I arrived in the rain to Bulgaria's capital of Sofia and to be honest, drab was my first impression but not just because of the dreary overcast. The skyline I saw as we skirted the city was of a Soviet influenced gray and I thought of stereotypical communist austerity and uniformity.
Once downtown, walking the damp streets in a light drizzle, I was surprised by the splashes of color and vibrancy. I had drawn my conclusion too quickly!
In the historic old town, a yellow brick road glistened with puddles and the rooftops of green and gold of cathedrals and mosques colored the dusk. Though there was an old world atmosphere, there was an unmistakable energy in the air.
Old monastery, outside Sofia
Sofia is not drab by any means and though not all dressed in spring finery quite yet, it will be.
Driving through the surrounding mountains and villages today, the unexpected again caught me unaware more than once. Storks nesting high on crumbling chimneys, majesty surrounding as snow covered peaks, and the gardens everywhere in spring preparations. I am told that even the simplest yards burst forth in vibrancy.
My name is Hennie Van den Hengel and I am the founder of Tripsite and now share company ownership with my son and two daughters. We are originally from Holland, but when the children were young, my husband and I moved the family to the US to begin an agricultural business. We made rural Pennsylvania our home. It was wonderful to do what I loved, and when we decided to sell that business, I focused on another love- cycling. Read More
No matter how many bike trips I take, there’s always a moment when the thrill of it all hits home. My brother and I are pretty experienced riders, but I still felt a tingle on a bright August morning when Sérgio, who set us up on our bikes, sent us on our way with a hearty, “See you next Wednesday!”
“Next Wednesday,” I thought to myself, was six days and 290 kilometers (181 miles) from the beautiful Duoro River in Porto, Portugal, where Sérgio gave us our cheery farewell. Read More
We caught up with Tripsite Traveler, Sue Picken, who recently returned from her Amsterdam to Bruges bike & barge tour aboard the Magnifique II. Below is an interview we had with Sue and some lovely photos of her bike & barge tour!
Tell us a bit about yourself. Read More