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Plovdiv

Sunday, April 2nd 2006

I got a night train back to Bulgaria. There were no fun people to share my compartment with this time, just an angry Hungarian who hadn't much enjoyed Turkey and thought that more or less everyone had been ripping him off. The border crossing was quicker than it had been in the other direction, and we were more or less on time when we reached Plovdiv at 9am the next day. I met a Swiss girl in the restaurant car who was also going there, and we both got confused when the train stopped at a station in the outskirts of the town. We thought we needed to get off, but there was a very large woman with some very large bags blocking the exit, and the train only stopped for a few seconds. We thought we might not be stopping again until Sofia, but luckily we soon stopped at a much bigger station that was clearly Plovdiv's main one.

The station was still quite a way from the centre. I walked up Ulitsa Ivan Vazov to the central square, and without any particular aim in mind I walked up the main street, eventually reaching the reedy Maritsa River. I crossed the river but soon realised there was nothing but suburbs up here, so I wandered back into town. I stopped to look at the incredible Roman Amphitheatre, which lay hidden for centuries, right in the city centre, until a landslide exposed it in the 1970s.

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