It was one of those special rainy days, when you’re so happy when you see that people are as enthusiastic as you are – approaching our meeting point with their umbrellas and smiles. A lovely group of 10 people from Israel, Germany, UK, USA, Canada and Spain. Good mixture as usual.
To my routine introductory question “How did you learn about the tour?” the couple from Spain replied: “The only thing we could easily find about Bulgaria was your tour”. That made me proud and sad at the same time. It became quite obvious that there is no sufficient and easy-to-find information about our country, which only hinders a lot of potential guests from visiting Bulgaria.This couple was to travel for 3 whole weeks across the country and they had just arrived. I’m always surprised to hear that someone takes such a long time to explore one small country – and in this case – my country. So, of course I was curious to know why. The answer was astonishing.
The lady laughed and said: “Actually, by mistake.” She didn’t seem very miserable with that mistake, though, so I kept asking. They had wanted to travel somewhere in Europe for three weeks. While they were wondering about the destination, they heard that a friend of a friend of a friend (so typical Mediterranean) just came back from Bulgaria and liked it a lot. So they started to research and happily found out that Bulgaria has a lot to offer. They had just booked their tickets when their friend called them to tell them that in fact this friend was talking about Romania and had never been to Bulgaria 😉
Nevertheless, they had put together a very good three-week plan and were enjoying it fully. After all, just like my other guest from UK exclaimed after an hour of walking through the centuries – in Sofia there’s so much history and so much variety, but at the same time everything is so “hidden” that “you should promote your city even much more than now”. Indeed, in 80% of the cases people come here with less than positive or completely no expectations. Which I truly perceive as a valuable advantage and a huge chance for improvement.
Every time after my guests have “discovered” the city through my eyes, they leave me happy and smiling. Usually they say something of the kind: “You could never learn so much about the diversity of Sofia, unless you take the Free Sofia Tour!”