Veliko Tarnovo is an easy place to get sucked in. Well, more specifically, Nomads Hostel IN VK is an easy place to get sucked in.

It’s a lovely hostel. The owners are amazing. The travelers who stay there are nice.

I ended up staying in the little town for five days.

The first full day, Abby and I went to the fortress and walked around for about an hour. Of course, it was ridiculously hot, so after that we decided we would eat. And drink.

“It’s our last meal,” I said, feeling suddenly very lonely and sad Abby was leaving to catch her flight in Istanbul in only a few hours.

Over a lunch of “diet pizza” and rakia, we sat and talked about the future.

I didn’t want Abby to leave. I was just starting to feel better. Now, I wanted to go out. But, it was too late.

As we sat at the train stop a in the early evening, I was sad. I had felt like such crap during Abby’s trip that I didn’t get to enjoy the company as much as I would have liked.

When she got on the two-car overnight train to Istanbul, we said our “see you soons” and then she was off.

For four more days, I stayed at the hostel, venturing out daily to explore, take photos and breathe in the fresh (and hot) mountain air.

The afternoon’s at the hostel included snacks of organic, home-grown sprouts, rose flavored water, homemade rakia and stories of life in the town.

I knew I had to leave and weighed my options. Belgrade? Pristina? I didn’t know.

Soon, I grew antsy and finally made an impulsive decision.

I wanted to go back to the Adriatic.

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