A Travellerspoint blog

May 2015

Rila Monastery

I left the hostel and went in search of breakfast, but it was still too early for the street stands of bakeries to be open. I was so hungry, I even noticed that McDonalds, Burger King, and Dunkin were even all closed. I headed towards the tour meeting place, Alexander Nevski cathedral, sure that something would be open. I was out of luck. I walked around the cathedral, saw where all the tours met, and then tried again to go find food. At one point, I saw a bunch of cops gathered in front of a cafe, and thought, "great, it will be opening soon." As I walked by and noticed how closed it looked, one of the cops said something to me in Bulgarian and pointed down. Iooked, but I hadn't dropped anything, so I said "what?" At this point he gave an "oh"-like response and waved me along. As I turned to go, I noticed that two of the guys "lined up" to get into the cafe weren't cops. They were actually teens. And then I realized that there was a small bag on the ground where the cop pointed. Yeah, I'm pretty sure I walked right through the middle of a 7am drug bust and literally stepped on the weed. Oops. I just kept walking because I was certainly not turning back down that road. Eventually, after about an hour of hungrily walking the city, I found a subway that was open 24 hours. Saved! At this point, I didn't even care that they had all the exact same stuff as the states, I just wanted food. I was able to get cream cheese on my sandwich, which was a bit different, but everything else was exactly the same-filling. My tummy happy, I headed back to the cathedral to wait for the tour shuttle. I went inside, since I hadn't been inside yet. I'm pretty sure I'm cathedral jaded. The walls were painted with great paintings, but it was so dark i t was hard to see. The windows weren't anything special, and mostly not even stained glass. It was very austere compared to most cathedrals I've been in. While I was waiting outide, the bells tolled. And not just a ding. The bells gonged and tolled and pealed and rang out with an interesting rhythm and melody. They rang for a. Minute and then two. And they just kept going. I dont know if they do this every Sunday at 8:30 or only on holidays, but if you have a chance to hear them not just toll, but really play, I highly recommend it. I've never heard church bells ring for so long. They went on for over 20 minutes!

Towards the end of the long ring, I met with my tour group (V travel). They had 2 different vans to take us since we didn't fit in one. The van was comfy and clean, although I wish the driver didn't keep sticking his head in while he was outside on smoke break. That kind of defeats the purpose of stepping outside. We rode to Rila Monastery through very green forest and farmland, with only a brief gas station stop so that the other van could catch up to us. The tour guide (who was in the other van) walked us into the monastery and gave us a brief history of when and why it was built, before setting us loose. Rila is surrounded by beautiful mountains, and it's clear why this was selected as a place of meditation. 72 steps up the tower, and I had a great view of the picturesque mountains and the monastery. In addition to having time to climb to the top of the tower, I had time to see the church a bit,but not enough time to see the icon museum. For a tour that is supposed to be based around the monastery, they sure didn't give us enough time there. The church on the inside looked very similar to other overly-decorated churches, but it's the paintings on the outside that were unique and fun. Many were recognizable bible stories- Adam and Eve, Moses with his tablets, even the devil. But many were not things I remember from the bible- a man hanging upside down from his ankles, getting sawed in half through his genitals, a lizard-bodied king with wings, a couple of dragons. What I really should have done is seen if the gift shop has a book that tells the story of what is happening in each of those paintings. At the appointed time, we went to the vans, but since they apparently weren't strong enough to make it up the parking lot (steep) hill filled with people, we hiked back up to the entrance and met them there. From the monastery, we drove a bit to a nearby restaurant. Clearly, this is not a place locals go, but a place where tours bring large groups of tourists so they can get good kickbacks. The food was supposedly Bulgarian (and not the best I'd had), and the service was very slow. I'm sure it didn't help that other large tour groups were eating at the same time as we were. Still, I'm not sure that excuses them serving me baked frozen food service fries. (The menu said fried potatoes, so it was technically accurate, but not at all what I wanted.) I still came away full, so I happily sat for a while as we drove back by Sofia to Boyana. Then, the ennui set in. I saw some signs for other tourist attractions. I don't know how good or far they were, but it would have been nice to make another stop along the way, just to get out and move a little. At this point, we had been sitting almost all day- hours for the drive to Rila, at the restaurant, and hours back. We really spent more time travelling than anywhere and spent about as much time at the restaurant as at the monastery. I can't say I was happy about that. When we finally arrived at Boyana, I was so relieved to be standing, I just went in. The second bus and guide hadn't arrived, and our driver didn't say anything, so it seemed ok. We bought tickets to go into the church, and enjoyed the nearby gardens as we waited. The church is so small that they only allow groups of up to 8 people in at a time, and only for 15 minutes, according to the sign. In reality, the guy at the door let in slightly larger groups and allowed people to take as much or as little time as they wanted. We looked at the painted walls for a while, and the the guide showed up. He explained that the under layer of paining visible was the original art that came with the church when it was built a looooong time ago. It hasn't been restored. Over top, the second layer is also ancient, but was put on when the church expanded. Because St. Nicholas was the local patron saint at the time, the king had the artist paint lots of pictures of him. I just can't get over how different Santa Claus looked before Coke got to him and closer to the time he actually lived. However, St. Nick, and many of the other saints on the walls were missing their eyes. Apparently, at one point in time, the (painted) eyes of the saints were considered good luck, so people would scrape them off and take them home. Yes, they vandalized a house of worship for luck. The Boyana church isn't too far from Sofia, so we were back quickly from there. One of hte other girls on the tour and I went for dinner at MishMash, a restaurant that was on a food tour she had done yesterday. Perhaps if I hadn't already eaten my weight in cheese over the past 3 days, the food would have been much better.

