21 June 2012

Sofia OVER

We started our final full day rather late, so we went straight for lunch. I think our waitress was a bit English-scared, but I made sure to point to the menu. I'm pretty sure for one dish she memorised the location of the item so she could cross-check with the Bulgarian one—totally how I planned it. She did just fine in bringing us our delicious and super cheap orders!

The main thing I still wanted to see was the Ethnography Museum. It's housed in the National Art Gallery, but the art part of the action seems to be subject to renovation at the moment. The museum was like many, somewhat budget, but there was a really great video piece on an end-of-winter Bulgarian festival. (You may recall my post on Fastnacht and Setsubun.) Pictures of similar festivals in Europe were also exhibited. As for the rest of the collection, the kindness of one of the staff members in explaining one or two things really made our visit that little bit more special. I wouldn't know, by just looking at it, that a particular ceramic object is part of an interesting ritual, or what the motifs in the embroidery suggest, so thanks, Mr Dude. The shop at this museum also worked out for me—I'm wearing my silver Bulgarian necklace everywhere! (Thanks, Mr Husband-man ;))

We poked our heads into some more of the churches, and then we mostly just chilled out and watched the world go by. Always important.

You may have noticed some themes in the pictures, so a few general notes. I loved the little tuck shops and how narrow they could be, or how a thousand products could be exhibited at the front. My favourite version of this shop was the cellar shop. Customers have to bend down or crouch on the sidewalk to tell the shopkeeper what they want.

And speaking of sidewalks, man, what a mess they are. The state of the paving seems to have inspired some buildings to pave directly in front of their property so that at least that part looks a bit better. Bottom line: watch your step.

The next morning we took a taxi back to the airport and hung around there, before we could hang around Vienna airport, then Frankfurt airport, then Stuttgart Main Station, and finally our own home!

I never got around to buying any, but Sofia had some interesting second-hand book markets. Some sellers also had titles in English, French, German, or other languages.

I did buy a book at the museum about the history of Bulgaria and its people. What a pity that someone with a sufficient level of English didn't edit the text.

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