After falling asleep early last night (before 20:00), I woke up at 01:00 and then spent the next few hours desperately trying to go back to sleep. I finally fell back to sleep around 05:00 and did not wake again until after noon. I was very tired and today ended up being a very lazy day for me. I showered and dressed, but then pretty much stayed in my room in the hostel, relaxing, watching videos online, and typing out journal entries. After 18:00, I walked to the Dominos pizzeria nearby (the pizza I had yesterday really hit the spot and I decided to return for some more) and ordered a “chorizana” pizza that had tomato sauce, mozzarella, chorizo, chicken, feta cheese, and tomatoes. I brought the pizza back to my room in the hostel, along with a bottle of iced tea I bought on the way back. Once back in the hostel, I consumed the pizza and watched a classic ‘South Park’ episode. Then, at 20:00, I decided to do something worthwhile today; so I grabbed my jacket and exited the hostel at 20:25.
I walked to the city center of Sofia, to Krystal Garden (where the first democratic protests were held, just before the demise of communism), and then met up with the New Sofia Pub Crawl tour group in front of the statue of Stefan Stambolov. Our group ended up consisting of our two Bulgarian guides (a man and a woman, both who had spent time in the States and spoke excellent English), two Australian women, three English guys, a Bulgarian woman and her Dutchman friend, an American man and his German wife, and two English women and their Italian friend – these two coarse English women ended up both fitting the stereotype of the disgusting drunk English woman who doesn’t know how to drink in moderation nor how to comport herself public-wise. Our group first walked to the Smile Bar (which is located in the Krystal Garden) and I had a beer there while talking with some of the people in our group (sadly, this group proved not to be as much fun as the one in Belgrade, but the bars and clubs we went to were better than in Belgrade). Our next stop was the Apartment (a hipster, artsy hangout that has several rooms and is set up like an apartment complex where people can just chill all day); inside the Apartment I had a homemade raspberry wine and a chocolate-nut bonbon. The next bar we walked to was the Barn, which was actually an old barn that was lit entirely by candles since there was no electricity; it was also a bit of a secret establishment with no signs and located behind a building (supposedly it is also a hangout for artists and actors); inside the Barn we had a shot of rakia before continuing on. Next, we ended up at the Cabaret Club, which was nice and had masks and hats for everyone to wear; inside this club, I had a beer and then, at midnight, there was a birthday surprise for our female Bulgarian guide; many of her friends came out, gave her cupcakes, sang “Happy Birthday,” and then joined our large group. At this point, the Englishwomen were becoming very intolerable and were noticeably drunk; they broke a glass, complained about spending too much time at each bar (they expected no more than ten minutes at each place to assist them in getting shit-faced in as short a time as possible), and were only moderately satisfied after the male guide bought them a bottle of wine out of his own pocket just to get them to shut up (based on the classy (and beautiful) Englishwomen I had met in Koh Samui, Sri Lanka, and Belgrade, I was beginning to have a very positive view of them; however, these two knocked my mind back to reality). After spending some time in the Cabaret Club, I had a glass of white wine (it tasted like a Chardonnay) and then we all left to go to our next club: Terminal One. Inside Terminal One, there was a live band and two levels; I had more beer and a Bloody Mary shot; I also talked with one of the guide’s Bulgarian friends who looked an awful lot like Charlotte Rampling – I couldn’t stop staring at her face as I tried to figure out why she looked so familiar. In this club, the last club on our pub crawl, our group broke up and soon it was just the two guides, the Bulgarian woman and her Dutch friend, the Aussie women, one other friend of the guides, and I. After some more beer, we left this club and walked to another one: Biad. Inside here, I had one more beer. After leaving this club, the Australian women left and it was down to the two guides, the Bulgarian woman and her Dutch friend, and I. We then walked to an open restaurant (named “UGO”) and I had pork bacon roasted on a hot plate served with mustard, iced tea, and a pizza with tomato sauce, smoked cheese, yellow cheese, smoked chicken fillet, corn, and hot peppers. I also tried some ayran (a milk-yogurt drink that you have to add salt to – it was not my cup of tea). After, this early morning meal, we went our separate ways and I said goodbye to everyone. I then walked back to the hostel after 06:00, in the early morning light. I reached the hostel at 06:45, booked another night, and eventually went to sleep after 07:00.