Back in Sofia
Trip Start Apr 25, 2012
38Trip End May 12, 2012
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I was kind of hoping that I would be able to get onto my blog tonight since this place has wifi and a computer for internet - neither of which worked for me. I am so tired that it is just as well except that I could have written this online rather than in Wordpad.
I am in Sofia - accent on the first syllable contrary to what I have always used. The flights were not very memorable. I didn't have much time for my connection in Dulles. The United agent was very sweet and gave me a window seat to Frankfort. The plane was almost empty - well, there were maybe 2 out of 3 seats filled so I had extra room and it felt as if I had extra leg room too. It was 7 am when we landed in Frankfort and I had a bit of trouble getting to my gate since it was moved twice and not on the departure board when I looked. The flight was short but we got a sandwich for mid-morning snack or early lunch
There was no trauma on my arrival in Bulgaria and I left the airport by taxi - recommended by Tourist Info as the best way into the city - in warm, sunshiny weather. My minor trauma came as I checked into Scotty's Boutique Hotel. When I reserved my extra days, I had put april 25th as my arrival and since I didn't arrive on the 25th, they cancelled my reservation and only had one of the two days available. The desk clerk kept telling me I should have called when I changed my plans. I hadn't really changed my plans - I just hadn't realized that I was arriving a day after I left the US when I made the reservation. I was duly chastised but she somehow figured out a way for me to have a room until I join the group and she is hoping that I can have the single on the first day of the group stay. We'll see. Scotty's is pretty basic, but light and it has a refrigerator stocked with all sorts of stuff - so much that it is hard to fit in my extra food
After sorting out the room and booking a trip to Rila Monastery for Saturday, I set out for a little sightseeing. First I went right to the market at the end of the street that the desk clerk mentioned: Zhenski Pazr, or Women's Market. Frommer's says "it's a great place to wander and pickup a bag of sweet cherries or a freshly baked banitsa (traditional Bulgarian pastry), but do watch your valuables." It was nice but I felt self-conscious taking photos and didn't see anything I wanted to buy except maybe for some strawberries but I passed on those for now. I was really thirsty and didn't see anything to drink until after I had left the market.
I then wandered over to the city center with all its monumental buildings for government and the arts, churches and mosques. A synagogue is almost across the street from the hotel but I had just missed it since it closed at 4. How did it get to be 4 pm already? I took a few photos of some places that I had been to last year and then headed out to the Monastery Kitchen restaurant that some of us went to last year and enjoyed so much. I ordered a salad and shashlik but the shashlik was accompanied by most everything that was in my salad except for the wonderful stuffed peppers. I took a photo of them of course. My waiter spoke English and tried to be helpful. I asked him how to say thank you in Bulgarian but I had a lot of trouble with the pronunciation - he even spelled it in our alphabet for me: blagodhia. I paid by credit card and tipped in cash but was sorry that I didn't have more small stuff to give him.
On my way back from dinner, I ran into the Russian Orthodox Church and took a few photos of the sun shining on the cupolas but nothing spectacular
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My Review Of The Place I Stayed