, no!  This was a pushy throng and it was a struggle to get through – hence the smug feeling!  We passed through the gate and came to a holt on the stairs as the door to the runway was locked, hmmm not so smug now!   Once on board, Ben asked for the window seat and in the past he may well have been allowed it BUT not this time, oh no! Today, was my BIRTHDAY and I was going to have the window (door) seat!

Ipads out, headphones in, and each of us settled down to watch the movies we had downloaded from sky to keep us entertained on the flight.  Ah the joys of 21st century living!

Fours hours or so later, we touched down in Bucharest.  Bags collected, customs cleared we walked out to find my uncle Archie.  Greetings over, we made our way to the car and out into the traffic.

Automobile headlights illuminate a road late at night, as traffic moves towards the University roundabout in the center of Bucharest, Romania, on Wednesday, July 2, 2014. Romania's economy grew 3.8 percent from a year earlier in the first quarter, boosted by industry and exports. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
Automobile headlights illuminate a road late at night, as traffic moves towards the University roundabout in the center of Bucharest. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Bucharest, is a beautiful old city and as the roads were busy (what is it, with us and rush hours in capital cities??), we had a chance to have a good look at the old and new buildings.  Lit up at night, it looked quite magical.  Once out of the capital, what we could see of the villages in the dark, looked more westernised than those in Bulgaria and I noticed that I could understand the gist of what the advertising boards were saying, not only do they use the Latin alphabet but a lot of the words had Latin origins…..briefly I wondered if perhaps Romania could be an option, nah! Bulgaria, with all its challenges of language, is where we want to be.

The bridge over the Danube between Giurgiu and Ruse is, how can I put this politely?  A mess, liberally covered in the most of awful pot holes! About an hour after we crossed the border into Bulgaria, we pulled up at my uncles house in Popina.  We spent a few minutes outside, breathing in the fresh, clean air and admiring the stars which, because it was a clear night and unhindered by any light pollution, appeared very bright.  The other thing that struck us, was the absolute lack of any noise, total silence, bliss!

We made our way into the kitchen and spent a happy hour or two celebrating my birthday before retiring to bed. 🍹🍻

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