Day 26 to 31

Day 26:
Ferry days are usually fun days. You have to wake up early to make your boat, but then you get to chill, or get some sleep, stare at the water, eat some food, etc. 

Today was. It as fun as usual. We had to be diverted to the main building to go through a queue to get our passports/paper checked. Horribly, a bus got in before us, and  extended the time we had to wait, and on top of that, they had to do some weird extra paperwork, and made us sit on the side for a half hour while nobody did anything. They then called us up one by one to stamp out passports and finally send us on our way. By the time they let us go, we had missed our ferry. 

So we had to wait an extra hour for the next ferry. The ride itself was pleasant, and the fish and chips were good, but expensive. 

Leaving the ferry in the other side, we were greeted by the glorious cliffs of Dover, and some nice countryside leading into London. Mike had to get used to driving on the left side of the road, despite our steering wheel being on the left side of the vehicle. 

London streets are very narrow, and quite confusing, and only exacerbated by the fact that you have to remember to stay on the left side of the road. 

We pulled up to the venue and immediately loaded in. Doors had already opened, so we just stuffed our gear wherever we could and then sat down in the backstage. 
The crowd was incredibly excited, and we played phenomenally. Everyone of us rocked out hard, and we fed off the immense energy of the crowd. 

After we played Mike got us felafel/kebabs, and then we packed up and headed for the hostel. 
Somehow the wrong address got put into the gps, and we ended up driving halfway across London before realizing the address we needed to get to was actually only a couple blocks from the venue. 

When we finally arrived at the hostel, it was confusing as to how to actually get in. Ever briskly we realized the reception was IN the bar next door. So I dawned my earplugs and we ventured inside. After a couple minutes of annoying dance-pop, and watching some people dance crappily, we made our way up to the room. 

The room was actually nice, but noticing the posters and ads on the walls, it seems like this specific chain of hostels is aimed towards backpackers that want to post up and get s**tfaced and party all night. We, in fact, did not want to. So we had to endure the thumping of the dance party below till we eventually passed out. 

Day 27:
Early morning again, since we have to get on another ferry back into France. There were showers there, but I ended up having to sink-shower myself, since the showers had only one button (a slow release timed button like those on sinks at truck stops) and no temperature control...so after a few seconds of cold water, the shower got increasingly hot the more it stayed on, until it got to a lovely scalding skin melting temp, and I had to exit since now I was simply showered in sweat trying to operate the shower. 

When we got to the passport check before boarding the ferry, we were greeted by an extremely long line of cars. All this was most likely due to the recent events in Nice, and they were taking extreme precautions with border checks. 

When we finally got through the passport check, we had, once again, missed our ferry, but luckily, another was leaving at almost the exact same time, so we were sent to board that one. 

Once off the ferry, the traffic was fairly smooth moving, until we got to the border of France again. The traffic slowed to a crawl at the border, and we saw that they had actually closed off the highway, forcing all traffic to divert to a place checkpoint, again, probably due to Nice earlier that week. 

Once in Belgium, we were sailing quickly to Oostende. 

The next couple days we will be accompanied by our friends Maudlin. We're playing at what I think is some sort of community center. The show got moved last minute from another venue for reasons I'm not sure of, but our friend Davy figured everything out for us. 

The stage was a nice size, but had a giant load-bearing column in the center in front of the stage, so we opted to play on the floor. Unfortunately, the room was not well ventilated, and before the show they mopped the floors, and due to high humidity, they never dried. So by the end of the show, the floor was a sticky, soupy mess, and was very slippery. 

The show itself was pretty cool. A good amount of people showed up, and they were pretty excited. 

Afterwards we stayed at Davys' house. Last time we stayed there, most of the dudes had to sleep on the garage floor, and I slept upstairs on a couch/bed in a room covered in drywall powder. This time, more work was done on the house, and there were two complete rooms available for us to stay in. 

Day 28:
Davy had breakfast ready for us when we woke up, and it had been a long time since any of us had any eggs, so we were extremely happy and grateful. 

Today will be a day of feasting. We'll play a show in Bocholt, yes, but also visit 2 other houses for meals. The show itself was okay, but the surrounding experience of the day was phenomenal. 

We first travel to Gent to our friend Tims' house. He has a spread of cheese, bread, fruit, and veggies, and we sword fight with his son, and most of us lose. 

After that we travel to the house of the promoter for the show, and we have pasta and lasagna, and various other things. 