After dinner, I checked my wallet and was utterly surprised. I had pulled WAAAAY too much cash. I had thought that $50 per day for food, souvenirs, hostel, tips, tours etc would be just about right. I was far off as Bulgaria is much cheaper than expected. So, we strolled down the main pedestrian boulevard to look for something useful to buy and use up the money. First, I found a balloon artist and made a donation, that apparently was worth quite a few balloons. I really just wanted one, but he insisted that I take more, so I did. I walked a block or so until I was out of sight, and then found a few kids that looked like they might want balloons and gave them away. Next, I started looking in shop windows to see if there was anything I needed. Unfortunately, it was a Sunday and a holiday (St. Cyril and Methodius Day, a celebration of the alphabet saints), so there wasn't a lot open, and I didn't really need too much. Then, it started pouring. Since I had to be there soon anyway, I gave up my wandering in the rain to head to the airport, and bought nice earbuds, a ridiculous amount of granola bars, birthday cards for the next year, and a couple of other items. Yeah, I had a lot of cash left over and everything there is dirt cheap. Moral of the story- do not take so much cash to Bulgaria next time.

Rila Monastery Ceiling

Rila Monastery Ceiling


Rila Monastery from Tower

Rila Monastery from Tower


Rila Monastery

Rila Monastery


Art on the Rila Monastery Church

Art on the Rila Monastery Church


Art on the Rila Monastery Church

Art on the Rila Monastery Church


Monks at Monastery

Monks at Monastery


By Rila Monastery

By Rila Monastery


By Rila Monastery

By Rila Monastery


Rila Monastery

Rila Monastery


Boyana Church

Boyana Church


Nevsky Cathedral

Nevsky Cathedral


Balloon man

Balloon man

Posted by spsadventures 16:00 Archived in Bulgaria Comments (0)

