Monday, May 26, 2008
Airport Day and Arrival
Varna International Airport
Well we made it here after a long day (or maybe even two) but it was well worth it. The flights were all different in their own way as for some it was their first one (yay Lance!) or maybe you got to meet new people, or maybe you just slept (highly unlikely unless it was the last flight). We even got to discover some very new and interesting and actually somewhat edible airplane food. Who serves a shrimp and cucumber cream salad? Austrian airlines, that's who. Switching climates, times, and customs was all confusing at first, but we seem to have all made it intact. Only one bag was lost (sorry Ali) and we all got to the hotel with no mishaps.
Varna wasn't quite what I expected, but then again, who knew what to expect? It is in the process of being remodeled or at least all the apartments here are being remodeled to become more economic and suited for actual living. Their architecture is very different from ours and they have painted things in bright colors. There is so much vegetation and it's very green. It's also humid which is a major switch for us, but when you have an ocean at your convenience, we should be able to handle it...
Dinner was an experience. We were served a buffet of choices and it was all good. Bulgarians have many of our same foods, but then they also serve some very different things. I am going to have to look up names. The part that caught most of us unaware was the paying for our drinks. It was a little bit of a zoo as most of us didn't have leva yet and they couldn't take our credit cards. We eventually came to an understanding that euro was accepted and we settled it. After dinner we met our director, other clinicians, and the soloists. It should be a lot of fun!
After the meeting, a group of us wandered down to the beach and the boardwalk down there so we could possibly scout out an ATM. The beach was amazing even in the dark! The smells and the sounds are soothing and I can't wait to see it in the light! We continued our walk and passed many little restaurants and shops, but we will have to wait until they open tomorrow to explore... We eventually found an ATM that worked, got our money, and turned around and came back to the hotel where I believe most of us fell into bed and slept the best we had in quite awhile. It's amazing what jet leg and exhaustion can do for you...