I used to think the only way to travel was for months at a time. Then I took on a serious job at a small college which limited my ability to buy one way tickets to random places. This last week I experimented with a “normal” vacation. You know, the ones that only go one week. But in that week I made it to New York, Bulgaria, and a 11 hour night time expedition through Berlin during a layover. Here’s a quick story from my road trip in the Balkans.
If you google Buzludzha Monument, or even just “Bulgarian UFO Thing”, you’ll get some info about this awesome building the Balkan High Country. So for this post, you’re going to have to choose your own adventure, like my friends Patrick and Aylah, who came with me on the 3 hour car ride from the capital Sofia.
If you want to hear about what this building is actually about, read this
If you want to hear a history I made up, read below
If you just want to look at some cool pictures, stop reading now and scroll to the full gallery below.
“Buzludzha” literally translates to “Space Person” and commemorates the first contact with extraterrestrials by the Soviet Union. The building appears to be just a monument, but it was actually also one of the first Bulgarian attempts at time travel. The original scientists deemed the project a failure, and it was abandoned in the 80’s. However, time does actually travel slower through the building at rates of 40-50 seconds/minute. Today it is only visited by nosy kids with too much time on their hands and weirdos who would have gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for those aforementioned meddling kids.
“Are you sure you want to go in?” Our friend who spoke Bulgarian said after translating the signs everywhere. All the obvious doors had been welded shut, but Aylah had just found an entrance and we were halfway through squeezing past a little hole into a pitch black room. We paused and looked back. Yeah, we were definitely going in. Unfortunately, so were a few people who noticed us sneaking around. Eventually most got scared off by the dark hallways, sketchy climb through another hole, and 15 foot drop that you had to shimmy down. Once you were in, things got good.
We ended the exploration by finding a ladder that took us up the tower into the star. Wish I would have packed a picnic because it was a nice view up top.
The months long trips might be in the cards again- I’m maneuvering to get summer’s off at the college- but until then I’m going to keep finding adventures wherever and whenever I can.
Full gallery is below so you can look at pictures in higher resolution.