7.01.2006

Synagogues, Churchs, and Mosques, Oh My!

Sofia, Bulgaria is a beautiful city rich with history. Many of the sites are sunken into the ground with age and offer a portal into a different time. Thursday we took a walking tour of the city with a guide from our fantastic hostel ("Hostel Mostel") and saw famous buildings and the many different places of worship for various religions. While the city offers beautiful ruins and Soviet relics, the real experience occurred within the confines of our hostel. After traveling for a few weeks, touristy ventures lose some of their appeal. The attractiveness isn't lost forever, you just want to do something else, like play chess with other travelers, swap stories, or maybe watch the World Cup. I'm never as awed as I feel I should be by beautiful site and landscapes anyway, people fascinate me to a far greater extent.

We met a whole slew of interesting travlers at the Hostel Mostel. There was Mike the friendly Australian Pharmacist living outside of London; Alex from Northfield, Minnesota (where my brother Mills and Sister Melley attend college) who received a grant to study graffiti in Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa; The Texan who attended BC; and the incredible and humble Australian guy who had been riding his biycle for a year and a half (he started in Singapore). That's just a sampling of the interesting folks we encountered. Meeting all these people, I can't tell if it's a small world or a massive one.

Thursday night we gathered everyone we could and hit the Sophian nightlife. It's always interesting when you pay a cover to get into a club, and discover that the bartenders mysteriously have no change and you still have to pay to use the bathroom.

The following day we walked around a bit, but mainly just stuck around the common area of the hostel chatting with fellow travelers. It may sound like a bit of a waste, not taking full advantage of a rarely accessible foreign city, but I learned a different kind of knowledge from these people than I did walking around and taking in the city's history; it was well worth the sacrifice, not to mention a damn good time.

6 Comments:

Blogger Cvety said...

Joe, if you're still in Bulgaria, call me!
+359888727991
Take care guys!
Cvety

12:04 AM  
Anonymous Tim. said...

Hey Fellas. By the time you get this, the 4th of July will be well over in Sofia, but, hey. Happy 4th. I hope you guys enjoyed Sofia. If you're still there, and still have time, there's this pretty cool bar called Brilliantin, just across from the National Bank. While the BG Mafia owns it--as well as every other club in Sofia, it seems--that is one they never go to. They play a lot of '80s music, and that could be why. Hope the rest of your time is fun and safe.

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