I had my last full day in Sofia, it snowed overnight, and carried on at varying intensity throughout the day.

snowy street

I went past the Nevsky Cathedral again.

nevsky cathedral

It’s an imposing structure.

I stopped for lunch on Slavyenkov Square and caught this shot of the tram from a dingy alley.

tramway

There’s this protest tent outside the Lago, with slogans referring to ‘the system kills us’ - a group which advocates for disabled people. See the wheelchairs around the tent.

protest tent

I don’t know much about it; every time I’ve been past there were no protesters around, the police officers don’t pay it any attention. Much like the Nevsky Cathedral, I was reluctant to look inside.

Here’s the statue of John Atansoff outside the ‘Telephone Palace’.1 In 1942, he invented the first automatic digital electric computer along with Clifford Berry. While the computer was invented in the USA, Atansoff was of Bulgarian background, which explains his statue here in Sofia.

atansoff statue

Same as in Plovdiv, this telegraph building takes up a whole block in the centre of the city and it’s far larger than you would expect, it even extends at the back over the street behind it. Why does Bulgaria have such huge telephone exchanges?

Going home

On my last morning in Sofia, I finally visited the national gallery, and walked from the centre out through the dense forest of Boris’s Garden/Freedom Park. In the forest I spotted a red headed woodpecker2 drumming into a tree, there were flakes of wood scattered across the snow.

I also went past the Old Baba Yaga monument. It was enough of an atmosphere to come across the clearing all alone in a silent forest, although the monument itself wasn’t scary in itself. From there I went to take a curious peek over the walls of the big Russian embassy, then a metro from Joliot-Curie straight to the airport.

After loitering in Terminal 2 for a few hours, I took off for Birmingham.

  1. Телефонна палата, I had to double-check that translation, it is accurate if strange language. 

  2. The bird has a red head, but that describes several different species of woodpecker. I’m no bird-watcher.