A Day in Sofia, Bulgaria: More Photographs

Note: This is a continuation of the trip report of the day I spent in Sofia, which is the capital city of Bulgaria.

E ven if you are not a history buff — and I can only take so much history before I have had enough — a visit to the National Institute of Archaeology is a must.

Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

The museum is housed in the oldest preserved building in Sofia — dating back to the end of the 15th century.

Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

The entrance fee is 10.00 Bulgarian Lev — or approximately $6.75. There are discounts for students and groups; and guided tours are available. I did not take a guided tour.

Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

The artifacts and relics — both inside and outside of the building — were interesting to me; but again, there is only so much history I can take…

Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

…but it does amaze me that I can view an object created by humans from centuries ago and get a small glimpse of what life was like back then.

Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

I decided to continue to wander about the city and simply photograph some of the typical day in the life of Sofia.

Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

Looking south down the main street in the city center of Sofia; and typical street signs using Cyrillic characters. Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

I walked south down the main street from the city center.

Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

A streetcar carries its passengers towards the city center of Sofia. Photograph ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

Lampposts at a shopping promenade. Photograph ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

Shopping promenade in Sofia. Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

From left to right: the statue of Saint Sofia and Statue at an intersection in the city center of Sofia; and a statue in a fountain in front of the Ivan Vazov National Theater. Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

I reached a pedestrian bridge which has no name but is known as The Bridge of the Lovers because it supposedly was commonly used place for meetings of young people in love.

Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

The unnamed pedestrian bridge known as The Bridge of the Lovers. Photograph ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

The bridge — which connects the National Palace of Culture to the Hilton Sofia hotel property — has an open air gallery with photographic exhibitions. Sometimes festivals take place on this bridge.

Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

Two similar perspectives of The Bridge of the Lovers as seen from near the Hilton Sofia hotel property. Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

This McDonald’s restaurant is located below and just west of The Bridge of the Lovers. Photograph ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

I decided to head back the approximately four kilometers from the Hilton Sofia to the central train station to catch my overnight ride back to Bucharest, as I had a flight the next day.

Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

Vendors inside of the central train station in Sofia. Photograph ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

The inside of the train station did not look nearly as eerie and dark as it did early that morning.

Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

The green train actually brought a whimsical quality to what I otherwise consider a cold and utilitarian interior of the train station.

Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

This green train is displayed inside of the central train station in Sofia. Photograph ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

However, the decorative architectural work on the walls was rather interesting to me.

Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

If I did not know any better, I would say that this wall is displaying a form of art deco. Photograph ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

This is a detail of what I consider the art deco work on the wall of the interior of the central train station of Sofia. Photograph ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

The schedule board is located on the wall below what I consider the art deco style on the wall inside of the central train station in Sofia. Photograph ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

Well, here is the schedule board with the timetables — and if could read the darn thing, it probably showed that my train was scheduled to depart on time.

Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

This is the schedule board, which is all Cyrillic to me. Photograph ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

For all I know, the information may as well have read that the train from Sydney to Anchorage was on time as well.

Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

Some broken clocks are at least correct twice per day. Not this one. Photograph ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

These are two separate photographs joined together of the signage which would say in English that this is the Sofia Central Train Station. Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

Despite the broken clock, I knew it was about time to depart Sofia.

Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

This train is about to depart Sofia on its overnight journey to Bucharest in Romania. Photograph ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

Photographs ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

This train is about to depart Sofia on its overnight journey to Bucharest in Romania. Photograph ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

There are plenty of historic buildings and parks around Sofia which you can enjoy — but I arrived with absolutely no plan in mind; nor had I had any idea what was in Sofia. That is actually not a bad way to spend the day in an unfamiliar location; as it heightens the experience with adventure and curiosity — almost as if I “discovered” the places which I highlighted in both parts of this trip report.

However, there are a number of other areas around Sofia which I would have been interested in exploring — and I did not have the time to venture outside of the city; but I understand that the natural topography of Bulgaria is breathtaking.

If you are interested in shopping around Sofia, you are reading the wrong weblog. Unless you go to Sofia in the near future, I recommend that you ask Kendra Collins of the Points and Pixie Dust weblog or Jennifer Moody of The Jetsetter’s Homestead weblog to go to Sofia and shop their hearts out. They would enjoy it far more than me and give you fantastic and detailed reports — just read some of their past shopping exploits as proof — as I personally consider shopping akin to pure torture.

A day trip walking around Sofia truly does suffice; but if you are more interested in exploring the culture and history of Sofia and Bulgaria in general, I would recommend staying overnight and spending at least part of the next day in Sofia — and add more time if you plan on exploring other parts of Bulgaria…

…and to Michael of the Michael W Travels weblog: I hope that this trip report of primarily photographs has been helpful to you while you are in Bulgaria and Sofia this week.

2 thoughts on “A Day in Sofia, Bulgaria: More Photographs”

  1. MuslimTravelGirl says:

    Actually these shots are very nice of Sofia. As half Bulgarian i am proud of you walking the 4 miles to the train. You are right, until recently I hadn’t paid much attention to Sofia but there are some awesome places to visit and the Vitosha mountain as well.
    I hope you liked your short time in Sofia.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I did — and I would have liked to have stayed another day or so, as there were some things I missed.

      By the way, I enjoy walking. If you do not have to walk any unreasonable distances, it is the best way to see a city or a destination, in my opinion.

      Thank you, MuslimTravelGirl.

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