Posted by: bkropf | April 13, 2008

I Meet Owen Wilson

Arriving at our Hostel in Sofia, I felt underwhelmed. My blanket was really scratchy. I went to bed a little sad because there didn’t seem to be any exciting people at the hostel to spend time with, besides Tyler of course. Oh how was I wrong!
I got up entirely too early. I don’t know what time it was but I wasn’t happy about it. But my scratchy blanket insisted on an early awakening. I was really longing for a nice hot shower and to use the restroom. We were informed the water in the entire building had been turned off until 1pm. Showers and the toilets would not be available. We jumped into a walking tour of Sofia to waste some time until the water was on and to see the city. We were a motley bunch with bead head, bad breath and smelling like funk due to the lack of water. There were two British girls, an Owen Wilson clone from New Zealand, a blind boy from Texas and a Polish speaking Canadian with long stringy hair. We set off and made our first stop at a building where we could all use the bathroom. Then we started to wander the streets. This was probably the worst walking tour in the sense it was supposed to last 3 hours and lasted 7, and it was the guides 3rd time and he just walked and talked quietly and no one could hear what he was saying because we were all spread out down the sidewalk.
Halfway into the walking tour we lost the blink kid. I don’t know how it happened but it definitely wasn’t cool. We knew he knew we were going to see the changing of the guards at the capital at 1pm so we headed over there to see if we would meet. On the way there we saw him wandering around and I took off running after him. I didn’t know his name so I started yelling something along the lines of, ‘Hey…ummm….Texas….’ When I tapped him on the shoulder he spun around surprised a random person was grabbing him and then was pretty mad we had left him.
For lunch we went to a restaurant with really awesome salads and as you can imagine my body has been craving veggies (I know that sounds weird). I ordered a bowl of sweet corn and dill. It was really good and sharing a calzone with Tyler was an even better idea. After our lunch we continued to walk and went past a flee market where tons of antiques were being sold. Bucking all stereotypes, half of the guys really wanted to do some shopping and made the girls wait. I think the main reason for this was all the goods being sold were old swords, guns, war helmets, and Soviet/Nazi pins, etc. As we passed the National Ballet/Opera House the British girls stopped to buy tickets to Swan Lake. I had never been to a ballet before and decided $5 was a cheap price to pay so I bought a ticket also. The tour finally ended and I ran to the Post Office to pick up my cell phone sent to Bulgaria from the hostel in Budapest. It was closing as I arrived and they said I would have to return.
I went back to the hostel and showered quickly and prepared for the ballet. Tyler, the two British, and I set off for the ballet and arrived just in time. Now I have always envisioned ballets to be very proper and sophisticated events, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth in Bulgaria. People were cheering, yelling and clapping throughout the whole event. Also, I could be wrong, but don’t most ballets and operas only have one intermission? Well in Bulgaria they have 3. We couldn’t figure out when the show was over. Luckily some little kids heard us debating and let us know there was more to act (or whatever they are called) to come. I really liked Swan Lake for the most. I spent most of my time trying to figure out what was going on. The third act got pretty tedious when all these ‘Spanish’ dancers kept prancing about. I thought the ‘Spanish’ dancers looked very Bulgarian to me! Also, if you have ever seen Swan Lake, you would know the story line was bound for failure. I mean the prince falls in love with swan!?!?! How is that supposed to work and how is he ever going to marry a swan? C’mon!
We walked back to the hostel and the British started to complain they wanted ice-cream. I ignored them because the ice-cream shops were closed and I wanted to hang out with Owen Wilson (look alike). Mr. Wilson was at the hostel waiting and we grabbed him and went to a hookah place he had been talking about going to all day. At this point Tyler tuckered out and decided to stay behind (boo!). We had tons of fun with the hookah and we basically took over the bar. We requested some classic songs such as ‘The Final Countdown” and the Bulgarians loved it! After a couple hours of fun we headed back to the hostel for the night as good friends. The Kiwi Ritchie (Owen Wilson) was so much fun, I really liked him. We decided to go to the Military Museum the next day!


  1. So Barney I have heard that dracula’s castle is up for sale, as of last fall anyways. You should see if you can get a tour, and maybe buy it. You also need to for sure eat at The House of Dracula when your in Brasov. It looks like a cool place.

  2. Yeah, we are trying to make reservations at the House of Dracula for tonight. I heard it is really cool. We are staying the night in the town Dracula was born in and lived as a child. Maybe if the Castle is still for sale and costs less than $100 I will give buying it a shot. Just would be expensive to fly here all the time to see it.

    Check out the movies called “No Reservations: Anthony Bordaine” (Spelling?) and the ones about Romania. It is a show on the Discovery Channel and he has a show about Romania that is really cool.

    We are going to try to ride on a horse drawn cart if we can.

    In the middle of the night two nights ago my foot started killing me and I couldn’t walk in the morning it was in so much pain. I don’t know if it is a stress fracture or what but I had to take it easy all day yesterday and today. It feels a bit better this morning. I am worried though.

    Lastly, our train car to Romania was smoking at the border so they made us all move to a different car in the middle of the night so we could leave the broken car behind. In all the craziness I left my Ducks hat behind. I am so sad but recovering.

  3. Yea that’s where I got the idea. It’s one of my favorite shows. I got a bunch of them on the dvr. The Romania show is pretty funny. Make sure you have some tueka(tuweeka?). It will help with the foot pain. Hopefully it is not serious. That would Stink. Pray that the hat finds a good and worthy head to reside on for the rest of its life. I’ll get tickets to the show one of these days. Is Tyler not Interested.

  4. Hi Barney! I’ve been really busy and kind of forgot to get on this blog! Sorry about your foot and your hat! I’m looking forward to catching up on your trip! SIs

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