A Travellerspoint blog

"If there's no Fen TV, we ain't staying here"

#BalkanBants - Sofia

sunny 30 °C
View #BalkanBants on kmmk17's travel map.


After a long trip through the southern Balkans since we left Dubrovnik, we were finally on our way back to the EU, and the last country on our joint trip - Bulgaria. And as we made our way through the Macedonian and Bulgarian mountains the temperature reached new lows - being just a chilly 27C by mid morning!

After sorting out Johan's onward travel to Bucharest at the station, we made our way to our hotel to drop off our bags before heading into the city proper.

Sofia was the biggest city we had visited on our trip since we left Belgrade, but, like Belgrade, from the outset it didn't appear to have that much more to see than anywhere else, and so we scheduled just a long afternoon in the city.

Largo

Largo

We began by walking just around the corner to the Largo - a huge and beautiful example of Socialist Classicism in the heart of the city. After walking past the monument to St. Sofia, we detoured to the Courts of Justice, before walking back through the Largo to the former Royal Palace and National Theatre.

Royal Palace

Royal Palace


National Theatre

National Theatre

After seeing the sights in the city centre we made our way to the icon of the city - the Alexander Nevski Cathedral, taking a cool down inside, before heading past the National Assembly and University to the Knyazheska Garden.

Alexander Nevski Cathedral

Alexander Nevski Cathedral

Inside this park is the Monument to the Soviet Army, which we walked past before stopping for an ice cream to cool down. We then made our way through the outskirts of the city centre to the other abandoned statue from the communist era - the monument to the 1300 years of Bulgaria in the NDK Park, alongside it's more popular sibling, the National Palace of Culture.

National Palace of Culture in NDK Park

National Palace of Culture in NDK Park

As we made our way back to the city centre we walked down the main shopping street, stopped off in the central square to get some souvenirs and checked in at the hotel hoping to have the Fen TV channel. Luckily we did, and after avoiding the beggars in McDonalds for dinner we came back to enjoy our last evening listening to trashy Bulgarian #choons as we had done in Macedonia.

Looking back, Sofia was in many ways how Belgrade could be. They were both big cities, with a similar number of attractions. However the location of Sofia's, as well as the easier transportation around the city (the only city on the trip with a Metro), makes Sofia a much more pleasant city to visit.

The city was an interesting one to visit, even though it was relatively small to visit. And after saying goodbye to Johan the following morning, I made the trip to the airport and therefore home where I then suffered the misery of the British summer. After enduring near 40C temperatures for near on two weeks I was headed for the rain and 14C!

The Balkans was an amazing experience. Some absolutely stunning scenery, as well as a lot of heritage, history and culture. I would highly recommend visiting this area, with the stand outs most certainly being Bosnia and Montenegro.

Tips

Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in Bulgaria Tagged city cathedral balkanbants

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.

Login