So waking up in the morning on my second day in Sofia was a really exciting. I had booked a trip to Rila Monastery the evening before as I saw online that if you go to Sofia, it was the one place you have to see.
Hostel Mostel organises trips to Rila Monastery daily and it was only 40 lev for the day trip. Like I mentioned in my last post, Hostel Mostel is definitely the place to stay as they give you a buffet breakfast with a variety of food. It was so good! I had waffles with hazelnut chocolate spread, a little dollop of strawberry jam, juice and kiwi (yeah I didn’t eat the apples LOL). I got full pretty fast, partially because I don’t really eat breakfast so my stomach isn’t used to it, haha. At about 9.30am, our group was rounded up and 8 of us headed into the car to start our trip to Rila Monastery.
The thing I love about travelling, is you meet like-minded people and making friends is pretty easy. Before we had even gotten into the car, I had started talking to a girl called Parvitra who was travelling with two friends Roma and Mithran. It was a two hour journey filled with both conversation and naps (I couldn’t fall asleep though). We had a pit stop to use the toilet and grab a hot drink, funny thing is that we were so baffled because at first we had thought we arrived. Our guide was really nice and just told us it was a break. Funniest thing, our bonding point was my earring fell out when I took off my jumper and everyone start helping me look for it. It had ended up falling in someones jacket, but from that moment we all had a laugh and were chatting and bonding as a group.
The next stop was Rila Mountain. It was breathtakingly beautiful. We took a 10 minute hike up the mountain to see a cave that Monks lived in for twelve years. We then wiggled out the exit, which was a very tight squeeze haha. We then spent a bit of time soaking up everything up. I do really enjoy the outdoors, I am not the fittest of them all but I do really enjoy it. That is definitely one thing I do want to work on before I start travelling. I want to do hikes and treks and even though you do not need to be the most athletic, it would just make it easier and more enjoyable.
Rila Monastery, it was beautiful and breathtaking. The detail in the architecture was incredible. It was nice to just wonder around and look at all the images on the side of church. Rila Monastery was founded by Bulgarian Saint Ivan Rilsky who decided that he wanted to live spiritually and I could somewhat feel an air of clarity and spirituality while there. Inside was lovely, the Rila monks that are based there were inside maintaining the church. There is something about churches abroad that just takes my breath away and I feel a presence around me. I like it.
The group then went for lunch in the local restaurant which was super cosy and a nice opportunity for us all to have a chat and hear about everyone’s travel plans. There were bear paws on the menu. Bear paws. I didn’t try it, but one of the guys on my tour did and he said it tasted like beef but was super chewy LOL. Chicken and a shopska salad was pretty good for me. Once again, when travelling solo you’re never truly alone – conversation is never a problem at all.
After what felt like a shorter drive back, we arrived at Hostel Mostel. I was really sad to leave as I had met some lovely people and was very comfortable. If you’re ever in Sofia, I would definitely recommend staying at Hostel Mostel and joining their day trip to Rila Monastery.
It was time for the next leg of my trip, where I was spending my last and second night at Hotel Favorit. I planned a walking tour (led by myself) as my flight was at 10pm so I had a day to soak up the rest of Sofia.