Part 06: Plovdiv, Bulgaria | Europe, 2015

About two and a half weeks into our trip, after some nice sunny days spent lounging by the Black Sea, we headed back inland for a stop to visit some of my husband’s family in Plovdiv: we were so sad to leave the seaside, but I do love this city. We’ve visited here before, too, so it was more visiting than seeing the city, but I love the feel of it here because it, if this is even possible, feels way older than Sofia. Less tall buildings and lots of greenery, to me:

 Roman Amphitheatre | Plovdiv, Bulgaria

There’s stuff here that dates back to 4000 BC—is that not mind-boggling?!—which makes it one of the world’s oldest cities, which means everyone from Thracians to Romans to Crusaders to Ottomans have passed through here: ancient! That means there are ruins from antiquity to see all over the city, in among the carved sixties Communist murals and monuments: above is the Roman Amphitheatre, which I believe is paid to walk in & around now, but it used to be free: it's a lot bigger than this picture makes it seem. This part of town has a lot of nice little antique shops and cafes, and tons of little churches to see. Plovidiv was just made the 2019 European Capital of Culture, so they’re doing lots of work to preserve things around town, and are building bike lanes and things: new to us was the partially restored Stadium of Trimontium, which is still mostly under the city—there are maps and things of how big it actually is and what else surrounded it, more remnants of which you can see as you walk around, but the stadium alone is something crazy like 240 metres long. So cool to step in a part of it! Just a really cool city, in general: a must-visit. After a few super-busy days here, we drove back to Sofia and enjoyed another week there visiting some more!