Monday, May 2, 2011

Sofia, Bulgaria

We made a short trip to Sofia, Bulgaria to obtain a new visa to complete our mission. While there we took in a few sights of the city. Bulgaria is in the European Union, and was more westward looking that what we have experienced in Ukraine. At the same time, that means things cost more ther than in Ukraine.

This is a picture of a square in downtown Sofia in which there were hundreds of bears, all the same size and shape, but painted to represent each country in the world. Altough we did not look too closely, we assumed the bear painted as the Statue of Liberty represented the USA.
There were many very colorful and artistically painted bear statues.

The biggest cathedral is known as the Gold Dome, which is the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and represents SOfia as a substantial landmark.

One of our (my) highlights was a visit to the Bulgarian Military Museum. There were lots of military hardware that stems from the Soviet times.

One was the illusive Scud missile that was used by Iraq in the first Gulf war against Israel and the Allied forces.

Most impressive, however, was the lengthy history of Bulgaria and the excellent displays that were housed in a 4 story museum. Bulgaria was at the crossroads of many invaders and/or occupiers of their land. Located in the Balkins they have been subjected to the Russians, Ottoman Empire, Romans, Hungarians, Germans, etc., etc. They sided with Germany in WWI and WWII, but ended up on the Allied side in WWII. They were a satellite country in the Soviet Union days, but not part of the Soviet Union. They do claim that they protected all the Jews that lived in Bulgaria from the Nazi exterminations.

We enjoyed our brief visit to Bulgaria. We even found a Bulgarian Monopoly game and an Anti-Monopoly game. It will be fun to see what that means.

Bye for now.

Tom and Shauna

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