The show is at another community-like center, but is a little more snazzy than the one in Oostende. The love room is pretty big, and the stage is already setup for the first band, with room behind their equipment to setup our stuff. The backstage has fruit and drinks, and we apparently have full reign of the bar, so dudes take beers, we make coffee, eat chips/peanuts, and there's also some fruit juices and red bulls. 
After the show we get taken to what seemed like the middle of nowhere, but that was only because it was dark. We were actually on a horse farm next to a school with a big playground. 

The rooms we were staying in were little cabins on the side of one of the horse enclosures. They were quaint and comfortable, and we got a nice nights sleep. 

Day 29:
In the morning when we were able to see more of our surrounding, there were some people riding horses, and there was a pen with some goats, a pony, and a big piggy. The bathrooms and shower were also really nice, but you had to walk to the other end of the campus to get to them. 

We made our way back to the promoters house for breakfast. There his wife prepared eggs, toast, sandwiches, bacon, fruits and coffee for us. 
Off to Utrecht, we ended up arriving very early, so while others headed out to explore, Davy and Ken from Maudlin and I chilled under an umbrella and layer down. Matt called his mom, and Armine slept in the van. 

When the promoter finally arrived, we loaded in and started setting up the stage. Soon after sound check, we had a large spread of varied Chinese foods.

The show was well attended, and folks looked excited. 

We're sleeping tonight in the same bed and breakfast we stayed in last time in Utrecht. It's a cute little cottage-type house. Luckily this year we brought the fan in, since air movement in there was almost nil. 

Day 30:
The purveyors of the b&b made is a big breakfast, and I learned that jimmies (or sprinkles if you love outside of Philadelphia) are not used as they are in the US, as toppings for ice cream, but rather a topping for use on bread along with butter or another spread. 

We also said goodbye the the Maudlin dudes, Davy and Ken, as they were only with us for those three shows. 
The next four or five hours to Koblenz is plagued with barely moving traffic, and attempting to find alternate routes via google maps. 

When we finally make it to the venue in Koblenz, we find that the load in area is quite far from the building, so we have to lug the gear up stairs, around a courtyard, down a spiraling flight of stairs, and then into the love area. 

The backstage/sleeping are was upstairs from the live room, and some of the dudes ventured into the kitchen area, and started helping themselves to the food on the counter. We came to find a bit later after sound check that none of the food was cooked yet, but luckily, it was mostly felafel and veggies. 

Once dinner was actually prepared, there was more veggies and felafel, but also some grilled cheese (not the sandwich, a euro-style patty of grilled cheese...delicious), and big German sausages. 

The show wasn't very packed, and the opening band ended up having to cancel due to a members health, but the few that attended were excited.

Day 31:
A rainy morning in Koblenz. There's no shower, so I end up sink showering and cleaning myself with baby wipes. There's breakfast and coffee waiting for us in the main office area, and then hit the road for Leipzig.

This is the first really rainy day we've had on tour, and it comes as a nice relief from the constant oppressive heat.
We still hit a bit of traffic, but once in the city, we stopped for vegan tacos on our way to the venue called 'Atacolypse'. 


Day 15 to day 25.

Day 15:
The venue was huge, but throughout the night there were so many flies and mosquitos. I'm surprised I only ended up getting one mosquito bite the next morning. 

The dinner was some really good vegetarian chili, and for those that drank, they brought special beers and wine. 

We played a longer set than usual just cause we had the time, and it was exhausting, but no matter what, they always ask for more songs. 

The hostel we stayed at was nice, and the beds were really comfy. I did the usual sink washing of the clothes, and went to bed. 

The breakfast the next morning was okay for what it was. Bread, butter, jams, some corn flakes-like cereal, cheeses, meats, and coffee. Thus far into tour, we'd all kill for eggs for breakfast, or even a taco/burrito. Both are so few and far between. 

Day 16:
Got out of the hostel around noon. The hostel guys were really nice, and made us special breakfast since everyone except me missed the actual allotted time for the breakfast. 
When we arrived at the venue, we were chagrined to find the amount of stairs we'd have to traverse to get the gear down, but once it was down, there was time to rest. 

We setup and sound checked, and then had some food. Dinner was some Chinese-like take out with rice, veggies, and chicken, and oddly French fries.

