0 - Brenda; 15 - Gastroenteritis
Trip Start Jun 19, 2011
20Trip End Jul 12, 2011
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Dennis' talk went well, and he was given a tour of the facilities. It is interesting that Bulgaria just reported their first case in 2 years of CCHFV (Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus - the virus Dennis studies at UTMB-Galveston). Is this a bad omen? Hope not!
Dennis returned to the hotel at around 2pm
I love the vibrancy of this city! Although it is a Tuesday night, there were several stages around the downtown area presenting live music that drew decent-sized crowds of people. One of the bands played some Arabian-style music, and people were dancing. We continued walking along the cobble-stoned streets. The most fascinating thing for me is to walk along a street that is filled with so many different architectural structures from different historic time periods: there are several buildings obviously that are reminiscent of the Eastern block era - many of of which are very run down or abandoned - but there are cathedrals and churches, for example, that date as far back as the 4th century! We found a sunken church just behind the newer Presidency building that was built by the Emperor Justinian (Byzantine/Eastern Roman Empire) around 390 AD, with many of its layers of frescoes still visible. There was a small service going on (only 2 people and 1 priest); Dennis and I watched in silence from the doorway. We also walked past the Church of St. Nicholas ("The Miracle Maker"). There are also a number of monuments and statues around the city that were built to express their gratitude to the Russians for their efforts against the Ottoman Turks and WWII, just to name a few.
We decided to eat at a sushi restaurant for supper. I know what you are thinking. But don't worry - I just ate a bowl of plain white rice and drank bottled water.
Tomorrow we are taking a day trip from Sofia to see the Bulgarian countryside. Nikolay will be accompanying us as we drive to Plovdiv and beyond. Hope my stomach holds up!!
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