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Our destination today was Pamporovo Ski Resort high in the mountains between Bulgaria and Greese. We took the metro to the airport and then rented a car. We drove back to the apartment, loaded our luggage and headed out of town. It was near 0^C and cloudy. The traffic dissipated after a few miles and it was wide open driving on a really nice intrastate highway for an hour. We stopped at a traditional rest area for coffee,
Our drive was planned at about 5 hours in total and once we left the freeway the country roads slowed us down quite a bit. The countryside was quite green still and there was very little snow. We passed through one sleepy village after another. At one point the road turned into a one lane, heavily potholed mess and we were sure we have gotten lost...but the GPS said to push on and we did.
We settled in for what would be three very quiet days of resting and a few walks. The staff was great, us being only one of two guests in the dining room. The food was delicious. Our dinners were three courses and enough to feed four hungry people. Shamefully we left food on the plate. Breakfasts were lovely as well. On our first night, through the dining room window, we saw a Bulgarian fox walking down the street as if he owned it. He was huge, the size of an average dog. When he saw us looking at him, he literally stopped and stared back at us for moment, then continued on his way.
We took a long walk down the mountain road on our first day, were out for about two hours. It was sunny and cold. Cedar trees cover the area and we passed dozens of huge resort hotels, most of them still closed and awaiting the opening of the season.
On our second day we opted to get in the car and drive around a bit. The ski area is huge, but quite compact. There is a ski village of sorts, more of a local mountain town, and we stopped in at a local cafe and then took a bit of a walk around. Again, we were one of few folks in the area. The day was sunny and the mountain views were amazing. The snowline was near the top and everything else was still green and beautiful.
On our third night several bus loads of twenty-somethings showed up for a weekend holiday. Two hundred of them to be exact and the place was a lot busier and a LOT LESS QUIET...LOL We departed the following morning for our drive out of the mountains and on to Plovdiv, our next destination in Bulgaria.