The 'backstage' area was basically a closet behind the secondary bar area. We did receive monster energy drinks and lots of water, so that made people happy. 
The hostel we are staying at is a dorm-style youth hostel. Another one of those 'asylum feel' hostels. I guess it was used as cheep housing for students, but it was comfy and not too dirty. The struggle, though, was finding the rooms. The setup was very confusing, and most of the rooms didn't even have numbers on them. 

Eventually we found our rooms, and we slept. 

Day 17:
Innsbruck is a beautiful town nestled in the Austrian mountains. It's got a river flowing through it fed by mountain glaciers, so I'd imagine it's pretty cold. 

We are staying at Mikes' apartment for the night, so we stop off there first and do some laundry and get some food. We then head over to the venue and chill, and eat more food. 
The show was not well attended, but the few people that were there were pretty excited, so it still felt like a good show

We had a singalong party back stage after the show with a classical guitar that was sitting there. We sang random hits we remembered from the 90's and just made complete goofs of ourselves, it was fun. 

We went back to Mikes' place to finish laundry and get sleep. Since Feldkirch is only about an hour drive away, we were able to sleep super late, and get s nice breakfast and chill for a while. 

Day 18:
The drive was beautiful passing by mountain ranges and flowing rivers. 

We get to the venue, and it's in the basement of a 4-story hostel building. We are sleeping on the 3rd floor, and there are beds layer out for us. A bit to shabby sleeping situation. The wifi, however, was only accessible from the lobby and the stairwells, so we all gathered there for a while messaging people back home. 

There was a bit of confusion when it came to stage setup and sharing gear with the first band. We were offered the use of the 1st bands kit, and we would just use our hardware, snare, and cymbals. When we finally setup, the toms were a bit muted and thuddy for our taste, but, we had already made the decision, so we went with it. 

The stage was very small, so we had to make due with what room we had, but I think we've managed to fit on smaller stages in the past. 

Dinner was nice. It was hummus, some kind of spicy sauce, and a fake steak-like meat that was delicious. We wrapped all of it up into tortillas and made ourselves some lovely burritos. 
Much like last night, the show was not well attended, although the people excited to be there were fewer in numbers. Many people were sitting and not too outwardly enthused about being present at the show. 

In a 5-week tour, not all shows are going to be spectacular. You wish they were, but odds are against you that you'll have a couple bummer shows throughout the duration. Hopefully we've seen our bummer shows, and the rest will be awesome. 

On to Switzerland today playing Lucerne, and then a day off in Neuchatel. 

Day 19:
With only an hour or two drive away, we were able to sleep in very late. Sadly, the wifi had stopped working at some point during the night, so those of us without cell phone plans will have to get in touch with people back home once we get to Lucerne. 
We were greeted by cows pulling up to the venue. The room was big, with a good sized stage. Some bands gear was already setup on stage, dismayed that it'll be another night we're using another bands drum kit instead of our own. 

The back stage are was the same as I remember it from many years ago, with bunk beds in the back. 

We figured out the gear situation and then some got on wifi, and others went exploring and swimming. 
We played second to last for this show, which from a sleep standpoint, was good. We get to go to sleep earlier, or at least chill longer before sleep. However, due to the loud band still playing, along with the loud dance party afterwards, there was very little hope for going to bed at a good hour without earplugs. 

Each night we have been asking folks as nice as we can to not smoke, both for Armines' voice, but also for the health and well being of the rest of the touring party. Some of us have gotten sick either from smoke inhalation, or just from our environment, or just from allergies, but cigarette smoke can considerably exacerbate our condition. So, we ask nicely for people not to smoke during our set. It would be nice for the entire venue to be smoke-free, but they haven't really gotten to that point yet. The best we can ask for is a 100% smoke free backstage area, which we are mostly successful at getting every night. 

However, there were people still sparking up even after we asked nicely, and even an instance where someone lit up a cigarette directly in front of Armine at the front of the stage. During an instrumental section of a song, he grabbed the mic and yelled at the dude to put it out, he did, but I could still see others in the crowd smoking (as well as smell it). 

Late night dance Larry aside, we finally got to bed, and we will be able to wake up late, and then lazily make our way to Neuchatel for a much needed day of chilling. 

Day 20:
We all wake up around the crack of noon and slowly meander into the van. It's only about an hour drive to Neuchatel, and then we'll be treated to food and relaxation. 

North, unfortunately still has a show today, so as soon as we drop our stuff at the house, we take a walk down to lake Neuchatel for a swim. 

The water is nice and cool, and feels amazing. The scenery is beautiful, and the section of the lake we picked to dive in wasn't too busy. 

