After leaving Brasov, Romania, we decided to catch the train and make our way back to Macedonia, stopping briefly in Sofia, Bulgaria. This is such an interesting city, I regret that we only allowed one day to have a look around.
When we got off the train in Sofia, there were a few good hotels within a short walking distance. We arrived in the night, yet had no problem getting a room at a nice hotel with a reasonable rate. We spent the next day on a walking tour of the city, also taking the subway which was also located a short distance from the hotel and train station.
As we walked through the streets we were very impressed at how clean and well kept the city is. One of the buildings we passed had armed guards resembling the guards at Buckingham Palace in London. Since the language is not one we understand, we could only assume it was a government building of some kind.
The first stop was a brief stroll through the Pagan Museum, checking out the artifacts used in rituals so many years ago. Many of the things on display were not that different than some of the things used in rituals of the Catholic Religion. Apparently, freedom of religion is alive and well in this part of the world, considering we have seen evidence of at least 5 different religions with Christianity and Muslim being the most practiced in the area.
Our next stop was at the National Art Museum located in beautiful Battenberg Square. This museum was quite interesting so we spent at least a couple of hours or more walking through. The gallery has a unique collection with arts of distant lands as well as not so distant. So many of the things we saw on display were taken from Macedonia, a neighboring country to Bulgaria. Ched is from Macedonia and was very confused as to how Bulgaria ended up with so many artifacts that came from his country. One would have to believe that such treasures would not leave the country from which they originated.
This was our last stop in Bulgaria. Time to catch the bus back to Skopje, Macedonia for a few more days before flying back home.