Bulgarian Culture

I got up relatively early. It was after the sun was out, but before pretty much everyone else in the room. It was maybe 7ish when I left and not a lot of anything was open. I was able to get a cheese and spinach pastry for breakfast at one of the street stands, but that was about the only thing. The whole city was empty but bright. I love that all the shops have brightly decorated windows. I can't quite explain it, but the stores all felt friendly and welcoming as opposed to many places where they seem snooty and standoffish. Plus, they all had tons of bright yellow in the windows. Maybe that, plus the plants everywhere and bright flower are why. I don't know. I just know that the whole city felt bright and friendly. I headed down some back neighborhoods to the Ladies Market. At around 7:30-8, it was just opening. Vans were arriving with produce and people were putting out all their wears, paying meticulous attention to how everything was stacked. Just nearby, a bakery was already open. I went in, asked the girl behind the counter what her favorites were, and got one of each. Everything was good, but one thing stood out. She had me get this banana-creme-filled blintz-like thing. It was amazing. It was one of the best things I've eaten in a while. It was so creamy with just the right amount of sweetness. Yum! I headed back to the main part of the market to see if anything interesting was going on. Not really. Just more people putting out produce. Since I do have access to a kitchen, I was considering buying some, but everybody was smoking all over the goods. I really don't need smoked strawberries. I headed out to the edge of my map and found a little park on a bridge. I found it odd that people were just sitting there, smoking and reading like they weren't surrounded by a road, but instead by nature. Nearby was the metro, so I decided to take that to the south side of town instead of hoofing it. I got off in a large park by the stadium. This park had trees and some fields, unlike the one I had just been in. There were people out for walks, and even a few ladies maintaining some of the flower beds. i passed what was marked on the map as a "lake" for boating and ice skating. There are swimming pools bigger than the lake. You could row across it in under a minute. But, if you had a group of friends and wanted to have a cookout, it might be nice. I saw they have one of those grill boats. Nearby, I stopped to look at the Soviet monument. It was quite interesting. The statue clearly showed equality for all- women were working, just as the men were. Obviously, the soviets didn't actually have equality across the board, but the ideal is well-represented in the art. From the park, it was a nice walk past the cultural building (nothing really to see) back into town. By now, everything was starting to open up and I was able to get a real sit-down lunch/third breakfast. Right near the Courthouse, there is an interesting health food restaurant. The lady there had me try linseed tea before I was allowed to eat. She said it was bad, but healthy, which maybe isn't the best marketing for it. Or maybe it just lowered my expectations so that I was pleasantly surprised. It was something I would drink again. When I asked her for the "most Bulgarian" things she had, she gave me vegetable crepes and a spinach and cheese pie, both of which were good, although not great. The important thing though, was that I was full, but not so stuffed I'd struggle to walk. As the Free Sofia Tour last night was so great, I was joining the Cultural Tour run by the same group today. We met by the courthouse and then started walking towards our various cultural stops. The guide was very fun and informative. On the tour, we learned about the different traditional clothing, and then saw some at the ethnographic museum shop. We learned about the music and dance, and then got to dance in their traditional style. We ate learned about local foods and rose production, and then had a bunch of local foods, including rose jelly. I hadn't had it before, but it was quite good and interesting. We also learned about modern life, made spring bracelets, used the Glagolic and Cyrillic alphabets, drank homemade rakia, and talked about famous Bulgarians. (Although none were so famous that I had heard of them before.) I came away from the tour with a much better understanding of and appreciation for Bulgaria. Because we were doing, and not just looking and listening, I felt more involved and had a really good time on the tour. I highly recommend it. It was raining a bit when we finished, so I headed over to the indoor market by the mosque. It reminded me more of the Quakertown Farmer's market in that the stands weren't just food. You could also get a haircut, buy clothing, or buy drugstore items there. Plus, many of the places with food weren't just selling ingredients, many were counters where you could sit and eat. I found one with some good-looking cheesy pasta, so I decided I needed second lunch/pre-dinner. I pretty much got a big bowl of melted cheese sauce with a little bit of pasta in it, the complete opposite of what I'd get at a lot of other places. By the time I was done, I was completely cheesed out. I've been eating cheese at every meal, and some of them have been mostly cheese. I feel so done with the cheese. One thing I had seen at the Ladies Market in the morning, and had learned a bit about on the cultural tour was the Bulgarian pottery. They make this deep red clay pottery, and then do this crazy dipping and swirling painting technique that results in some very cool looking handmade pottery. I wanted some, so I headed back to the ladies market to buy some. The shopkeepers who were selling it didn't really speak English, but we were able to negotiate very reasonable prices for a few mugs and a hotpot. It was pouring rain, which may have contributed to my need for a restroom. A word of advice- don't use the restrooms by the ladies market. Some lady sits at the entrance, setting out toilet paper for you with her bare hands. It's not enough for anything, and she charges you for it and to enter. There aren't papertowels or anything to wipe your hands, there wasn't soap, and the bathrooms were pretty dirty, especially if you're paying to use them. Wait until your hotel, if you can. I had a very pleasant but wet walk back to the hostel, where I decided that I wanted dinner that wasn't cheese. I was directed to a Chinese restaurant nearby. Sadly, one of the most interesting things on their menu was fried cheese. But, I ordered a non-cheese stirfry dish that was just eh. The cherry juice they had was excellent though. That, I can recommend. I went back to the hostel to get a quick rest before the pub crawl, but then heard bad things about it. One guy who had done it last night said that it was so full they basically took over every bar and didn't get to meet any locals. Another said it wasn't that fun. Their stories and my tiredness made me decide not to go again.

