New year, a new adventure starts in Thessaloniki

“See you in Thessaloniki?”
If you wish for something from the bottom of your heart, the impossible becomes possible.

It just takes a question, regarding travel to push my “on-travel mode button”, and my brain turns into this super skilled engine that cand find all the possibilities, combinations and best way to travel.
As soon as I arrived home, I’ve opened 10 tabs, and I started searching online.

I know that the only direct flight to Thessaloniki is from Tarom but the flight schedule is not the best for me and the tickets are expensive for a short runaway.
For me, since it is a short trip, I choose the bus by night, so that I will be in Thessaloniki Saturday morning.
My itinerary looks like this:
Departure from Bucharest: Friday night
Arrival in Thessaloniki: Saturday morning
But since we are not in season right now, the options are limited.
I know that there is a line bus that makes every day tours Romania – Greece – Romania, and I also know there are a few other options that I may consider a plan B, C and D if plan A, doesent function.

Finding options:
1. Lilian Express: it is a line bus that makes tours Romania – Greece – Romania, every day,
Departures from Bucharest 14:00
Arrival in Thessaloniki 02:00 / Price: 60 Euro per way – not a good skedule for me
2. My bus: it is a charter bus that leaves every Friday from Bucharest
Departures from Bucharest 21:30 / 22:00 / 23;00
Arrival in Thessaloniki 09:00 / Price: 25 Euro per way – the season starts in May
3. Express lines: Departures 19:00, Arrival 07:00 / 60 Euro per way – some system errors that a site that is not updated with the available routes and schedules
4. Europa Travel:– the season starts in May
5. Hello Holidays: – the season starts in May
6. Crete line bus: Romania – Crete – Romania,- not a good skedule for me
7. Busradar.com: it is a platform such as momondo where you can find all bus combinations with or without stops
Bucharest -Sofia- Thessaloniki: with one-hour stop: Price 37 Euro
Departures from Bucharest with Flix Bus at 23:30 / Arrival in Sofia 06:30
Departures from Sofia with local bus Union Ivkoni / Arrival in Thessaloniki 13:15 – ok this is the one!

An unexpected situation:
As I work in tourism, I know that within 24 hours before any travel I need to reconfirm the reservations I have.
I saw the confirmations and the updates from Flix Bus, and I understood that on this segment there’s no need to reconfirm anything as they already confirmed, but nothing from Union Ivkoni, so I called on the office number that they have given on the voucher that I have received via e-mail.
– Hielo!
– Hello, my name is Adriana, I have a reservation made into your system, and I want to reconfirm it with you to be sure that everything is in order.
– Yes, yes, ok, I can’t find it with your name.
– I have a reservation number on the voucher, would it help?
– Yes, yes, give me
– The booking is I69S9P, and the departure from Sofia on 20.04.2019, at 07:30 a.m.
-Yes, yes but I don’t see reservation, wait a minute, I will call back I have to ask my colleague.
– Hielo! Your reservation is confirmed! I don’t have all the powers in the system to see all reservations 😀
– Can you please give me more details, the bus plate number?
– Yes, Yes, you have to come to our office, dor no 88 in Serdika station to take your ticket, what you have on your e-mail, is just a reservation, your ticket is in our office, and the bus plate number is CB7343.
– And everything is confirmed?
Da! Yes, yes

At the night of departure, I find myself at Militari bus station, all good during on the road. It’s the first time when I am travelling with Flix Bus, and I can say it is very well set up.
Did you ever had one of those times when you fall asleep during a trip, and you wake up in the middle of the night, and you don’t know where you are?
If you use their app, and turn on your GPS, select the tickets option, select your travel and see itinerary you will see where you are or what have you passed already including the hour stops and estimated arrival time like into the below pictures.

All well until I’ve arrived in Sofia. I went to the office of Union Ivkoni to take my ticket, and they didn’t talk English there, no were around me… That was fun to guess where will the bus stop luckily they have the plate number of the buss on the ticket.
I went to all the parking to search my bus by the plates numbers that I had on my ticket, and people were looking curious at me like “what is she doing?”. Finally, I heard people talking in Greek, so I figured they surely go to Greece.

– Hello, is this the parking space for that buss that will travel to Thessaloniki?
– Yes, this is it.
My mind: Super! That was easy, now I have to wait.
As time passed, I became more impatient to arrive “home”.
At 13:15 I was out of the bus in Thessaloniki.
I’ve made my check-in at the hotel, and I decided to go shopping. But as I left the hotel, the rain started. I’ve bought an umbrella, that every time there was a strong wind, or a strong rain it closes itself. The joy…
It was raining cats and dogs, so I said to myself:

Ok, no problem reconfigure the route, instead of shopping right now, I can go to a tavern to eat something, but guess what it was about 14: oo and all tavernas were full as it was lunch time and also because of the rain. ☔

Reconfigure the route again. I went to Lush, a natural handmade -cosmetic shop, as we do not have it in Romania anymore. By the time I left the shop, the rain almost stopped, so I could continue my shopping. I went to eat something, and I tried a green orange and nuts salad, french fries and a delicious burger.

In this period, the shops in Thessaloniki have discounts, and I bought a few things.

Every time I’m going to Thessaloniki I always visit Aristotelous square, Leoforos Nikis, the white tower, sometimes to see the umbrellas and greet Alexander’s statue. As the sun started to shine we enjoyed our walk on leof Nikis and made some pictures with the sun setting.

The next day we left Thessaloniki, to return home but on our way, I found a new friend on the road, who was very happy to get acquainted with me.

One of the stops on the road back was in Bulgaria at Rila monastery.
Rila monastery is the largest and most famous Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria.
It is situated in the southwestern Rila Mountains, 117 km south of the capital Sofia in the deep valley of the Rilska River (“Rila River”) at an elevation of 1,147 m (3,763 ft) above sea level, inside of Rila Monastery Nature Park. The monastery is named after its founder, the hermit Ivan of Rila (876 – 946 AD), and houses around 60 monks.
Founded in the 10th century, the Rila Monastery is regarded as one of Bulgaria’s most important cultural, historical and architectural monuments and is a key tourist attraction for both Bulgaria and Southern Europe.

Rila Monastery

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