Woke up at 4 AM to travel to Sofia, purchase a new DAF truck, then travel back. Luckily, I have some good info to add.
E83, Sofia - Pleven
Last time I posted about this, trucks were not allowed on the majority of the new 'Hemus' highway and were instead re-routed to a long, LONG detour.
- Repairs on the highway tunnels and bridges are almost complete. Vehicles can pass through either side of the tunnel as it was originally intended.
= 'Echemishka' tunnel, with brand new lighs: https://email@example.com, ... 6656?hl=en
- The 'Vitiniya' tunnel is currently the only tunnel still in repair. All vehicles pass through the two-lane Southern tunnel: https://firstname.lastname@example.org,2 ... 6656?hl=en
- Trucks are now ALLOWED
to pass through the renovated parts of 'Hemus' highway. BUT!
, trucks over 12 tons are still forbidden from entering the main highway and are still being redirected through the long detour. It appears that this will be permanent rule, so... potential detour feature?
= The detour route. It's not the whole thing but I think you get the point: https://www.google.bg/maps/dir/42.74894 ... !3e0?hl=en
- In the first post about E83, I posted a snippet of a building with graffiti on it. That was outdated however, but fortunately it has since been updated to show what I really wanted you to see: https://email@example.com, ... 6656?hl=en
= What is written are two names Gundi(Гунди) and Kotkov(Котков) along with their respective portraits. These were legendary Levski Sofia players from the 1960s (Georgi Asparuhov - Gundi was also an accomplished Bulgaria national) who tragically died in a car crash in 1971. I'm not sure if this is the place where it happened, but it can make for an awesome tribute/Easter egg to have them in the game.
== Georgi Asparuhov - Gundi. I could not find the exact reference photo that was used for the graffiti but I highly doubt anyone would complain if you used a different one. Like this, for example: https://www.google.bg/search?q=%D0%B3%D ... 0693720708
=== His wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgi_Asparuhov
== Nikola Kotkov (on the right). The same image was used as a reference for the graffiti: https://www.google.bg/search?q=%D0%B3%D ... 0693720708
- This intersection is pretty interesting, particularly this style of sign: https://firstname.lastname@example.org, ... 6656?hl=en
= Left - Ruse; Right - Varna.
= Based on the recommended routes, the Ruse path should be the one that is open, as it continues north along the E83.
= The Varna route takes a detour towards the E772 which passes by Sevlievo and then Veliko Turnovo. It is presumed that the driver then continues towards Targoviste (not to be confused with Romanian Targoviste) until he connects to the E70, the highway between Ruse and Varna. It is basically an alternate route and, while I wouldn't say that it should be a priority, I would never oppose the inclusion of more Bulgarian roads.
E83, Lukovit - Pleven - Ruse
- The town of Lukovit is deceptively large and it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to have it as a scenery town. It does have a nice city Center: https://email@example.com, ... 6656?hl=en
= Sign reads '120 Years of Lukovit Town'.
- This stretch of road between Pleven and Dolni Dabnik is TERRIBLE! Very bumpy: https://www.google.bg/maps/dir/43.41292 ... !3e0?hl=en
- After enjoying some well-made cheese princesses at the Obnova roadside restaurants, my recommendation to have it as a truck stop has doubled: https://firstname.lastname@example.org, ... 6656?hl=en
= Curious to not is that the village of Obnova has some fairly big production facilities on each side of town. Add to that this stretch of road which is designed to cater to drivers, the village might be worth considering as a scenic town. Or, if for example Pleven is added as a city, Obnova can host one of it's industries.
Note on Night time driving
! Very useful to know is that once you exit Lukovit, the road from there to Byala, and then the rest of the Byala - Ruse road; is completely devoid of any light. There are no lampposts whatsoever and the only light-source are the vehicle's headlights. That and the light coming from people's homes in nearby villages. It's actually pretty fascinating to see.
Sofia, more info
I have to be honest, the road around Sofia is not the most exciting. You mostly see large farmlands and then large buildings in the distance. Take the right detour, however, and you will find some neat stuff. Proposed detour around the city: https://www.google.bg/maps/dir/42.68208 ... !3e0?hl=en
- Here you can see the gate to the 'Vrana' (Crow) palace. The residence of the last Bulgarian Tsars. The mansion cannot be seen from the road, but you can see the Main Gate and the Guard outpost that is painted in the Bulgarian tri-color. I would love to provide you with a closer view, but apparently when Street View was in the other lane, a giant rigid truck decided to park in the way and obscure the view! https://email@example.com, ... 6656?hl=en
= On the opposite end you have former army barracks, now used by the Police: https://firstname.lastname@example.org, ... 6656?hl=en
- The Southern side of the city has a pretty complex road network that I would highly recommend checking out. What I would like to point out is that nearly all bridges have the Company name that built them: https://email@example.com, ... 6656?hl=en
- Also, don't forget the gorgeous mountain vista that can be seen through the South. Sadly, Street view does not do it justice.
- This is also the road to the National History Museum: https://firstname.lastname@example.org, ... 6656?hl=en
- a MAN dealership was also spotted in the city.
- Massive sign on the Western side of the city: https://email@example.com, ... 6656?hl=en
I would like to take this opportunity to point out that there are many signs leading to Belgrade in this part of Sofia. Why is that special? Well, because... It's time to play everyone's favorite game show! How many different ways can we spell Belgrade in English?
- I've seen signs that call it BELGRADE, BELGRAD, BEOGRAD and BEOGRADE. Feel free to look around in Street view and find more of these. As soon as I saw those spelling inconsistencies, I knew that I'd be damned if I didn't write a post about it!