So here we are again, and the Sofia EPL on 13-15
June was really pretty good, with lots of sunshine after the dismal summer in
northwest Europe, and everything was nice and cheap. From the hotel to the
restaurants, coffees and taxis, everything was laughably inexpensive. I kept
trying to pay for taxi fares with my 20 Lev note (10 GB pounds), but with typical
fares of 3 Lev, taxi drivers kept refusing to take it. The service level
everywhere was very high, with everyone charming and helpful, with good English
and lots of smiles.
The flights were cheap but, unfortunately, some of
those who came through Paris lost their luggage, and still had not had it back
by the end of the EPL. The market mood was pretty bad too, and a number of
aromatics traders were planning to join this week's ICIS Phenol Conference to
look for ways into pastures new.
Most of our meetings were outside on the terrace,
and there was time for a walk around the cobbled streets of the old city while
most delegates were watching the Germany vs Netherlands match in the Euros on
The EPL dinner had a good turnout with 152
delegates, as you'd expect at a bargain €39 a head, and a perfectly short ten-minute
speech about business in Bulgaria followed by some wild folk dancing featuring
flags, flower garlands and some fetching pointy hats.
I spent my remaining lev (and stotinki) on some
Bulgarian Delight (aka Turkish Delight) at the airport, which tastes like sweet
rubber but seems pretty popular in the ICIS office.
Photos (the good ones are from Nel):
1 View of Sofia and mountains from hotel
2 EPL at the Hilton Hotel, Sofia
3 Meeting area on the hotel terrace
4 Sofia cathedral, Wednesday evening
5 EPL dinner entertainment, Thursday