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Beautifully Ugly

Oxymoronic, but I cannot think of a more apt description for Sofia. It's a city in transition, rough around the edges, an exciting but curious melange of former Eastern Bloc relics and modern Western European sensibilities. Beautiful? Hardly. There's no precious little old town that is so common in other European capitals, only austere Soviet-style concrete buildings, which can only be described as grotesque abominations.

There are no quaint and perfectly-maintained cobblestone streets, but many crumbling roads and sidewalks. Buses and trams have seen better days, though they still meet the needs of Sofia's citizens. It's a far cry from picture-perfect, but like many cities of its type, it offers beauty in unexpected places, and in unusual forms. Definitely an acquired taste, Sofia still manages to offer up many of the same pleasantries as Europe's great, and more famous capitals. Parks full of life and revelry, cafes perfect for whiling away the hours over a cup of excellent coffee and a good book, sunny terraces filled with laughter and boisterous conversation ...

This isn't Paris or Rome, it's not uniformly beautiful - expectations like that obviously would only lead to disappointment and really, why would you come to Bulgaria if that's what you were looking for? Sofia is severely lacking in tourist sights; some would even argue that it only has one worth seeing, the Aleksander Nevski Church. While I largely agree with this assessment, Sofia still has something to offer those that are looking for something different. And you know what? Sometimes different is good.

Communist Times Monument ...

Communist Times Monument ...


The Ladies Market ...

The Ladies Market ...


Aleksander Nevski Memorial Church ...

Aleksander Nevski Memorial Church ...


Archeological Museum

Archeological Museum


Sveti Nikolai - Cute Little Russian Church

Sveti Nikolai - Cute Little Russian Church


City Park ...

City Park ...


National Theatre

National Theatre


Sveti Georgi Rotunda ...

Sveti Georgi Rotunda ...


Pure Propaganda - Monument to the Soviet Army

Pure Propaganda - Monument to the Soviet Army


Sofia's Synagogue

Sofia's Synagogue


Mineral Springs, Found All Over Bulgaria ...

Mineral Springs, Found All Over Bulgaria ...


Statue of Saint Sofia ...

Statue of Saint Sofia ...


Communist Party Headquarters

Communist Party Headquarters


Sushi in Bulgaria??!?  Can't Imagine It's Any Good

Sushi in Bulgaria??!? Can't Imagine It's Any Good


Needed Back Home - Fitness Park For Kids ...

Needed Back Home - Fitness Park For Kids ...


What Makes Navigating in Cyrillic More Confusing?

What Makes Navigating in Cyrillic More Confusing?


When the Same Street Has Two Different Names!!!

When the Same Street Has Two Different Names!!!


Traditional Bulgarian Lunch ... With Soy Sauce??!?

Traditional Bulgarian Lunch ... With Soy Sauce??!?


Stuffed Peppers w/n Yogurt Dill Sauce ...

Stuffed Peppers w/n Yogurt Dill Sauce ...


Balkan Masters of the BBQ ...

Balkan Masters of the BBQ ...


National Palace of Culture ...

National Palace of Culture ...


Very Odd That This is Called Lover's Bridge ...

Very Odd That This is Called Lover's Bridge ...


Photo Exhibit on Lover's Bridge ...

Photo Exhibit on Lover's Bridge ...


Super Useful Description of the Exhibit ...

Super Useful Description of the Exhibit ...


First Non-English Word I Understood in Sofia ...

First Non-English Word I Understood in Sofia ...


Sorry Excuse For a Kebab ...

Sorry Excuse For a Kebab ...

Posted by vagabondvoyager 17:00 Archived in Bulgaria

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