The Roving Route
The Adventures of the Roving Route #2
While the Gods may not have been fully in our favour they definitely were not against us. As we mentioned last week we were planning to climb Mt Olympus- the tallest mountain in Greece. Unfortunately, due to climate change, there is still snow on the vast majority of the mountain forcing us to change plans. Luckily, there is a beautiful hike through the Enipeus River Valley leading up to the trailhead. Though it rained for the majority of the hike, we had a fantastic time walking up and down the canyon walls. The almost solitary hike ended with a stunning cave church and rebuilt monastery. As a retaliation to the Greek resistance, the Nazis bombed and completely destroyed this centuries-old forest monastery built by the Greek Saint Dionysius. Through donations and a lot of hard work, it was only recently rebuilt, though, they are still requesting donations of doors, windows, pews, and chandeliers. Though it was a long and grueling 18+ KMs, the hike was a great end to a short but memorable time in Greece.
After a long travel day, we made it to Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. Bulgaria will always be a very special country as it is Derek’s 50th and Jacki’s 25th. Since we have been travelling for a few months we decided to use Sofia as a place to lay low as it is the perfect city for a digital nomad. For those that are not familiar with the term, a digital nomad is someone who works primarily through their computer and are location independent. Sofia’s fast internet and low cost of living make it the perfect spot for this lifestyle. For us, it was a nice spot to take a break and recharge our batteries.
One of the things that shocked us the most about this city is the greenery spread throughout. We couldn’t walk more than 2 minutes without finding a park or parkette, often with wifi, and filled with young people on their computers. Sofia is a spot we can see ourselves returning for a longer stay or even to start raising a family.
Always on the lookout for new experiences, we found one of the few virtual escape room in the world and had to try it. Sitting in a padded room beside each other, we donned futuristic headsets and dove into the mind of a psychopath to try to solve a crime. Thanks to a series of sensors, our human avatars reacted to every movement allowing us to solve small puzzles or fight spiders. One of the weirdest aspects to the game is that in reality, we are sitting beside each other, while virtually our avatars can be facing in completely different directions. This made it quite a bit more challenging to work together to solve the puzzles. By the end, we made it through without any help, and was even just a couple minutes off their fastest time ever!
We are leaving Sofia to explore the rest of Bulgaria with our first stop being 2019’s European Capital of Culture, Plovdiv. With over 7,000 years of history, it is the oldest continually inhabited city in Europe, and one of the oldest in the world. We are so excited to try traditional food, learn more about Bulgarian culture, and see where our adventures take us.