Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Train Rides 2014 - Crossing Bulgaria Country in a Bosphorus Express

Travelling date: 8th April 2014

Our 4 couchette compartment

We continued with our disturb sleep shortly after the train departed from Kapikule. After less than an hour, we again wakes up when the Bulgarish immigration officer asked for our passport. Apparently we have reached at the Bulgarian border station, Svilengrad. All of us were so worried when the officer taken away our passport back to their office. With a feared looking face, we went looking for the train conductor who assured that it was a normal routine. They will return the passport as soon as they have complete the database check online. It was a huge relieve when the same face appeared and handed over back our passport. We continued our sleep a little while after.

Travelling in the comfort and security of the sleeping-car, the journey Istanbul to Bucharest is a pleasant, leisurely and enjoyable journey.  A few hours after leaving Bulgarian border (Svilengrad), we were fully fresh from our sleep and was ready for breakfast. The Bosfor now spends a lazy afternoon meandering along pleasant river valleys across rural Bulgaria. We were relaxing in our private sleeper, pull out the bed as a seat (on our own), walking in between the cabin taking lots of photos of canola field.

Throughout the morning the train wanders through lush green Bulgarian valleys, ascending the lush green Shipka Pass, calling at Veliko Tarnovo shortly after lunch time. Veliko Tarnovo is a Bulgaria's ancient capital. Later in the afternoon, we were scheduled to arrive at Ruse then crossing the wide brown Danube into Romania on Europe's longest steel bridge, 2.5km long.

Apparently, it was only 20km away from Kapikule to reach the next immigration checkpoint on Bulgaria side, Svilengrad. After the immigration checkpoints have been cleared by all passengers, it then travelled through few stations where sometimes the Bosfor express shall stop briefly to drop and take the passengers in Bulgaria. The next station after Svilengrad is Lyubimets, Harmanli, Simeonovgrad, Dimitrovgrad, Mihajlovo, Stara Zagora, Tulovo, Dabovo, Krastec, Plackovci, Trjavna, Tsareva Livada, Drjanovo, Sokolovo, Debelec, Veliko Tarnova (6km) Gorno Oryahovitsa, Polski Trambesh, Bjala, Borovo, Dve Mogili, Inanovo and Russe, the Bulgarian/Romanian border. It covers the whole 388km in Bulgaria soil.

Finally, I'm sharing herewith the Bulgaria train map that I downloaded from "World Map Major Rail Network". On the 8th April 2014, we were travelling crossing Bulgaria country for 388km in track train distance officially from 12.01 am. I would say that we have covered the eastern up to the north part of Bulgaria that day. What an achievement.

Remarks: All photos on this entry are from inside Bosfor train crossing through station by station in Bulgaria land. 

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