London to Sofia to Plovdiv

I arrived into Bulgaria earlier on today after a hectic week, I worked yesterday from 9am until 11pm then tried to sleep around 12am (Friday) but kept stirring. I find it so difficult to sleep when I know I need to get up in only a few hours time but then I make myself even more tired by not getting enough sleep. So up I was at 2.15am half dozy getting ready for my mini cab which picked me up at 2.50.  After a stilted conversation with the cab driver originally from Burnley in Lancashire I arrived at the first of many stops. Gawain earlier just mentioned to me that his cab driver from his previous journey to the Bundesliga said that the Easybus departs near us. After a bit of googlings, I decided to book on the 3.30am,  otherwise it’d be quite tight.

Part 2: 6.25 Gatwick airport to Sofia Airport. Note to self: avoid early morning flights!! On our plane ride, a poor man was subjected to becoming a member of crew as he’s about to be married and on his stag weekend. Thats hi. In the lovely easyjet orange trying to sell a teddy bear for £12! He was more successful selling 2 pints of Stella.

Part 3: taxi from Sofia airport to the Central  Bus Terminal. After extensive research, you should always use the authorised taxi company which is called O.K. And watch out  as there are fake taxis which have their logo as their own but fake. Check out the tariffs in the passengers window, nothing should cost more then 1 leva . Unfortunately I was ripped of by my taxi driver. The ride is supposed to cost 12leva but he pleaded not to have any more change on him so it cost me 14.. Not the end of the world fortunately.

I then ran into the Central Bus Station to buy my ticket, I asked the lady for one way to Plovdiv and she looked at me confused but me being ever so organised had written it down in Cyrillic and she said “ah Plovdiv da”. Getting on the bus I wasn’t sure what the customs were regarding eating so I asked the bus driver who seemed very nonchalant and grumpy! A very easy drive from Sofia to Plovdiv which took about 2 hours and 15minutes of which at least 40 was spent navigating through the city traffic.

I ran off to bus and into the first taxi I saw, just to arrive to see Ga before the start of the 4th round. Again I ran into some hard bargaining by my taxi driver who drove me around the sides street before finally reaching my destination. 10 leva  was the cost of this trip but i read that it should never cost more than 5 leva. This is an awkward situation and I’ll probably just avoid taking any more taxis then I need to.

I’ll explore more of Plovdiv in the next few days. Chess wise Gawain is leading the tournament with 4/4 and faces Nikita Vitugov 2709 with the white pieces tomorrow. There  are 2 more rounds before everyone gets a rest day on the Monday.

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