Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Bulgaria

Bulgaria won my 2015 award for most surprisingly wonderful country and I couldn't wait to return. The first stop was Sophia and we immediately went to H&M to buy some warmer clothes. We visited the major attractions and went on the very interesting and very, very, very long Communist walking tour. The next day we took a trip to Rila Monastery, which was one of the highlights of my previous visit  - it was just as wonderful the second time. There was enough time before the bus ride to Plovdiv to visit the Museum of Communist Art - all of Sophia's statutes from the Communist era and a big red star have been relocated to a sculpture park in the suburbs and there is a small museum showing propaganda films.

Sophia Synagogue


Rila Monestary



Figure it Out



Plovdiv is the perfect place to just walk around and the weather was wonderful. We happened to be there on the first Thursday of the month which meant we could take advantage of "old people admitted to (almost) everything  free" day.  This allowed us to see the 3D (more like 2.5D) movie about Plovdiv's Roman stadium and walk around the inside of the Roman ampitheater. On our last morning we visited a church with beautiful Old Testament frescos.

Example of Bulgarian National Revival mansion



Sveta Marina Church frescos




Our final stop in Bulgaria was Veliko Tarnovo, one of Bulgaria's s oldest cities. Unfortunately, it rained all day and we had to hang out in our hotel. We were able to do some shopping and take short walks but we missed seeing the fortress. Luckily, we had a beautiful room at a wonderful hotel with a nice lobby for sitting and reading.

View from the Junior Suite, Hotel-Mehana Gurko


Things I Learned

  • Sophia has really great food. We had three wonderful meals, including burgers (veggie for me) at this place.




  • There is always a line at Alex's in Plovdiv. Awesome chicken shawarma - two locations!


  • I want to move to Sophia or Plovdiv or maybe to a small village outside of Veliko Tarnovo.
  • There are always new things to see and do in a place you have previously visited.

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