Eventually North had to get going to their show, so the rest of us went to sit and dry off with some coffee. We sat and talked for a bit, and then made our way back to the house. 

There we all just chilled. Matt and Armine got some work done and Eric and Joel went for a stroll through town. 

Day 21:
Rested and relaxed, we all have to be up early, and we're out the door, back into the van to Marseille, France. It's about s 5 or 6 hour drive, but we'll have some nice sights of the French countryside whipping by. 

We stopped on the shore in Marseille and swam in the sea. The view was glorious and the water more so. 

Once we got to the venue, we were excited to see a Mexican restaurant next to the venue. We had some time to wait since the promoter was running considerably late, so we got burritos. We have been wanting burritos all tour, and they were quite exceptional. 

There is no wifi at the venue, and apparently we're sleeping in rooms located above the venue...with no wifi. How, in the year 2016, does a venue that books and houses touring acts from around the world not have wifi?!

The room had a separate smoking room off to the side of the stage, which was nice, cause all the smokes were then contained in one room, and we wouldn't have to worry about it. If you felt like killing yourself slowly in a closed room with cigarette smoke, you got an added benefit of having a window looking directly at the side of the stage, to get a closer view of the band. 

We played fairly well, and the crowd seemed to be excited. Overall, a good show. Because Marseille isn't the safest place, we left all the gear in the venue and loaded out in the morning. Normally I'd be against loading in the morning because it completely negates my shower in the morning by getting me all worked up and sweaty, but for the sake of the gear not being stolen, I'll allow it. 

Hopefully when we get to Toulouse tomorrow, they have wifi.
Day 22:
The drive to Toulouse wasn't too long, and I ended up sleeping for most of it. We drove through a rainstorm, but when we arrived in Toulouse, it wasn't raining. The venue didn't have wifi, but there was a free city-wide wifi network. Although it wasn't very fast, it was enough to communicate with family back home. 

We started loading in just as it began to rain, and soon after sound checked. The dinner they prepared for us was a glorious feast of pasta, chicken, potatoes, salad, and melon fruit blend/smoothie-type thing. There was also pound cake and chocolate cake for dessert. 

The show was good, and I think one of the more perfectly played nights (for myself at least). 

Tonight we sleep at a Formula 1 hotel, which is more comfy than but only a step or two up from a squat or hostel. 

Day 23:
Standard European hotel breakfast. Toast, spreads, stale cereal, coffee, and baguette. 

There's a cool breeze, and it looks like it may rain in a bit or along our drive to Bordeaux, but I'll take that over the heat and humidity. The drive today is only 3 hours. 
The venue was in the basement of the building, but we were able to park right out in front, so loading in was made easier despite the stairs. 

The show went well, and the crowd was excited. The stage sound was a bit off, mainly for me since there was no drum monitor, but I think I played fairly well, though out of either excitement or panic, I think we ended up playing a bunch of the songs at a considerably faster tempo than normal. 

We slept in an apartment upstairs from the venue. After the show I hid in the backstage to cool off, then immediately after packing up, had to sneak my way past everyone outside to make it upstairs and go to sleep. 

Day 24:
A normal 4 hour drive to Nantes. We got stopped once by French border guards, not at the border, but at the toll booths. We wondered why they were out en force, but then remembered it was Bastille day, and I guess they're just being overly cautious. 

The venue had s facade of a small bar, but when you go through the side doors, there's a quite large are in the back with a big stage. Dinner started cooking once we arrived, and it was delicious. Perfect rice and beans with veggies and kielbasa. 

The stage had a curtain and they would close it in between bands so that they could setup in peace, and also to fill the stage with more fog. There was a little gap on the right of the stage where the curtain ended, and a couple people were awkwardly staring at us, but we're used to not having a curtain, so it was okay. 

After the show we packed up and loaded out, but being that it was Bastille day, the celebration had blocked the roads we needed to leave. They told us it'd be about an hour till they'd be clear, so we went back to the venue where a dance party with a DJ had already started, sat backstage, and the promoter ordered us pizza. 

It was then we found out about the truck that had plowed through the crowd of people watching fireworks in Nice. We were all speechless as we read the articles explaining the incident on our various mobile devices. 

We had a short discussion about the world going to hell in a hand basket, and then it was time to finally make way to our sleeping spot(s). 

We were being split up, since no one place had room for all 9 of us, though we would have preferred a hotel or hostel, it might not have been in their budget. The place I went to was pretty nice, and full of nerdy paraphernalia strewn about the apartment. I slept on an air mattress, mostly because I feel bad sharing s bed with dudes when I can snore loudly if I roll into the wrong position. It was comfy, and I actually got a pretty good sleep. 

Day 25:
We had croissants, baguette, orange juice, and French press coffee for breakfast. Feeling good, and on our way to Paris. 

Because of last nights' unfortunate events in Nice, we're predicting being hassled (understandably so) by more police on our way to Paris. 
Our friend Nahla brought us dinner. Homemade chicken (and vegetarian chicken) shawarma. One of the best dinners of tour, and enough food to bring in the van and last for s couple days...unless Mike (our driver) eats it all while we're playing tonight. 

The stage is as small as I remember, but the sound on stage is really good, so that's awesome. We've been told there's already around 100 pre-sale tickets sold, and that a lot of people just walk up and buy tickets, so tonights show might be pretty packed. 

The room was quite steamy and sticky, but luckily I have my trusty fan next to me. The room was packed, and people looked like they were having fun. 

Afterwards the cafe made us more food. It was rice, green beans, and roast beef. 

We quickly gathered all our dudes and made our way to the hotel. It's comfy, but we only get to sleep for a few hours to catch the ferry to London. 


Sofia, Skopje, and Belgrade

Day 12:
Bulgaria is a much poorer country than Romania, and it is clear the second we enter the country. Very flat, soviet era architecture, and everything seems to be well worn and crumbling. At the border, when the guards found it we were musicians on tour, they requested cd's from each band. We happily obliged, and were on our way. 

Joel commented that driving on the Bulgarian highway looked much like driving through Iowa, and I agreed. We're still about 3 or 4 hours our from Sofia, but it sure is an interesting change in environment from most of the countries we've visited in the EU. All 9 dudes in the van today are in Bulgaria for the first time. 
The venue is in an underground subway-style building, but seems to be pretty cool. They ordered us food from an Italian-style restaurant, and it was pretty good as well. 

Come time for the show to start, the first band opened to the room packed already, so we got pretty stoked about how it would look when we're up there. Though it'll be hot and humid, it'll sure be fun. 
I think this show is the best I've played so far, at least technically. Everything felt like I did it correctly, and everything sounded good on stage. 

The hostel we're staying at tonight is more of a house, but it's quite comfortable.  

Off to Skopje, Macedonia tomorrow. 

Day 13:
The drive was fairly short, but we stopped off at a lake to go swimming. The lake was ice cold, and when I say 'ice' cold, I mean it was just short of the temperature I think it would take to actually have ice cubes floating around in it. 

Because of our swim in the lake, we ended up being a little late to the show, but I feel like we're very good and moving things along quickly. We setup fast, sound checked fast, and then had some food before doors opened. 

The weird thing about tonight's show was that there were only supposed to be one local band in the show, but there ended up being 3, for a total of 5 bands playing the show. The problem presented with that, is that not only did the show run incredibly behind late, but by the time we got on there was no energy left in the crowd. I'm sure people were a little tired, and it was a Sunday night, but it felt like we were playing for an empty room. 
The hotel we are staying at is about 40 minutes away, but whole following the promoter out into the middle of nowhere, for a moment, there was a feeling like we were being led to our doom. Little did we know, we were just being led to a weird motel immediately adjacent to a very loud dance club that was playing loud shitty music all night. All the rooms also only had double beds, so we were all forced to sleep with a buddy. Luckily, tour makes you close to the dudes you're with, so we weren't horribly uncomfortable with the situation. 
The weather is cool and beautiful this 4th of July morning, and we will be celebrating it in Belgrade, Serbia. 

Day 14:
Crossing the Serbian border was considerably easier than we thought it would be, they were just slow. We arrived in Belgrade greeted by friendly faces, and tasty delicious food. 

The sound on stage was magnificent, and the crowd was fun and engaging. Armine even got hoisted up and carried around during one song. 

We stayed at the same apartment we were at last year. It was comfy, and we're now remembering to bring in the fan inside for air movement. 

We went back to the venue to pack the gear in the van and get breakfast. Today we're off to Zagreb, Croatia. 


Vienna, Budapest, Cluj Napoca, and Bucharest

Day 7:
Running late in the morning we jet to Vienna, a 6 hour drive. We make it in pretty good time with very few stops. A quick sound check and then we eat dinner. The days that run smoothest are probably the most boring to read about. No sightseeing, just sound check, dinner, show, wifi party, laundry, then sleep. 

