The Nightfly

The Nightfly to Sophia

In late 2021, just as the pandemic was tapering off, Charlotte and I had an interesting fall remote working as “digital nomads” from a sleepy seaside town in Croatia called Zadar.

We made friends with a few folks while we were there, among them was Richard, a fellow nomad from the UK. One afternoon while chatting in a local bar, Richard mentioned that he’d spent some time in a relatively obscure ski resort called Bansko in the mountainous region of southern Bulgaria.

As Bulgaria had been on my bucket list for quite a while and I hadn’t skied since our last visit to Chamonix in 2019, I was intrigued. So here we are after an uneventful night’s flight to Sophia from Copenhagen.

We’re in Bulgaria to produce a story about the UNESCO World Heritage-listed village Bansko, the co-working scene, and what it’s like on the slopes.

After last year’s visit to Albania, several trips to Croatia and Greece, and a short stay in Serbia, I’m digging the Balkan Peninsula more and more. So far, the folks we’ve interacted with here in Bansko come across as being friendly, soft-spoken, and genuinely helpful. This is to be expected since this is a popular tourist destination among skiers from Great Britain, Romania, and neighboring Greece. But still, the politeness doesn’t seem contrived or forced. It’s there, somewhat hidden underneath a layer of shyness, which I find to be a positive characteristic of folks from the Balkans.