09 January 2007

Ski Borovets

Snow suitDespite dire warnings that there is insufficient snow in Bulgaria for skiing, we went to Borovets on Sunday with two American diplomats. But first, we had to go shopping. After spending most of the day in countless shops, we went back to a little shop and bought a cute snow bunny outfit that Mirena had initially found. (We also bought a business suit the same day.) Mirena insisted I buy something for myself, so I got a cool new ski jacket; the total for everything was a mere 320 leva ($212.)

The actual skiing was decent; the slopes at the top of the mountain were fine for the most part, although there was over a meter of snow missing from last season. I skied nearly nonstop all afternoon, getting my money's worth for the half-day ticket (25 leva.) Meanwhile, Mirena and one of the diplomats were getting beginner ski lessons on the bunny slope. I know this can be frustrating, but she had a reasonably good time.

Mirena's new suitThe past two days have been spent running around town getting "loose ends tied up." For example, this afternoon—just before my flight—we were in the notary's office getting some documents officiated for my business (investment.) Then it was off the the airport, but the new terminal, which is finally in operation. After a tearful goodbye, I was taken by bus to my plane in front of the old terminal—the jetways were standing unused! The Sofia-Brussels flight was remarkable only for the beautiful view of the sunset crisscrossed by contrails of other flights over the skies of Europe. At one point, I looked down I noticed a large river, which I thought probably was the Danube; indeed, just a few seconds later I noticed the unmistakable junction of the Sava and Danube at Belgrade!

Right now I am writing this in a fairly nice hostel in the center of Brussels, having spent my last Euros for the key deposit, I can't even buy a fine Belgium beer! Tomorrow I will get that 10 Euro back, and stretch it between lunch, souvenirs, and train ticket back to the airport. UPDATE: I ended up frittering away the morning, and had to rush to the airport with only minutes to spare—so don't expect any souveniers! :-(
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