At the bakery

At the bakery


Ladies Market

Ladies Market


Soviet Monument

Soviet Monument


"Lake"

"Lake"


River

River


Flowers all over the city

Flowers all over the city


Bulgarian carpet

Bulgarian carpet


Cultural Tour

Cultural Tour


Market by Mosque

Market by Mosque

Posted by spsadventures 16:00 Archived in Bulgaria Comments (0)

Sofia

I landed at terminal 1 of the Sofia airport, and felt like I was landing in St. Kitts more than a big European city because the airport was so small. Then, when I asked where the metro station was (terminal 2) I realized that the airport was much bigger. To get to the second terminal, you have to take a shuttle. There are no signs for it, you just stand by departures and flag it as it passes. It went right past us and then backed into the dropoff road, parked, and waited. A bunch of people got on, but the driver was nowhere to be found. Eventually, he came back and drove us to terminal 2. The metro station there is quite pretty and felt much nicer than the other areas of the airport I'd seen so far. I took the metro to the main station and went off in search of food or the hostel, whichever I found first. I found the hostel, but just barely. It is exactly where the map says and has a sign, but it took me minutes after finding the sign to find the door it referred to. I checked in and dropped my stuff off at the room. I had booked a bed in the big dorm, which is to say, the attic. It is clearly a work in progress. The smell of fresh paint lingered in the air. There was construction dust on the floor. There were piles of unused furniture in all the corners. The lights are bare bulbs with no covers. I'm hoping it will be more presentable when done. However for the price I paid, getting a bed and a shower is really all I can expect, and the bathrooms were clean, so I can't really complain. The only thing I think they really need to take care of is that the "lockers" are tiny and can't fit a backpack, or even a large purse. As soon as I was settled, I started touring around. First up was food. Fortunately, there was a row of food stands between the hostel and where I was heading, so I was able to grab a crepe-like pastry filled with a berry jam. Because I wasn't sure if it would be open any of the other days I am here, I headed straight to the Sofia Synagogue. That was smart because it wasn't going to be open and it was gorgeous- totally worth seeing. I found it interesting to see all the designs on the walls and the amazing mosaic floors. Next, I headed to the Mosque, which is right by the synagogue. It seemed to be under renovation or something because there were piles of debris everywhere. The tiled walls were nice though. I wandered the park near the mosque and caught sight of what used to be the old Turkish baths. Next, I saw a building that looked like it was at one point in time a palace. (I later found out that it had been.) It contained an art museum and the ethnographic museum. Nobody was selling tickets for the ethnographic museum, though, and the door to that part was closed. It appeared to be closed, at least temporarily. That's ok though, I went to the art museum, whis was open. If you enjoy Dali and Picasso, you would enjoy the items they had on display at this art museum. If not, you probably would think that the art they displayed was a bit odd. Plus, the museum was very inexpensive. It was totally worth the price for people who like that kind of art. Right across the street from the palace are what used to be the palace gardens, but is now a friendly park. How friendly? The benches aren't bolted down. People were picking them up and moving them so that they could sit close to their friends and have a nice, face-to-face conversation. Some of the benches had chess boards on them, and there were a lot of guys playing chess. I noticed a board that nobody was using, or even close to. All the pieces were lined up, ready to play. I wonder if they leave them out like that overnight and in all weather. One other cool feature of the park was the amount of food carts. There were just enough that you could get ice cream or a drink, but not so many as to make it feel commercial. I found one cart selling corn. The guy had an area where the corn on the cob was cooking and then an area for when he cut it off the cob. He spooned some into a small ice cream cup for me, shook some cheese onto it, and covered it with another spoonful of corn. So cool! I bet it was healthier than the ice cream, and it was very juicy and sweet corn. Totally worth it. At the other end of the park from the palace, they have another very reasonably priced art museum. This one had more styles. I enjoyed one exhibition on "possibilties" where there were large white abstract sculptures. Then, behind each, the artist had photoshopped the "finished" version of the sculpture onto a picture of a location where the sculpture could go. I liked the statue he put on the moon. I also enjoyed a large hand giving the peace sign, but with bullets as the fingertips of the 2 fingers standing up. Upstairs, they had a collection of illustrations from famous books, from Pinocchio to Don Quixote. I found it all very interesting. Since the weather was getting a tad wet, I decided to continue seeing all the insides of the museums. Plus, they were all pretty cheap to get into- usually a dollar or 2. I entered the Archaeology museum and immediately saw a Roman sarcophagus, so I made the (incorrect) assumption that they had stuff from all over. Actually, everything there is from Bulgaria. The Romans controlled the area for a while, so it makes sense that they found some Roman artifacts. The Ottoman Turks were there for a while, so it made sense that they had some Turkish stuff. They had their own Christian kingdom for a while, and had pieces of an old church hanging on the walls. And of course, they had the older bronze and other such aged stuff as well. When I was there, they were having problems with on of their alarms, so every few minutes, we'd hear a loud beeping, as if somebody was getting too close to the artifacts. All I can say is that I don't recommend trying to touch or steal any museum pieces. At this point, I was pretty thirsty, so I went to get a drink. I asked the guy at a stand what the most Bulgarian drink he had was, and he gave me Boza. It's brown, so I asked if it was coffe or chocolate and was told, no, it's Boza. But what is Boza, I wanted to know. Is it dairy? (It is pretty thick.) No. It's boza. Fine. I got the bottle and started to drink it. It is unlimke anything I've had before. I can best describe it as tasting sour, burnt, and being really thick and gelatinous. I drank a bit more in an attempt to both figure out what it was and figure out if I liked it. I had no luck on the first, and wasn't totally sure about the second. It was sort of ok, except for the burnt. I wasn't a fan of the burnt part of the flavor. I ended up not finishing the bottle and getting somethingelse to quench my thirst.

