Blogs from Sofia, Sofia City , Bulgaria, Europe


Europe » Bulgaria » Sofia City » Sofia September 11th 2023

With no real plans for today we decided on a walking tour of the city. A 10am start allowed us to have a lazy start to the day and still arrive outside the Palace of Justice with time to spare. Kris was our guide today. He is a native of Sofia who studied in Germany and then chose to come back to Sofia to live. Kris had a great knowledge of the city and to be honest by the end of the tour all of the fact and dates that get crammed into the two hours get muddled by the time it comes to writing the blog. Some interesting facts that I can remember. As I mentioned yesterday, Sofia is the 3rd oldest capital city in Europe behind Rome and Athens, it's original name being Surdica. ... read more
Orthodox Church
The Lion is the National Animal EMblem of Bulgaria
The Palace of Justice

Europe » Bulgaria » Sofia City » Sofia September 10th 2023

A pretty easy distance of approximately 50kms into Sofia today. No need to leave too early and we've lost the hour by changing time zones so we settle on an 8:30am leaving time. It's nice and cool and a clear sky, perfect riding conditions. We head off from the hotel around the soccer ground and we're already on a crushed rock road (1), following our route, we're led onto a single track dirt track (2) before being directed onto nice newly laid bitumen (3) which lasts for about 150m before turning into cobblestones (4) and we're less than a kilometer from the hotel. This road is right up against the motorway and a car pulls up and a guy gets out and tells us we can't use the road we're on because it's blocked for road ... read more
Pool at our Restaurant last night
Vintage motorbike at our restaurant last night
On the Motorway

Europe » Bulgaria » Sofia City » Sofia July 31st 2023

Dear Blog Readers, We'd been really looking forward to this trip, our first time visiting Bulgaria! We'd managed to use some Avios points and a free cabin upgrade resulting in business class returns for 55,000 points and £1 which felt like a steal! Flying this way, the holiday starts at the airport after going through business class check-in, fast-track security, and then straight into the lounge. At Terminal 3 there are several OneWorld lounges to choose from even though we were flying with BA - we decided to go to the Cathay Pacific Lounge. The main reason was that it has its own noodle bar so we could have some miso soup and Vietnamese pho before even taking off! Once in the air, we were treated to a meal and the three-and-a-half-hour journey flew by, landing ... read more

Europe » Bulgaria » Sofia City » Sofia July 28th 2020

Bonjour à tous, Avant de vous parler de ma journée, je voudrais vous faire part d'un constat de comportement entre la Roumanie, surtout de l'est, avec ces 3 jours à circuler en Bulgarie. Ici j'ai retrouvé ''la civilisation'', que ce soit, surtout, au volant et dans les rues. Fini ce climat, ces comportements agressifs de la Roumanie. Fini la mendicité belliqueuse, qui est chia…. à la longue. J'y ai réfléchi, et fait le constat, qui n'est qu'une hypothèse, et ça n'a pas valeur d'étude, c'est qu'ici les gens ont beaucoup plus le type caucasien, voir pas du tout le teint foncé, type rom, j'ose à peine dire basané. Et cette différence, elle est sur une courte distance, 200km, et une concentration de population bien différente, mais que c'est agréable d'évoluer dans cette ambiance. Question, pensez vous ... read more
monastère du Rila
monastère du Rila
Sofia moderne

Europe » Bulgaria » Sofia City » Sofia July 27th 2020

Bonjour à tous, Aujourd'hui j'ai raté mom coup. Un super petit déjeuner ce matin, servi en terrasse, au calme dans cette toute petite rue du vieux Velico-Tarnovo. Ça me rattrape un peu d'hier au soir. Je ne peux pas dire précisément ce que j'ai mangé, un genre de rizotto, sur, avec des champignons, mais pour le reste ???, moi qui suis chiant pour manger, ici je ne suis pas vraiment à ma place. Je voulais me rendre à Sofia par le chemin des écoliers, vagabonder un peu dans la campagne Bulgare, plus tôt que de faire une bonne partie du trajet par l'autoroute. Tout en sachant que je ne passerais pas beaucoup de temps à Sofia, vu le peux d'activités touristiques proposées. J'ai donc programmé, Sevlievo et ensuite Gabrovo. La deuxième partie étant sur une petite ... read more
palais de la Présidence
National Gallery
sympa l'hôtel

