Bansko, Ryanair Delay & Traveling Keto Bread!

August 09, 2022

Bansko  Ryanair Delay & Traveling Keto Bread! soultravelers3 blog
We've arrived in Bansko, Bulgaria and loving this mountain paradise which is the cheapest by far and least crowded, best weather place to be in high season Europe! We are renting a large one bedroom furnished  apartment with balcony and pool, fast internet, great hiking, awesome sunrises and sunsets from our windows for 260. euros a month! I will give you more details once we leave this digital nomad haven and popular winter ski resort. 

Bansko  Ryanair Delay & Traveling Keto Bread! nightly sunsets

It is challenging to shift countries and a bit scary to head off to an unknown country, so I am glad it is working well as you don't really know until you do it. Our travel day from Barcelona to Bansko was an extraordinarily  long one, that started at 6am because we had a lot of last minute things to do to first store our vintage camper. So proud of us for meeting our goals of remodeling the camper while in Barcelona!! 

Bansko  Ryanair Delay & Traveling Keto Bread! vintage camper remodel

We got camper back to it's storage spot and headed to the airport extra early as this was our first time I think using Ryanair and there was a strike going on with their Spain crews! 

Bansko  Ryanair Delay & Traveling Keto Bread! ryanair delay
There are so many warnings online about how strict Ryanair is that we even got new, small  backpacks to make sure we had no issues.  

Bansko  Ryanair Delay & Traveling Keto Bread! airport problems

But they were not fussy at all on this particular flight as we saw many who did not follow the rules and they also seemed very organized and helpful at check in. 

Bansko  Ryanair Delay & Traveling Keto Bread! best airport security on the planet in BCN

 We flew at the height of high season European travel on one of the last days of July, yet, the airport was not crowded at all and we had the BEST, fastest, easiest security check ever in all my years of travel! No one was lined up, they were super polite and efficient at BCN and we zipped through in seconds!

Bansko  Ryanair Delay & Traveling Keto Bread! airport delays madness

We were extra early ( being proactive for any possible airline problems or strikes), but our Ryanair flight kept getting delayed. We ended up having a meal outside at the same place we did when we arrived at this airport from Paris in early May. (Due to covid we do not like to eat inside an airport, but finding outside dining is often not easy, so we were happy to grab a chicken salad outside and away from people .....even if it was Burger King). 

Bansko  Ryanair Delay & Traveling Keto Bread! gorgeous bcn airport

There was a LOT of sitting around the mostly empty airport, but as you can see by this photo taken near the gate we were waiting at for hours, at least it was beautiful. 

Bansko  Ryanair Delay & Traveling Keto Bread! masked on flight soultravelers3

Finally, more than two hours late, we got on our Ryanair flight to Sophia, Bulgaria. I had read that this flight is often delayed, so we were prepared. It was a very late hour to start a flight. 

Bansko  Ryanair Delay & Traveling Keto Bread! summer air travel mess

The seats on our flight were hard, not padded, super close together, so not comfortable and it was a fairly full flight of mostly vacationing Bulgarians who seemed extra patient. We wear good masks on all flights, when in crowds, public transportation and any time inside, just to be cautious and it seems to work for us so far as we have never had covid. Luckily, 99.9% of the time we are not wearing masks as we are not around crowds, are isolated and often outside not near others. 


Bansko  Ryanair Delay & Traveling Keto Bread! arriving sofia bulgaria

Finally, we arrive in Sophia at about 2:30 am local time ( which is an hour later than Barcelona time).

Bansko  Ryanair Delay & Traveling Keto Bread! passport control troubles

Then for the first time in all my years of travel, I am given a very hard time at passport control! It was very strange" and we seemed to be hassled a bit perhaps because we were American, or the woman was just having a bad night or maybe even my weight loss. ( None of these things were issues in our recent Paris or Barcelona customs arrivals). She wanted to know why we were visiting, how long we were staying and seemed extremely suspicious as if a 70 year old American woman tourist ( who has tons of stamps on her passport)  is a huge threat.  She wanted to see another form of ID, so I showed her my California and International drivers license. She held us up so we were the last ones to leave this area by a long time, everyone else was long gone by the time we were done. Travel drama!!

Bansko  Ryanair Delay & Traveling Keto Bread! transport from sophia to bansko bulgaria
Luckily our driver ( private transport from Sophia airport to Bansko) did not leave without us, but he was on the phone when we finally got out of customs long after everyone else ( likely wondering if we were a no show and if he should leave). I was so tired I napped/nodded out  most of the way and we all kept our masks on for the almost 3 hour drive ( despite being so tired of having a good mask on so long).

