Sofia, Bulgaria, Exploring the Capital

Sofia, Bulgaria – Exploring the Capital

Our tricity adventure to Sofia, Skopje, and Gothenburg continued with a second day in the capital of Bulgaria. I had the evening before been able to conclude that I was not able to find a large play center for Little A. Instead, it would be a day of sightseeing for the three of us. And just the day after it was time to continue our adventure in North Macedonia. So it was time to let the Bulgarian capital show us what the city had to offer.

Exploring Sofia

Our day started once more along the Vitosha Boulevard. This pedestrian street is quite long and lined with shops, restaurants, and cafés on both sides. At its northern end is the Sofia City Court and the Saint Nedelya Church. This is also the beginning of a more administrative area of the city, with the National Assembly of Bulgaria nearby and several other official offices. In addition, there are several interesting buildings to discover here as well as a few museums.

A Walk with a Six-Year-Old

Our city walk took us past the National Assembly, the National Archeology Institute, and the National Art Gallery while Little A was fighting bravely with what was turning out to be a bit longer of a walk than normal. We did have a quick peek at the Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral before Little A wanted some ice cream. When taking long walks with kids, always find something that they can look forward to. Finding some playtime along city streets is sometimes hard, so this time we opted for something sweet to get her to follow along. It did eventually end up with pancakes instead, at a café close to the Knyazheska Garden.

A Pancake Accident

This is where we noticed we made a mistake when planning for this day. We always bring extra clothes for Little A. This was the exception. She might be six, but it is still easy to spill the chocolate sauce that was for the pancakes. Something that could even happen to an adult. Fair to say, that it was going to be a long walk back to the hotel before lunch so that she could get a change of clothes.

Returning to the Hotel

But first, we walked through the Knyazheska Garden to see if we could find a playground. This park with the Monument to the Soviet Army at its center was worn down. It turned out to be a short walk before we set our target on the hotel and a walk back to change clothes. On the way, we discovered several more of the central streets of Sofia, many not so pedestrian friendly, but there are some cozy areas also in the center. While Susann and Little A continued to the hotel, I made sure to go to H&M for some emergency restocking of Little A’s spare clothes. Just in case for the rest of the trip.

Lunch before a Nap

Once the clothes were changed we set out again. This time walking back along the streets we had just come from to get to a restaurant that we had noticed. It was going to be a huge portion for lunch with Little A getting to try a few different local meat dishes. Let’s say twe were so full when leaving the restaurant that we returned to the hotel once more to rest. This was, however, a rest that turned into a longer nap and it was already getting dark when we got back on our feet. Little A didn’t want to walk anymore, so our option for the evening was to go out for a small dinner and then let her rest in the apartment. She had already been walking many kilometers at this time, so she deserved an evening of rest.

A New Evening Stroll

I did, however, still want to see a bit more before we were leaving Sofia. So while Susann and Little A rested at the hotel, I headed out on my own once more. This time I kind of copied the walk from earlier in the day, as I wanted to see how those government buildings were lit up during the night. It turned out to be a bit sparse, to say the least. A few churches and the National Assembly had some night spotlights. But many buildings and streets were just dark. That did also, sadly, include the cathedral which was barely noticeable after nightfall.

My walk took me towards Sofia University where I decided to take the metro from Sv. Kliment Ohridski back towards the hotel. Testing the metro just felt like something I needed to do while in the city and it turned out to be surprisingly modern. Especially in comparison with the metro in Bucharest. Maybe no surprise, when seeing that it opened in 1998 and the M3 line I took opened as late as 2020. The short ride would be one of Sofia’s last explorations. The next morning our adventure would continue on the road towards North Macedonia and the city of Skopje.

Join us when we explore Sofia, Skopje, and Gothenburg here: Autumn Holidays 2023

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