Two new firsts for myself in Sofia, Bulgaria:
1) Went into mosque. Didn’t realize they were such relaxing places inside. When it is roasting outside, it is a nice place to go and rest, take a nap, have a chat, have some peace and quiet.
2) Saw a Russian Orthodox service. Filled of ritualistic shaking of medival looking metal box on a chain filled with incense and beautiful singing.
The main mosque in Sofia (turkish style):
Other than that, Sofia wasn’t really the prettiest or most touristy city you could imagine. I believe it has a lot to offer if you live there for awhile. Public transport isn’t great, and it certainly won’t wow you. But it was good to see. Definitely still very post communist looking with all the Soviet style block buildings. And massive neo-classical political buildings emphasizing the power over the people.
Also I had a really great and nice couchsurfing host in Sofia, who moved from Moldova 5 years ago, so that’s the first Moldovan I’ve met and it was really interesting to learn something about a place I know nothing about. A crazy French guy also stayed for a few nights (by crazy I mean he travelled through Pakistan, India, and Afganistan by hitchhiking the last few years and was now heading to Syria), and we had some nice home cooked meals.
Even for just the first two experiences though, it was well worth the trip.
My host Svetlana and her place (nice to stay in one of these blocks)::
No dogs, No guns:
The biiiiiig Orthodox church:
Massive neo-classical style walkway outside a state building: