Sofia, Bulgaria

At first glance, Sofia isn’t the most gorgeous of cities. It’s got a grit to the outer edges, and driving in to town from the airport, you’ll be convinced you made a mistake coming here. But, wait until you get to the center: there’s definitely charm to be had. While I felt there was slightly less to do than in other cities we’d been to, that was actually perfect for us, since both Jer and I were pretty exhausted and wanted a bit of a break from go-go-go everyday.

Even the weekends were embraced at a much slower pace that we’d usually take, just walking leisurely around the city for hours without a map.

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We found the bustling Central Park, with it’s long fountain, people lounging in the grass, and dogs around every corner.

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My favorite spot was City Garden, right in front of the National Theatre. We sat here with our coffee and people watched for hours. The weather on Sunday was perfect and it seemed like everyone was out and about.

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This area of the city was filled with the beautiful and intricate Baroque (and Neo-Baroque) architecture you expect from Eastern Europe.

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What I found most inspiring about Sofia was in Sveta Nedelya Square. Four different religions (Eastern Orthodox, Judaism, Islam, and Catholicism) have built their houses of worship within this small square, co-existing peacefully side by side, in a display of harmony we all could learn a thing or two (or 10,002) from.

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