Sofia

I’ve been in Bulgaria for a week now so it’s time I JUDGED my time here so far. May even be some top tips here for others heading this way, but unlikely. Excuse my ignorance where applicable.

  1. First off, coming into the airport, I didn’t even realise they used the Cyrillic alphabet here. And hadn’t previously taken the time to learn it (as we all must) so signs are a little slow to digest. It’s not far off the Greek alphabet though.
  2. That script helps to give the place a hint of the Soviet, combined with the 8 story, dirty grey concrete buildings, trams, the accent and waking up to a veritable blizzard on the first morning here.
  3. Tourist trail so far: Large domed Eastern Orthordox cathedral named after Alexander Nevski no less(?): impressively large but a 5 minute looksee. The National Art Gallery: lots of what was there was nice but there wasn’t a great deal to see. The National Cultural Centre had a DIY expo on, showing off marvellous wares such as concrete donkeys and all the latest in guttering, pots and tiles. It was packed and people seemed fascinated. Weirdos. The National Military Museum was excellent though, a lot of big cold war hardware and Thracia and 20th centrury war history here.
  4. Veering off topic here but I just looked up the Danube (which doesn’t come through Sofia but does create most of the northern border with Romania. Just didn’t realise it was quite so extensive.
  5. Speaking of signs, I’ve also never previously had a bloke standing there in Arrivals with a sign saying SPRATT on it). Extremely grown up stuff that is for me.
  6. Beer is good and cheap, less than £1/pint, which is very welcome. Best so far is Zagorka.
  7. I’ve never been offered tripe soup before but this evening’s menu at a great little restaurant called ‘Manastirska Magernica’ made me try some. I gave it my best, then covered it with chili and tried some more but no, not really for me. The soup part probably didn’t help, just boiled full fat milk really. But I would try it again, hoping for a better recipe, but nah.
  8. The reindeer for main however was very nice, gamey, tastey stuff.

Some bad photos (I left the DSLR at home) may or may not follow after I get back on the 18th April .

[Update, 01.04.2009: Meant to include this amazing site, saw the link at said restaurant: http://folklor-tv.bg/index_1.htm press play on some of the videos, this is exactly what all of Bulgaria is like]

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