. The high up snow had now turned into drizzle down in the valley and we couldn't see any of the great scenary Ian had told us about. Infact, there is very little to report on a day of flat out cycling. We did the 56 miles very quickly and stopped only once for a 20 minute petrol station sandwich. We have now clearly evolved into machines which only refuel at service stations. We have also sophisticated our cycling outfits with bright orange washing up gloves ( I believe they are called 'Marigolds?'). We bought them in the supermarket as a way of waterproofing our expensive waterproof gloves! They work a treat and in the near zero conditions provide much needed protection from the wet and cold. Oh yeh, they also make us look even cooler than before (What has happened to me? I used to be such a dude. Oh thats right, I hit my 30s and got married. Sorry, on with the story). We arrived in Plovdiv and took our time getting into town, the pressure was off given a brand new cycle lane into town. The tourist office directed us to Miroslav, a nice Bulgarian chap who is setting out in the hospitality trade! The room is fine if not luxurious. He did however wash all our clothes and dry them, or at least got his wife to. The breakfast included deal was pointed out as a bag of cereal! We went out for a really good meal and the lovely waitresses ordered us a taxi to Cinema City in Plovdiv Mall. Yes, thats right. We come all the way across Europe on a bike and the best we can do is go and eat popcorn whilst watching an English movie. RED was good fun. An excellent day appeared to be over until the farce back at the guest room. First I walked in on some guy seated in the shared bathroom and then, rather than returning to our room to wait, I strangely decided to try another room where I found myself looking over his wife who was tucked up in bed. Oh dear Mike.
Pulling open the curtains revealed a blanket of snow. It really was snowing! We had arrived yesterday absolutely soaked through and the surroundings had been hidden by the driving rain. Now we were high up on a mountain with snowflakes falling from the sky, beautiful. We left the hotel and freewheeled down the 6 miles which had caused us such heartache last night. The snow was stinging the face but otherwise we were pretty well wrapped up. At the bottom, back in the town of Kostenets, we stopped for breakfast in a very out of place modern cafe. Pulling up on our bikes dressed up in full waterproof cycle gear turned every head in the place. It was a tumble weed moment when we splashed into the sqeaky clean cafe and sat back on mock leather sofas. Never the less, the locals took it in good jest and we left fuelled up and warm. On the way out we were stopped by a guy who said "You're English". Ian had been living there for 6 years and was well in with the locals. We had a lovely chat with him before heading out on the road for a cold but safe morning ride