We woke up nice and early and decided to head to the 10 am Free Sofia Tour so we could get a grip on the city and learn a little of it’s history, cos lets face it honey we know nothing!
First stop was breakfast and our apartment is literally next door to a pancake place so we ordered two lemon and sugar to go and then we hopped, skipped and jumped- read trip, stumbled and fell down Bulgaria’s uneven pavements, all the way to our meeting point.
Here we met Nikola who was an utter babe of a tour guide and was clearly incredibly proud of his city which was gorgeous to see. We learnt all about the 6000 year history of Sofia. We learnt that it was once called Serdika, that it invented the Cyrillic alphabet, and that Sofia means wisdom, as does Sophie. I have just googled Emma. It comes from the German word for ‘whole’ or ‘universal’ not quite as romantic!
Me chilling with Saint Sofia!
We also learnt that just like ogres, Sofia is like an onion, it has layers. So you have 4th century ruins right next to Communist building, next to all the in-between eras too! So we saw a bloody lot of things:
Ruins that had been turned into pavements, the square of tolerance, churches, churches and more churches. Bells in trees. Lions, no tigers, no bears and old palaces.
A personal highlight was the eggy, 37 degree mineral water that comes from the springs way under the ground. Apparently it cures broken hearts and all sorts of ailments so no wonder people were filling it up by the big water bottle load. Emma liked the bell in the tree and the 5th century frescos that at the time of writing this we have most definitely seen!
At this last point it was time to leave our group. Shout out to all the babes on it and see you two Hungarian hunks on the Friday morning plane. Special mention must go to the lady who got excited to the point of being totally annoying and who I will definitely be just like in 20 years time. Never change. You are a star!
We decided to go back and explore some of the sights that were mentioned on our tour. We hit up the Church of Sofia which was dedicated to me, which I obviously enjoyed! And then we stumbled upon it’s crypt which had a museum of archeology in it. Come on down Bowen said. You’ll love it. It’s only 6 lev (£2.38). Let’s go see old stuff. I did not enjoy it. It was just old rocks with no explanation to them at all! I stubbed my toe twice. To be fair to the Bo she did not like it either. She did like the air con though!
Post rock exploring we went to cast our wishes on the very first Archbishop of Sofia who died. Apparently he answers them. I wished for a life filled with happiness and love. Bobo wished for less suffering and more tolerance and then changed her mind to wish that Brexit never happened, but it was too late. You only have one wish. Less suffering and more tolerance it is!
We decided it was time for lunch because quite frankly it had been too many hours without food and a little sit down. We found somewhere outside in the sun and realised it had no vegetarian options so we ordered a drink. Its safe to say that we will be most definitely coming back here, the waitresses were just so over enthusiastic about their jobs. Really, it was almost too much!
We did however end up finding some amazing food at The Rainbow Factory. The variety of food was insane, the staff hot and it also had a toilet whose door would not shut so I felt terrified whilst peeing…what a thrill! I couldn’t recommend it more. The tomato soup is currently the meal to beat! We shared the soup, salad and pasta and left feeling full and ready for a nap.
Instead of napping we went for an afternoon of culture at the National Art Gallery in what used to be the palace. It was an place full of highs and lows. The highs being the amazing photography exhibition- Open Mouthed- photos of people with their mouths open. I fear I have not sold it well here but we seriously loved it! The lows were Croatian versions of the man with hoe, the weird goblin art, the minion helmets and the videos of cows being branded. Who would have thought that I wouldn’t have liked that stuff. Things got so low that Bobo fell asleep, whilst sitting up, wearing her sunglasses. It explained a lot…well actually it didn’t, she also managed to fall asleep at our post gallery ice cream table. She will never cease to surprise me.
I have an apology to make my friends. Yesterday I promised you a trip to the doll museum but I am afraid that I failed. We got there and it had shut 2 hours before it’s official closing time. But don’t you worry this was time not wasted, we managed to swing into the gun shop next door to pick up some new rifles, before we tripped across the road to cloak ourselves in top quality fur….excuse me whilst we vomit!
Post doll museum disaster we headed back to our beautiful flat for a nap and shower before heading out for dinner at Sun and Moon.- the first vegetarian restaurant in not only Sofia but also the rest of the world and don’t you know that it sparked this modern healthy eating trend that we are now in…
The food was really yummy. Bo went for the St Georges tempeh and I had the mishmash. I still do not quite understand just what I put in my mouth but all I know is that I enjoyed every second of it. We also drank beer with cute bears stirring cauldrons on the bottle. Win!
Post food and cookie buying we headed to the Bulgarian supermarket Billa! Man do I LOVE an international supermarket. YES I WILL TAKE EVERYTHING THAT I CAN NOT GET IN THE UK IN EVERY COLOUR, FLAVOUR AND PACKAGING VARIATION YOU HAVE PLEASE!
So there you have it our second day in beautiful Sofia. I am quickly falling in love with how laid back it is here. Why can’t we have more sunshine and outdoor seating!
Tomorrow we are leaving the city gal life behind for a few hours and getting our monastery on. Will the hills be alive with the sound of music? Well my friend you will just have to come back tomorrow to see!!!