Bohemian Life in Bulgaria

By Perrin

Bulgaria has the kitschy cool that would make the hipsters of Brooklyn jizz their pants.

Our digs, Art Hostel, was a dream-like world in itself. It adhered religiously to its motto, “We spend our time in the garden.” The yard is a 24-hour hang out where travelers cook, smoke, sunbathe, wash clothes and even paint the walls of the building.

Art Hostel bar heating up in the early hours

When not in the grassy nook, visitors lurked in the underground tavern. Winding my way through the stone bar’s rooms and meeting its motley crew of drinkers, I almost expected to find Chubaka and R2D2 preparing for a reunion episode in the Star Wars bar.

Paola, second from left and Francois, far right

I met:
– Paola, a French-Italian biking to Romania to tell off a former lover
– Francois, a Parisian who said his city’s new generation was not snooty (when I asked how they felt about Sarkozy he sniffed and stalked off)
– Boris, a Bulgarian-born Boston Celtics fan
– Bryce, an Australian turned Bulgarian mountaineer
– 2 competitive Albanians with whom I should not have played foosball
– 3 headbanging Romanians who may well have been an AC/DC tribute band

And there’s life outside the apartment as well.

Pretending to be in the Secret Service...the men at the government headquarters were badass

Downtown looks like Chinatown

Unisex bathrooms romantic!

A yellow brick road surrounds the government buildings

Note the vendor at left smoking as she weighs vegetables...gotta love that smokey flava

Posse of Bulgarian strays

Perfect example of the art in this town. Yellow taxi, this is not.

Rare is the European park that lacks old men playing chess. I love it.


About sistersbailey

We are Perrin and Sarah Bailey, collectively known as “The Sisters Bailey”. The moniker was born out of a crazy weekend at the 2009 New Orleans Jazz Fest and it was the first time we had ever been referred to as one unit. We grew up in Alexandria, VA together and then separated for college - Perrin to The University of Pennsylvania and Sarah to Northwestern University – and somehow landed together in New York after graduation. It was in the midst of the hustle of Manhattan that we became friends for the first time in years. Somehow we landed jobs in the same industry - Sarah worked in marketing at HBO and Perrin managed creative digital promotions for her media agency’s main client, Disney - just three blocks from one another. One day we decided to leave our jobs, sell our belongings and travel abroad with a backpack and a collective savings of $10K. The stories of our continuing adventures and those of other fearless travelers are here to inspire you.
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