"First, let’s talk about the night of my arrival in Bulgaria. By 8pm, I was on the last minibus from Skopje to Sofia. The route took us over the mountains, where a thunderstorm started up."
"The sky darkened prematurely as the clouds swelled overhead, and after a few flashes of light, the thunder cracked, and the heavens opened. It was a dramatic arrival to the Bulgarian border."
Bus to Bulgaria
"Lightning forked down to the ground in the middle distance, and now there was fog on the road as well as we descended. There weren’t any streetlights either, and I wasn’t entirely sure it was even a main road, though it must have been."
"I met an Egyptian Cardiologist, Mina, who kindly agreed to join me in my quest to find food. We found a brunch place not too far from the hostel, and after ordering our food we were able to introduce ourselves a little better."
Church of Saint Aleksander Nevzki
"It was built as a memorial to the people who fought for Bulgaria’s independence."
"The first place we dropped into was the church of Saint Aleksander Nevzki, modelled off the Hagia Sophia, and with beautiful frescos covering almost every space."
"After taking a few pictures I was asked if I had paid to do so, so when I replied ‘no’, Mina and I left."
The Light of God Burns our Heads
"The lighting was dim inside, but if you looked up to the dome you could see where some paint had melted away, and a trickle of white dripped down over a saint’s head."
I Really Tried to Find the Name
"Certainly, the city isn’t skimping on fountains; they’re everywhere, all of them throwing spray high into the sky."
Church of St. Nicholas the Miracle-Maker
St. Nicholas the Miracle-Maker
The Rotunda Church of St George. Built in the 4th century, this is the oldest building in Sofia.
More Small Galleries
Taste of Home
"The way the food was described on the menu was less than specific, but was told with unexpected flair, with each dish deserving of its own background that altogether told much more than just the food’s contents. It created context for the dishes. It told stories about how it was their grandfather’s favourite dish, or how the children would help make this particular one."
Traditional, or Exaggerated?
"The interior of the restaurant was decorated in what I assume to be the classic Bulgarian style, though perhaps exaggerated for the sake of the theme. I appreciated how much wood there was."
This is the scene in the rom-com where the girl leaves the guy because of his failure to accommodate her parents at dinner. It's his lowest point, before he reaches a high at the end of the story.
Pray for Beer
"First, on some streets in Sofia there are these knee-high kiosks which you have to kneel in front of if you want to buy cigarettes or alcohol or what have you. It’s a hangover from Soviet times where people would be selling things out of their basements, and it’s a feature of the city that persists to this day. The setup of one in particular was not dissimilar to a prayer mat in front of an altar, though the subject was decidedly less than holy."
I Need to Start Writing Names of Places in my Journals
Lots of Wall Art in Sofia
Replacing the Streets
Not all New
"After excusing myself briefly to grab a slice of pizza again (the man from NYC had a few things to say about its quality) Mina, the Irishman, and I decided to go out for a wander, because otherwise I would have done nothing all day and felt rather guilty about squandering the little time I had."
"Along the way, I stopped to take photos so often that the other two actually had to stop and come back for me, as they kept losing sight of me."