Bansko  Ryanair Delay & Traveling Keto Bread! cheap apartment rental
Finally we arrived at our apartment in Bansko at 5:18 am and a comfortable bed never looked so good!

Bansko  Ryanair Delay & Traveling Keto Bread! digital nomad cheap apartment rentals

 The one bedroom apartment is very big and comfortable and the night watchman let us in. Despite the delays and the very long day, all went mostly,  fairly smoothly. 

Bansko  Ryanair Delay & Traveling Keto Bread! beautiful sunrise bansko
The beautiful sunrise out our window also made everything look better along with catching up with sleep!

Traveling pants? How about traveling keto bread? 

I have a hilarious "traveling pants" er "traveling bread" story. It started in LA with my daughter Heavenly Reyna's help as I sent it frozen to her via amazon and she put in her freezer until my package was ready to send to us  using SendMyBag which came highly recommended by expats in Spain ( as getting packages sent between USA and Spain they say is a nightmare). It was a huge pain to do everything necessary for that package to go international and the site is confusing ( thankfully they have a good chat section). After preparing it via Skype with Heavenly ( and many chat supervisors) my  package then went from LAX to 3 places in Germany, then to Madrid and finally to Barcelona. 

Bansko  Ryanair Delay & Traveling Keto Bread! fedex and send my bag

Due to bad luck ( as most do not have problems sending similar things), my package ended up getting  stuck in customs in Barcelona as they said all my over the counter vitamins must go through their pharmacy and not allowed. Yikes! They were going to send back to California. ( And I especially needed the over the counter vitamins and homeopathic that help me with my diet and health).  

Bansko  Ryanair Delay & Traveling Keto Bread! kiss my keto no carbs

So then, I am like a maniac every day, multiple times a day,  via email and chat with the send my bag supervisors and ask them about the possibility of sending it to Bansko. It takes several days to convince DHL/Spanish customs to send my package from Barcelona to his headquarters in Belfast, Northern Ireland. So it then leaves Barcelona finally and  goes back to Germany ( DHL headquarters) to UK for a few stops and a few stops in Ireland, then finally to Belfast. Then it is Friday, so sits it for the weekend ( as I worry about it getting moldy as this bread is usually sent out frozen and kept frozen always). I am constantly tracking this traveling keto bread all over Europe online..not knowing if I will ever get this important package or not. 
Then a few days later the package is switched to Fedex and goes to UK, Italy and finally Sophia and Bansko,  Bulgaria. My sweet landlord here ( who I kept in the loop on this odd issue via WhatsApp)  opens package ( sends a photo) and puts bread in the freezer (as I had asked her to do). She decides to put it in her 80 year old mothers freezer as she rarely uses it. Much to her shock, when she is not there, the mother discovers the bread, tries it and loves it and eats up my "impossible to find" keto bread! 

Bansko  Ryanair Delay & Traveling Keto Bread getting low carb bread bulgaria

My Bansko landlord  confesses this to me ( after I arrive) with great guilt and hesitation and it just cracks me up. BUT she goes even further ( on her own) and tracks down some keto bread in Sophia ( made in Poland) and gives that to me!! Too funny and too sweet! So now I have some delicious keto bread ( OK not as good as mine, but good and very healthy) and a great story to tell!  I think it also says a lot about the Bulgarian people who are special!! This landlord has a degree in English literature and is very helpful, kind and use to dealing with these kind of odd tourist, foreigners and digital nomad issues.

Bansko  Ryanair Delay & Traveling Keto Bread! covid paxlovid barcelona or bulgaria
Sadly, despite how careful we have been, staying away from people and always masking up on planes or anytime inside or in a car etc, even keeping a distance outside as much as we can, we just got sick with Covid ( a bit shocked to see the PCR test is positive. Ugh! I feel horrible, so keep us in your prayers. If you know any way we can get Paxlovid here in Bulgaria asap, please let us know. We managed to avoid Covid all this time, but now it has caught up with us and we pray it does not do much damage ( as it has to so many we love). Not sure if we got it in Spain or Bulgaria, but this is likely not the best place to be with covid as so far we can not even find Paxlovid which is so easy to get in LA and makes symptoms 90% less bad and shorter. 


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