Random and Direct: our trip to Sofia, Bulgaria
|Alexander Nevski Cathedral|
Sofia, Bulgaria quickly came out as the winner when we factored in cost and flight duration. Only about 1 hour 45 minutes from Rome, flights to Sofia were quite reasonably priced. And not being in the Euro zone, everything else there too was a downright bargain. The hotel was about 30 Euro a night, the average meal for 2 about 15 euro and the half marathon entrance 10. And best of all 2 litre beer bottles at convenient stores sold for about 1.20 Euro (I never had one, but appreciated the concept). Considering that we were still within the European Union, these deals were of another decade.
|Vibrant statue in front of the Theater House.|
I don't know what it is called, but I would call it Exuberance
Charming, clean, modern with an artsy flare all laid out across the backdrop of its communist history, Sofia is like an introvert friend. Unassuming and quiet, you never heard much about her, but when you give her a chance, you learn all her good qualities, making you a little regretful that you didn't know each other before.
|Statue of babealicious Saint Sofia guarding the city|
For English speakers and other readers of the Roman alphabet, Bulgarian menus are indecipherable. Restaurants don't generally have English menus posted; however, they all seemed to have one in reserve in case of requests. The food was phenomenal, mostly Mediterranean style a combo of Greek, Turkish, Serbian, Arab with some Northern European touches. Bulgar, couscous and feta combined with tomatoes, peppers, parsley are often coupled with kraut, pickled vegetables and radishes... practically the best pieces of every European/Middle Eastern cuisine.
|Not the Shopska salad but just as great!|
I happily indulged in all of these non-pasta, non-pizza meal options while still managing to maintain my very Italian coffee and wine habits, visiting many of the little coffee shops and wine bars on Vitosha Boulevard and across the city.
|One of the many cute outdoor cafes on Vitosha Boulevard|
|Enjoying the perfect weather before the half marathon|
A greater writer than I would have called this trip, the road less traveled. A modern guide book would have dubbed it off the beaten path. In my more blunt manner, I called it random and direct, but any which way you call it, being unconventional in your choices always pays off.
Check out more photos of Sofia on my Instagram feed!