Out of the limelight and cast in the shadows from all those other favourite low cost airline long weekend eastern European destinations like Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic, just to name a few, Bulgaria bordering Turkey and Greece way down there in southern Europe has not yet been ruined, in my opinion, and that is part of the appeal.
The Black Sea beach resorts like Sunny Beach and Golden Sands may see those hordes of tourists in the summer but the capital Sofia, yet so full of history and culture with great nightlife too is still considered to be well off the beaten track and still sees relatively few visitors in comparison.
A mongering old hand and regular visitor to Sofia once told me the golden days which he remembered was in the 90s when the whole of eastern Europe was starting to open up. Then you couldn’t walk down the street, he told me, without some chick young and old coming up to you. But what stuck in my mind the most and got my vote was when he told me that even at his age, which believe me was not young, he could comfortably walk he said into any nightclub or disco there and feel he was not being treated any different than people more than half his age and usually pull at the same time. Not just in Bulgaria, but in the Ukraine and other eastern European countries I have witnessed this too, payback time I call it for we hard working males forever always carrying the responsibility of the world on both our shoulders.
Today though in Sofia the only freelancers you may encounter on the streets are the local gypsy hookers who are usually stoned out of their minds.
Generally prostitution in Bulgaria is not illegal (but as its now joined the European Union, who knows, things may change 🙁 ). Out of the estimated nearly 10,000 working in and around the capital most of these girls still work alone either by visiting or from apartment buildings which is partly due though to pimping and running an actual brothel being illegal. The few girls now who you may visibly see in person before hand tend to work as dancers and hostesses in the clubs or other places like Sofia’s many casinos, hotel bars and cocktail bars where the management see its good for business.
What amazed me most during this visit was just how inexpensive some of the local escorts were advertising their services online for, on the internet. Sites like topEscort, were advertising hotel visits with a 100% local girl for as low as 60 Lev an hour. Okay you may not get a smile (but who does in Bulgaria) and definitely you may not get the girlfriend experience, as I was to experience no matter how nice your hotel is, but come on with those prices….
Being only there for 1 night I didn’t really have time to visit some of my old favourite haunts like Bar Kama Sutra on Aleksandar Dondukov and the Velvet Erotic bar just out of the Centre but well worth it on Pencho Slaveykov Blvd where due to the high prices I remember, I would just look and not touch. Looky Looky but definitely no fucky there! No different in fact from my many meals at the Happy Bar and Grill.
Shame though about the Sin City disco complex being no longer up and running but I believe similar places have now opened in an area called Studenski grad, or students town which is now becoming quite a popular nightlife area.
Navigating the Streets
With everywhere being so central Sofia is a great place to walk and just randomly discover what’s around each corner. Even at night I felt just as reasonably safe walking the streets as I did 10 years ago but late at night the area around the main Railway Station just up from the Ramada Hotel they say is best avoided unless you have a train to catch.
From South to North
The two main important artery roads making up the very centre of Sofia run in almost a straight line from the National Palace of Culture Vitosha Blvd southern end of the city to the Railway Station end of Blvd Maria Luiza Blvd to the north of the city.
So continuing up from the National Palace of Culture you will find in the side streets just to the right of Vitosha Blvd away from the main pedestrianised tourist part some interesting bars and establishments just waiting to be discovered before coming across what I call the plush area of Sofia with many beautiful buildings and the Wow factor old Soviet architecture.
Back onto Vitosha where just after the Happy Bar and Grill Vitosha Blvd becomes Blvd Maria Luiza by Sedika Metro station, the whole area and feel of the place suddenly changes and between McDonald’s here, the Central Market Hall where you can purchase some of the best wine produced in Bulgaria, and mosque, between here and Lions Bridge and the Peep Show Bar further up, late at night you will encounter gypsy street walkers who in my opinion tend not to be Bulgaria’s finest, although I have so far seen 1 exception. These street walkers conduct their business apparently from a hostel type of hotel just before Lion Bridge.
Another Sofia fav of mine of course is the Happy Bar and Grill Restaurant on Vitosha.
Below some Sofia Links which may be of interest:
Black Sea roadside gypsy hookers
But as I already mentioned my main reason for coming to Bulgaria was to sample some of those roadside lay-by gypsy girls.
Actually flying to Burgas on the Black Sea, I got that bit right I thought, but staying in the town itself definitely felt like I had wasted a few days of my life.
Leaving the Boulevard of Broken Dreams I only had a few days left to get my ass in gear, moving on to Sunny Beach where it really was my last chance saloon, after travelling so far, to fulfil my monger dreams.
Having those gypsy ladies coming up to me in Sunny Beach was greatly received but still totally unexpected and what was also a pleasant surprise with, including most of the roadside lay-by gypsies I did business with, was just how polite and respectful they were towards me together with their high standard of English. All except Britney Spears 🙂 offered to come to the hotel, but that was a big No, No I’m afraid as even I despite all, couldn’t do that walk of shame passed reception with one or 2 gypsy hookers in tow. Where do you think this is Pattaya 🙂 ?,
Getting down to it in the hotel grounds in Sunny Beach was quite fun actually, but actually sticking out like a sore thumb, as the gypsies tend do in Bulgaria, unfortunately, the girls doing what they did despite being away from the noise and the main tacky tourist part were naturally taking a big risk as I saw on more than one occasion the tourist police doing ID checks with the locals. So I’m being very vague here with the location.
Highway lay-by logistics
The main highway in question is the Bulgarian part of the European route E87 which runs all the way from Odessa in the Ukraine through Romania into Bulgaria where it is also known as R9 where the road becomes mainly one lane on either side.
According to two different reports I read, the real action apparently starts just to the south of Varna near to two separate villages both branching off in opposite directions from R9. One of the villages mentioned in my report called Avren seemed to only have 2 creepy looking characters there when I drove through it. Maybe the whole village was at one of those gypsy fairs that afternoon.
Still on R9 the main sightings I had but still sporadic were up in the hills just outside Sunny Beach. Thinking after each corner I would see hoards of gypsy girls lining the road was the only reason I carried on as far as the outskirts of Varna, before making that other detour to Avren.
Thinking in Sunny Beach I might find an unobtrusive, modest and totally trustworthy young local taxi driver to drive me to the action, and wait and return for a modest price. Dream on mate. The only way to do it was to have wheels and hire a car and learn quickly how to drive on the wrong side of the road. Despite paying extra and thinking I had extra cover, to cover most eventualities, the rental agreement small print still stated that any damage done to the vehicle off road will not be covered.
In comparison to my experiences of picking up hookers from the streets in Mexico City, mongering with these Bulgarian roadside gypsies to me was like a walk in park. Looking back, what did occur to me was that had there been those hoards of hookers I was hoping to see by the roadside I definitely would have not felt comfortable doing it. Just the thought alone of parking the car, locking the door and then walking over to the person in front of all those people would probably have put me off.
And one more thing, unusually for me, of the 3 different Black Sea pussies I saw and fucked night and day, in the heat of the moment in all that excitement I cannot for the life of me remember if they were shaved, semi shaved or just natural, maybe.
Links to 2 articles I read
Bulgaria’s Working Girls
Varna Prostitute Alley
By Monger Matt.