Just like when I was cycling into the city of Varna just over a week prior, the street coming into Ruse, Bulgaria was also lined with prostitutes (although not nearly as many as in Varna).
Upon entering the actual city center I made my way into the central park where I met two very nice female Mormon missionaries from California. When I asked them if they knew where I could find a quality, yet affordable hotel for the night, the ladies offered to walk me to a nearby hotel on the shores of the Danube River.
This must have been the fanciest hotel in all of Ruse, and yet my room cost only 40 Lev (about $26 USD). After thanking the girls for showing me to the hotel, checking into my room and taking a quick shower, I returned to the streets of Ruse and found a local restaurant where I ordered a large vegetarian pizza to go. While the pizza was being made, I walked around Ruse’s center and snapped the images you see above. For a city that I had never heard of before and a place that I had no expectations about, Ruse was really rather charming.
I later returned to the restaurant where I ordered my pizza, took delivery of the pie and then walked it down to the shores of the Danube river where I sat on a park bench and ate my well-deserved dinner as the sun set in the distance. The next day I would cycle out of Bulgaria and cross over into a new country – Romania!!!