Ross Bridge at sunset
I took a pretty big detour to head up to Ross, which is nearly in the middle of Tasmania. I had seen pictures of the famous convict-built bridge and wanted to see it. I definitely wasn’t disappointed. The tiny town (pop. 272) feels completely different from anywhere else I’d been in Tassie and there is loads of history to see. I stayed at the Man O’Ross hotel, which was built in 1825, and it definitely added to the atmosphere.
The bridge is certainly a highlight of the town. It was built in 1836 with excellent craftsmanship and intricate carvings. There are also lovely churches and bakeries.
On my way back to Hobart I stopped at Oatlands, which is home to the Callington Mill. Built in 1837, the mill is still operational today and is the only tower mill of its kind in the southern hemisphere.
The beachfront at Nessebar on the Black Sea
I spent a very pleasant few days in Nessebar, a 3,000 year old city on the coast of the Black Sea. Tourist season had ended two weeks before I arrived, so I managed to beat the crowds and savor some peaceful moments on the beach. The UNESCO World Heritage Site has Thracian, Greek, Roman, and Ottoman influences and its ancient architecture is very well preserved, so strolling around the town is a great way to spend some time. There are loads of cafes and restaurants as well, with an abundance of fish.
The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral at night
I was pleasantly surprised at how lovely and livable Sofia, Bulgaria was, especially coming from Bucharest which was very much the opposite. I only spent a couple of days in the city but of course took advantage of a free walking tour to make the most of my time. There are nearly 2,500 years of history visible right in the middle of the city, including 4th century churches, a colorful Ottoman-style mosque, and remnants of communist rule. In addition to the free city tour, I also took the free Balkan Bites food tour, which was a real treat.
A view of the Evangelical church and the fortified church in Cisnadioara
Cisnădioara is a small town about 10 km south of Sibiu and it’s where I camped for a few days. It’s a lovely town full of friendly people and a handful of impressive churches. The most famous church is the fortified St. Michael church up on a hill – one of more than 150 such churches throughout Transylvania. It’s an easy hike up to the church and visitors are treated to great views. Inside the church is a monument to soldiers killed during World War I.