Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sofia

For the first time on this trip we arrived in a capital city on a day other than Saturday.

The train from Veliko Tarnovo to Sofia was uneventful however the last 60 minutes or so are through the spectacular Iskar Gorge. We like gorges, right?

I'm not so impressed at first by Sofia as our hotel is located in one of the poorer sections of town even though it's just 5 minutes walking from the center of City Center. However, we have both grown to like Sofia over the past 2+ days. It has everything we like in a city except a waterfront or river: sites, vegetarian food, good public transport, livable neighborhoods, and lots of parks. Not to mention we scored some Bulgarian yogurt starter.

Our first evening we got oriented and ate at a vegetarian restaurant.

The next day we marked up our city map and did our own walking tour of the sites.

Our second full day, a beautiful sunny summer day, we first stopped by LLBulgaricum where we chatted with the Managing Director. He convinved us that the LBB freezer dried yogurt starter would probably survive the three weeks until we got home, particularly if we can keep in a frigde at our hotle. Then we rode the Metro out to the Museum of Socialist Art, walked back to ur hotel stopping to buy yogurt starter, have a salad and coffee, then beer and a lemonade, then dinner.

Iskar Gorge
Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia, Bulgaria

Dream House Vegetarian restaurant.
Sofia, Bulgaria

Our neighborhood.
Sofia, Bulgaria

St George's Church is surrounded by a hotel.
Sofia, Bulgaria

The Mosque.
Sofia, Bulgaria

The Market House.
Sofia, Bulgaria

The Synagogue with it's Moorish architecture.
Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia, Bulgaria

We were mesmerized by the action at these public water fountains; mostly folks filling up plastic jugs with hot water btw.
Sofia, Bulgaria

The Guards and their plumes.
Sofia, Bulgaria

Orthodox Church.
Sofia, Bulgaria

Monument to the Russian Soldiers who helped liberate Bulgaria from the Ottoman Empire.
Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia, Bulgaria

Metro Station.
Sofia, Bulgaria

The Statue Garden at the Museum of Socialist Art. Lots of Lenin and workers.
Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia, Bulgaria

Hey! They are selling made-in-Bulgaria Great Wall Chinese cars.
Sofia, Bulgaria

Buying yogurt starter.
Sofia, Bulgaria

Typical apartment  block and market.
Sofia, Bulgaria

There's plenty of western culture and traffic in downtown Sofia.
Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia, Bulgaria

The pedestrian streets are pretty lively but we could not find an outside cafe to have a rest and drink where we were not overcome with cigarette smoke...No smoking allowed indoors though - and strictly observed. 
Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia, Bulgaria

2 comments:

Charles said...

The train station in Sofia is something else isn't it? It's in kind of rough shape though.

john said...

Charles, Yeah. The day we left town we arrived early at the station to give ourselves plenty of time to find the ticket office and the platform. And we did end up walking in a circle before buying our tix. ;-)