Austria and Slovenia

Last month, I went on vacation to Austria and Slovenia. It was much needed and I had a fantastic time. Another volunteer and I left from Sofia on an evening flight. The flight lasted only two and a half hours, far shorter than the time it took me to get to the airport! By the time we landed, it hardly seemed like I’d been in the air at all! I guess travelling around Bulgaria has really made me more patient. We spent five days in Vienna and three in Ljubjana (with a day trip to Lake Bled). The weather in Austria was surprisingly cool but it made a nice change from the hot weather in Bulgaria. While there, we went to all of the palaces (Vienna was the seat of power for the Hapsburgs and they had several palaces there, including the Belvedere)

From Austria and Slovenia vacation

We went to St. Stephen’s Catherdal, a beautiful church in the heart of Vienna.

From Austria and Slovenia vacation
From Austria and Slovenia vacation
From Austria and Slovenia vacation

From there we went to the butterfly garden which made for great photo opportunities. It was very relaxing there and we actually took a nap in the park.

From Austria and Slovenia vacation

The Viennese are world known for their coffee. It’s very rich and smooth.

From Austria and Slovenia vacation

It’s pretty nice getting a glass of water with a cup. I think I had one or two cups every day.

From Vienna, we caught a train down south to Slovenia. Slovenia is a beautiful country. Since the capital is so small (250,000 people) it felt a lot more touristy.

From Austria and Slovenia vacation
From Austria and Slovenia vacation

We went on a day trip to Lake Bled which was spectacularly beautiful.

From Austria and Slovenia vacation
From Austria and Slovenia vacation

While in Ljubjana (the capital), we had Mexican food. One place wasn’t very good and the other was wonderful. We left Slovenia a day early since we enjoyed Vienna so much. All in all, it was a great trip and a much needed break from Peace Corps life.

More pics can be found here

Returning to Bulgaria wasn’t easy. I was very surprised how clean Austria and Slovenia were, especially compared to Bulgaria. We spent the night in Sofia and in the morning we left for Boboshavo to visit a PCV’s host family (who lived with a baba). It was a great move since it got us back to speaking Bulgarian the whole time and it was a nice break from our vacation. I miss Bulgarian village life. We stayed in the village because both we are resource volunteers and had Peace Corps work on Monday. We left for our sites on Monday evening. However, another one of our Peace Corps friends was spending the night in Plovdiv, a city we had to travel through that is close to our sites, we spent the night there instead. My colleagues weren’t expecting me until Wednesday so I went to an Eastern European discoteka Monday night which was lots of fun. Back in Chirpan on Tuesday night, people at the market wanted to know why they hadn’t seen me in such a long time. It was great knowing I was missed.
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