Europe » Bulgaria » Sofia City » Sofia March 3rd 2020

Today was a holiday in Bulgaria. Bulgarian Liberation Day celebrates the liberation from the Ottoman Empire during the Russo-Turkish War in the 19th century. Hopefully, it wouldn't be too busy with people out and about. My first port of call was the bus station to get my bus ticket for the next day to Skopje. I took the subway to the Railway Station and took the exit for Serdika Bus Station. Domestic buses go from the main bus station and international buses go from the Serdika Station. Luckily, the two stations are next to each other. Something that I found quite annoying in Bulgaria is that buying bus tickets is not on a centralised system, for both domestic and international, so you have to go to the specific office or counter for the bus company you ... read more
Sofia Regional History Museum
Sofia Regional History Museum
Sofia Regional History Museum

Europe » Bulgaria » Sofia City » Sofia March 2nd 2020

Since the free Sofia walking tour didn't start until 11 am, so that let me have a leisurely morning and saunter up to the meeting point. I was surprised when I turned up at the meeting point, the Palace of Justice, to see so many people. I haven't been on a walking tour with so many people since I did an evening Ghost tour in Krakow. There were three guides at the meeting point and they were offering two different two tours; the normal free walking tour or a Bulgarian Experience tour which was more hands on and you had to pay for. It did sound interesting, apart from the dancing bit, but I decided to stick with the regular tour. I was a bit sadden that they counted the group of people and that they ... read more
Banya Bashi Mosque
Old City
Sofia Regional History Museum

Europe » Bulgaria » Sofia City » Sofia March 1st 2020

I booked a tour through the place I was staying to visit Rila Monastery. I waited to be picked up and was a little concerned when the driver was late, actually the pick up time had been changed and I could have had longer in bed. A little late we were on our way, just down the street we nearly hit a car as the other driver just opened his door without any regard for passing cars. We drove out on to the motorway and left the city behind. We got about half an hour out of the city and then the engine made a loud noise. That was the end of the trip, there was no way the car would last the distance, and we turned around headed back to the city. I was a ... read more
St. Kyriaki Cathedral Church
Statue of Saint Sophia

Europe » Bulgaria » Sofia City » Sofia September 27th 2019

How time flies when you're having fun! Our time in Bulgaria was quickly drawing to a close. The previous day was our last full day in Plovdiv and the greater part of it was spent exploring Asen's Fortress and Bachkovo Monastery in the Rhodope Mountains. This was followed by a few final hours in Plovdiv's Old Town where we had lunch, and bought & mailed postcards before returning to the hotel. We were set to leave Plovdiv on Monday, the day after this 2019 Euromeet officially came to an end with our final group dinner at Restaurant Dayana (Diana) 3. There was so much to like about Plovdiv, and I knew it was going to be a bit sad to leave. It was especially difficult knowing too that some lucky friends would be staying on an ... read more
Buzludzha Monument
Central Mineral Baths
Ornate tile work - Mineral Baths

Europe » Bulgaria » Sofia City » Sofia June 14th 2019

For well over 10 years there has been a gathering in Europe of the former members of the once popular travel blog site, VirtualTourist. Refusing to let the bonds of friendship be broken even though the website that brought them all together is gone, every year these former members vote on a proposed site for an annual gathering called a "Euromeet" where they reunite. When the votes were counted for Euromeet 2019, the winner was announced: it was Plovdiv, Bulgaria, one of two cities chosen as Capitals of Culture for 2019!! It was an exciting choice to be sure! Bulgaria, a country we have never visited previously, would present some challenges due to the "many moving parts" of the trip. Most of us would be traveling independently and would make travel decisions as such, but many ... read more
BBQ Takeout Restaurant
Grave of the Unknown Soldier with St. Sophia Church in Background
 Bulgarian Lion Guarding the Grave of the Unknown Soldier

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