I would like to thank my parents for their continued logistical and emotional support. Also Arjan Schilling, Max Smits, Sedat, and Tine Lambers from the Sultanstrail team, for answering numerous questions and being generally helpful and enthusiastic about my trip. The Sultans trail is a long-distance walking trail from Istanbul to Vienna, and I have been following it via GPS for Turkey and Bulgaria. It has been an invaluable help for navigation. Information can be found at www.sultanstrail.com. My thanks go out to Julian Perry from Balkan trek (www.balkantrek.com) for giving very detailed answers to my questions about trekking through the Bulgarian mountains in winter. For help, hospitality, and pleasant company, I received on the trail and in the town, above and beyond a standard commercial relationship, my thanks go to Rumen and the team at Hotel Deni in trigrad; Mel and Lee at the Melanya guesthouse (www.melanya.com); Stan at Chatama cabins on Golyam Beglik Reservoir (facebook.com/chatamalive); Ferdi and his family at Family Hotel Deizi in Borino; and Karina in Plovdiv for welcoming me to the city and helping me collect my crucial package of winter gear. Lastly, I am extremely indebted to Dana and Petra D., who were extraordinarily generous and hospitable to me during my stay in Sofia (and who found me the computer and gave me a space to write this blog), many many thanks.