We stayed in a nice and friendly hotel in Vidin and because we ate when we arrived we didn’t go out to see the city. It was raining and we were cold and tired. So, I can’t say much about the city, other than the fact that it was uninspiring. The weather hasn’t been good since we entered Bulgaria, but it’s not a place that’s won me over …not yet anyway.
After breakfast which included the first ever raw sausage I’ve ever eaten (I mean, 100% completely uncooked) we waived goodbye to our friendly hosts and headed north out of the city. With the help of an old man on a bike and my basic understanding of some Slavic words like ‘most’ (bridge) and ‘tam’ there we were on our way to Lom.
If you ever feel the need to do the same and you are on a bike, here’s my advice: don’t do it on a Sunday. Unlike most of Western Europe where lorries are not allowed to move on a Sunday, in Bulgaria they are all moving and fast and apparently between Vidin and Lom. It’s a lot of tarmac, hills and fast moving traffic and in our case grey drizzle. It was less than fun.
We stopped for a tasty chicken soup half way to Lom and arrived for lunch at about 15:00. On the way Arianne caught my back wheel with her front tyre and crashed onto the road. Thankfully, this happened when nothing was passing and apart from a few bumps she was OK. If a HGV had been passing I hate to think what would have happened.
Anyway, Lom was a quiet but also uninspiring place and dinner (deep fried pork steaks) didn’t inspire t he need to return any time soon. However as we left the sun came out and for the first time Bulgaria was a warmer and more happy place. The rest of the day was all on main roads and we almost never saw the Danube despite following it almost all of the way. It’s a shame because the river and countryside look nice.
As we approached Kozloduy a car slowed down to ask where I was from and it turns out that they are all students studying in Newcastle. We talked briefly and they drove on leaving me to pedal my way into town.
Just before the city a huge sign appeared with the municipality name and a large face of a man with a beard.
Kozloduy seems a lot nicer than some of the towns we passed through and since we found an amazing apartment for 45 EUR a nigh for the three of us, we decided that Monday would be a rest day. We have done 600km in the past 6 days and we all need a break.
For the first time in my life I secured the deal in Russian and we spent the evening eating massive plates of pasta and drinking the local beer.