Remnants of USSR still visible
Sofia Travel Blog› entry 65 of 95 › view all entries
Bulgaria's capital city of Sofia, as the rest of the country, is trying desperately to find itself after gaining independence from the Soviet Union. Yet, there are many reminders of soviet rule. For example, the streets at night can be very dark and vacant, a kind of erie homage to its former ruler. Also, most of the ciities architecture remains gray and drab, a seemingly prerequisite to a soviet city. However, there is a movement, mainly among the new restaurants, to break away from the soviet stronghold. Many new, ecclectic restaurants have sprung up around the city. In the US, if you were to eat at places that look like the ones in Sofia, you would expect to pay a large price, but that is not the case here in Sofia.
One of the unique things found in the city after the fall of the Soviet Union are called squat shops. Once capitalism entered Bulgaria, normal citizens turned their own basements into convenient stores. Instead of building stairs down to the store, they just opened their windows and sell wares to customers who must squat to reach. For lunch we ate at Divaka, i had the Green Chicken Salad for 3.20 BGN. Super cheap, especially for the quality.
We walked around the city after lunch. First, we went to Sveta Nedelya Cathedral. Then to Aleksander Nevski Church and Crypt. I did not go into the church, but the crypt was pretty interesting. The entry was 4BGN and the crypt contained art from the 16th through the 19th century.
Next we went to Sveta Sofia Church built in the 5th century, very cool. After that we explored the ethnographical musuem...boring. Not worth the 3 BGN to get in, full of costumes and rugs.
For dinner we ate at Taj Mahal, an Indian Restaurant recommended to us by a waitress who ran out of Indian food that night. It was excellent cuisine. We split the lamb marsala and chicken tikka, with rice it was 30 BGN. After dinner we checked out O'shipka and had some cocktails. Not much of a party scene though, mainly 20-30 somethings hanging out eating dinner.