At 6pm, the 365 organization runs a free tour of Sofia. They call themselves that because they run the tour every day, regardless of weather. Our guide, Slavyan, was amazing! The tour was more than worth the time and certainly more than worth the price. (Plan on leaving a nice tip because you'll love the tour.) Slavyan was funny and did a great job of sharing the history of Bulgarian and Sofia with us. He had great stories about the city that made all the places I had just seen on my own seem entirely new and different. I don't want to ruin it for you, so here are just some of the highlights: You'll notice that banks in Sofia all have little balconies on one door. That is the office of the head of the bank. It's not just a nice benefit for the good times. It's also his way of saying, "you can trust me with your money. If I lose it all, I'll jump off this balcony." So, they're called suicide balconies. The place where you can stand and see a church, mosque, and synagoge, all around the same spot is nicknamed "tolerance square." I was really impressed as a whole at the Bulgarian acceptance of others. They have a history of this, as they were one of the only countries that had some German control that were able to save all of their Jews from the Germans in WW2. And when we were by the St. Nedelya church, we were told of why the roof is newer than the rest of the building. Tragically, they had a large terrorist attack that was a convoluted attempt to assassinate their king (maybe a hundred years ago). The plan was first to assassinate some generals. Then plant a bomb in a church where the funeral was being held. When the king was at the funeral- BOOM. Step 1 went off so well, I'm not sure why they didn't just target the king directly instead of the generals. They didn't get to just 1 general, but several. Step 2, planting the bomb, worked well because they were able to get a church insider to lace the ceiling with explosives. The only problem was that step 3 was executed while the king was still on his way to the funeral from the other funeral caused by the excessive success of step 1. So, instead of assassinating the king, the terrorists just killed hundreds of Bulgarian mourners. Go on the tour to hear these and more stories. I promise you'll have a great time. At the end of the tour, I asked our guide where to go get some good Bulgarian food. He recommended a great place, Izbata, not too far from where the tour ended. I would have never found it myself as it's tucked away in a basement, but the food there was great. I ate with some people I met on the tour who were on a "family history" research vacation, and they were able to tell me about all the traditional Bulgarian dishes that they grew up with. But I don't know if the dishes would turn out the same elsewhere. At the restaurant, the tomatoes were extra tomatoey, the peppers were so flavorful, and the cheese was different than cheeses you can get elsewhere. I feel like they must have grown up with a poor imitation of Bulgarian food. As I walked back to the hostel, I noticed a lot of people out, enjoying the nightlife. I considered going on one of the pub crawls, but decided that tomorrow night might be a better night for that.

Mosque Outside

Mosque Outside


Synagogue Outside

Synagogue Outside


Synagogue inside

Synagogue inside


Mosqu Inside

Mosqu Inside


Corn in the park

Corn in the park


Park

Park


Church outside

Church outside


Church Inside

Church Inside


Constantine's area

Constantine's area


Hagia Sofia

Hagia Sofia

Posted by spsadventures 16:00 Archived in Bulgaria Comments (0)

