2nd August 2015:
Spent the last couple of days in the capital city of Bulgaria, Sofia. Yesterday Barry and I spent the afternoon checking out the city. The main mall that runs through the old city was full of restaurants and bars set out along the Boulevard. Lots of people out sharing food with family and friends, a really relaxed atmosphere.
Returning to the hotel we found out that the garden bar had been closed for a wedding. The bride was Bulgarian and the groom American. He looked a lot like Russell Brandt whilst she made a very beautiful bride. Spent some time chatting to the quests one of whom had spent a year living in Adelaide. It was fun catching up about a city I too had lived in for a year around the same time he had lived there.
On leaving Sofia we choose the western ring road. On joining up with the main road to Belgrade we passed two young ladies trying to hitch a ride to Belgrade. As chivalrous knights of the road it was our duty to help out a couple of damsels in distress, a quick slamming on of the brakes and they were soon sitting comfortably in the 504. Barry very gallantly took their bags in his car. The girls turned out to be Alexandra and Karolina both from Poznam in Poland.
My great great grand parents are believed to have come from Poland making their way to Holland in the 19th century. My surname’Janus’ is believed to be a shortening of a longer Polish name. In the 1981 I was part of a Dutch humanitarian effort taking food to Poland where at the time they were suffering some very harsh winters with food supplies running very low. It was at the time the authorities were trying to put down the Solidarity movement. Poznam where Alex and Karolina come from was our first stop in Poland as at the time they had a old Motor circuit there and that was the only place we could park up 150 trucks that made up the food convoy.
The girls were great company being quite bubbly and chatty. Unfortunately they did have to listen to my old tapes, as my IPod speakers have given up the ghost and I am now relying on the old tapes and the old tape deck fitted to the 504. One of the tapes is the original trucking music tape given to all the drivers of the food convoy trucks which has been lying in my old tape box for the last 30 years. I didn’t subject the girls to that music for very long; I think trucking music is an acquired music taste for old trucking blokes. The girls endured a few songs from the tape in good spirit.