We have a short drive tomorrow to Budapest, then two shows in Romania, then our first day off after Bucharest. I'm not sure where we're staying for the day off, but it will be nice and relaxing...hopefully. 

Day 8:
Stopped off at a local music store. It was a pretty fancy place. Zach and I needed to replace the snare head since it's getting pretty best up already. I also got a new stick bag since mine is already falling apart. I also got locking cymbal...uh, caps? Is that what they're called? I'm not sure. The top screw that keeps the cymbal from flying off the stand. 

Anyway, a nice shirt drive today into Budapest. 
The day is beautiful, and we're playing in the bigger room at Dürer Kert, which also has the nicer green room that is attached to the stage. 

Our dinner was curry chicken (plus a vegetarian curry option), felafel, and pita to put everything in. We devoured it. And after that, the wifi party began. 
We stayed at a hotel where the wifi was only accessible from the lobby. The rooms were typical dorm style (more like a hostel than a hotel), and the bathroom looked like a cross between a high school bathroom, a psych ward bathroom, and a prison bathroom...but was still pretty nice. 

Day 9:
Cluj Napoca-
The drive to Romania was long, hot, and there's only one 2-lane road connecting everything...and it's mostly under construction. 

The border entering Romania was fairly easy getting through, it just took longer than we'd have liked it to. 
A single winding 2-lane road is what we took, and there was a lot of construction, but the scenery is beautiful. We also last a time zone, so we lost an hour on our way to the show. 
We got to the venue, and it was in the heart of Transylvania across the street from a beautiful monument/castle-type building. The venue itself is an old bomb shelter, built to protect people from American bombs. Ironically, it now is host to 8 dirty American musicians. 
The show was fantastic, though there were some slight snags when it came to dinner and being payed. Apparently the promoter who setup the show didn't bother to show up, so someone else took care of us, and did a pretty good job...till it came time for settling payment. 

In big bold letters on our rider it clearly says, "No Pizza" but since this fill-in promoter had probably not ever seen the rider...we got pizza. We were fine with it, kind of. Pizza once on a tour won't kill us, but at the end of the night, instead of settling things the way they needed to be settled, the fill-in promoter handed a stack of cash to one of the girls that greeted us when we arrived (she was taking picture all night, and was also a very big fan). We felt bad for her, because these douches pretty much just stuck her with the bill and peaced out, leaving her €200 (or the Romanian equivalent) short of our guarantee.  She felt awful, and we felt bad that she had to work with such crappy people. The show obviously did well, if the amount of people in attendance is any indication. 
Despite odd complications, the show was awesome, and it was definitely a place we'd want to play again in the future. And the city was beautiful. 

Day 10:
Not too long a drive today, in theory, but since we're taking the same one 2-lane road, it'll be interesting again. 

The scenery is still beautiful, but alas, more construction. I think closer to Bucharest we get highway, and then leaving Bucharest it's all highway, but for now, we have to deal with bumpy back roads. 

The mountains are steep, and the turns are sharp, also, the 'gypsies' tried to sell me a bucket of fruit...and pretty much anyone else that rolled into or passed that specific gas station. The scenery is beautiful though. 
Just to give you an idea of how fancy this venue is in Bucharest, the hand soap in the bathroom smells like coconuts, and they have orange slices in the urinals. 
The show was incredible, and possibly the best show of tour so far. Everyone was really excited and into, both north and Rosetta played really well, and we're all also completely stoked about our day off tomorrow, so we'll be exploring the city tomorrow. 

Day 11:
A day off in Bucharest-
We started the day by sleeping in till noon, and we all got up, dressed, and headed out into the city in search of food.

We happened upon a Turkish restaurant. The food was delicious, and crazy enough, not too expensive. We then made our way to a bar called '100 beers' and sat for a bit having gelato, water, and others had beer and ciders. We also made a quick trip to a Starbucks a couple streets down and got some iced coffee...well, we wanted cold brewed iced coffee, but they were sold out, so we had iced americanos, since apparently Europe doesn't believe in iced coffee. 

After the sun started to set, it was a bit cooler out, and we wandered around the city a bit, then finished the day at a very fancy restaurant. I'm not sure exactly what it was called that I ate, but it was little sausage-link type rolls with fries and mustard. They were delicious. 
We returned to the hostel and slept the night away. Tomorrow we're off to Bulgaria.