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Sofia in rain and sun

Return to Sofia day two


View A return to Sofia on ToonSarah's travel map.

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A rainy morning in Sofia

After a good night's sleep we awoke to the forecast rain. Luckily we had come prepared, so with umbrella and waterproof we ventured out. We had breakfast in a Costa Cafe near the City Garden, with a window table that allowed for some people watching.

We considered doing the free walking tour that I'd enjoyed on my previous visit, but the weather was still poor so we decided to wait until the afternoon. Instead we visited some galleries. The first was attached to the nearby National Theatre. The advertised photography exhibition was rather dull but there were some appealing works in the other exhibition, focusing on the emergence of women's art between the wars.

It was only drizzling when we left so we had a look at some of the sculptures in the square in front of the theatre. My favourite was a 1943 one called Aeroplanes.

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In the City Garden ~ 'Aeroplanes' is bottom right

As the rain got heavier again we went into the national art gallery in a former Palace. It was a good chance to see inside a beautiful old building and some of the paintings were of interest, although many were not to my taste (old portraits and still life works). There was also a challenging albeit very good photography exhibition about torture.

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One of the rooms in the Palace National Art Gallery

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Staircase in the Palace National Art Gallery

We took a break from the rain back in our cosy apartment. Late morning it dried up and we walked back to the Vitosha Boulvard where we had salads for lunch in one of the restaurants. At 2.00 we met up with the Free Sofia tour guide, Niki, and the rest of the group. While we waited for the tour to start we had a nice chat with a girl from NYC and a guy from Paris.

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Outside the Palace of Justice

The tour was excellent and followed pretty much the same route as the one I did three years previously. It was a much better intro to the history for Chris than I could have given him, so he enjoyed learning more about the city while I got a useful refresher and some new photos.

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Sveta Nedelya Church

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St. George Rotunda Church, and a wedding shoot nearby

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Detail of the National Theatre

As I covered most of this in my previous post I'll simply refer you back there for more photos and information: Discovering Sofia

The tour finished at the Alexander Nevski cathedral, so we went inside so Chris could see the wall paintings in the rather gloomy interior. As on my previous visit I decided to pay the photography fee. It’s a nice way to support the cathedral (alternative to a donation) and I’m always itching to get my camera out!

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St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, inside and out

We then went back to the apartment for a break - just as well, as soon after the heavens opened and there was a terrific thunder storm with some of the heaviest rain I've ever seen in Europe.

It was still raining an hour or so later when we wanted to go out for dinner. So we abandoned plans to go any distance and chose the nearest that we could find, a steak place on the corner of the Crystal Garden square. Neither of us actually fancied steak but they had other options and the pasta dishes we both chose were fine - tagliatelle with a truffle cheese sauce for me, spaghetti Bolognese in a rather unusual bowl for Chris.

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Pasta dishes at Urban Legends

We shared a tiramisu for dessert and by the time we left it had stopped raining; we could even see stars above us in the sky. So we took some photos near the square and then walked over to the illuminated cathedral for some shots there.

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Night traffic on bul. Tsar Osvoboditel

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St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral at night

Posted by ToonSarah 15:40 Archived in Bulgaria Tagged churches night palace city cathedral sculpture sofia bulgaria Comments (2)

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