Paris, part 2

Today was another short day in Paris. I wanted to visit the things that I will not visit with my sister later, so I started with the Cluny Museum, after a quick (but hella expensive) breakfast that included croissants. I had heard that the Cluny was great because it had some famous tapestries. It was great, but the tapestries weren't even the best part. I really enjoyed the stained glass windows there, as well as the fact that the building itself was ancient, but still in use. I spent longer than expected there, and I decided that I didn't really have enough time to do another museum justice. Plus, I wanted to see a bit of the city. I checked out the Sorbonne area and Luxembourg Gardens, as well as took a walk along the Seine. I got my first glimpse of Notre Dame, but am saving going inside for my sister. Mostly, today got me excited for more- the people relaxing and eating in Luxembourg Gardens make me excited to picnic in the park. Seeing Notre Dame makes me excited to actually get up close and personal with the gargoyles, like in the movie. Seeing the Cluny makes me excited for the Louvre (even though I know they have very different collections.) I walked up a back alley full of interesting food shops and got excited for Rue Cler. Stay tuned for the next adventure in Paris, when I hopefully get to do all this and more.

Luxembourg Gardens

Luxembourg Gardens


Cluny Museum

Cluny Museum


Courthouse area

Courthouse area


Notre Dame

Notre Dame


Selling by the Seine

Selling by the Seine


Back alleyway

Back alleyway


Fountain

Fountain


Statue

Statue


Merry Go Round

Merry Go Round


Lunch at Luxembourg

Lunch at Luxembourg

Posted by spsadventures 16:00 Archived in France Comments (0)

Not quite Europe, but still a nice vacation

So this isn't quite Europe, but it was a vacation day. We started off the morning with breakfast at Ruth and Chick's in Annapolis. It's this little family-owned diner right across from the statehouse. When you first walk in, you notice that one of the tables is roped off and says "governor's office." Apparently, a lot of politicians, including the governor, like to pop over for food. There are even a bunch of meals named after various local politicians and other people. We got there for breakfast, but could order anything on the menu. My friend got french toast- very breakfasty, but I went for the mozzarella sticks and broccoli baked potato- perfect for 9am. Then came the awesome part. They are known for their pies and as this was a birthday vacation, I had called ahead and ordered some oreo pie. We got this huge, delicious piece. Even working together, we couldn't finish it. But it was so good. I get why people rave about their pies. Half in a food-coma, we headed across the bay bridge and over to the Chesapeake Nature Center. We rented kayaks from the nicest bird-nerd lady. I love how incredibly passionate she was about birds! She was able to tell us exactly where to paddle in order to see everything, and told us what birds lived where. She was a lot of fun. We went down to the kayak area, pulled our boats off the rack, and set off. The wetlands were very calm and we were the only ones out there until about the time we decided to turn back. It was extremely relaxing to be on the water, in the sun, surrounded by the sounds of nature. We saw all sorts of different birds, but heard even more than we saw. After enough time chilling on the lake, we were fully refreshed and ready to stop sunburning. We pulled our kayaks out and headed ovedr to the raptor sanctuary part of the park. There, we admired the owls and other birds they keep in large cages. I feel like a bad 90s "free bird" joke goes here. Maybe: like a free bird, we got back on the road. We went just across the Talbot county line and stopped at the Wye Mill. The museum was supposed to be open, but the door was locked and knocking didn't do anything. We took a look around, although with the museum closed, there wasn't so much to see. Just up the road, we also visited the (new) Wye Oak. I remember learning about the Maryland state tree in 4th grade, and am a bit sad that I didn't get to see the original before it died. The roots that were left behind were huge, and I'm sure I can't imagine how huge it must have been. From that disappointing site, we drove north towards our next stop. The plan was to get some food on the way, but we were so full of breakfast pie and so dehydrated from the time on the lake that we weren't really that hungry. As we started to see signs that we were getting close, it occurred to me that hiking on an empty stomach might not be the smartest idea. So, we pulled over at a random pizza place for a 3pm lunch. Next, was a short hike to Turkey Foot Lighthouse. We knew the lighthouse itself wasn't open, but wanted to do the hike and see it from the outside. We discovered that it has a cool view of the ocean below. As we wanted to do as many things on the "Maryland Bucket list" as possible, the plan had been to stop in Baltimore for crabs on the way back, but having just forced ourselves to have a 3pm lunch, that wasn't particularly appealing at the moment. I guess the moral of the story is that Ruth and Chik's pies can really fill you up! We made a quick stop in the park by the Gaithersburg Arts Barn, and finished our Maryland day.

Kayaking

Kayaking


Birds

Birds


Ducks

Ducks


Owl

Owl


Wye Mill

Wye Mill


Where the Wye Oak was

Where the Wye Oak was


Turkey Point Lighthouse

Turkey Point Lighthouse

Posted by spsadventures 16:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)