The main reason for visiting Sofia was catching up with old friends, but we managed to squeeze in a couple of hours of sightseeing. So, after taking various train and buses to get to Bulgaria, and then Sofia, we started our adventure. I have noticed Bulgarians (or at least my friends) tend to be very down on its city (especially aesthetics-wise), but I couldn’t agree with them one bit. Granted, I am already used to Balkan towns being built on a hodge-podge of influences that don’t always make the most harmonious combination, but I found Sofia to be much more striking than most of them. From all the extravagant religious sites (which I’m not a huge fan of, but some really do look lavish – like the Alexander Nevski catherdral or perhaps the Banya Bashi Mosque) to massive boulevards and giant blocky communist-style buildings (Largo), you can really start feeling the city’s unique charm. Much like in Budapest, here you can also venture to the outskirts to see a park full of left-over socialist statues of various leaders and political figures. We did that + a couple of museum in central area. At night, we went down the Vitosha street for some lighthearted bar-hopping. Quite sad I didn’t get to see the Women’s market (Zhenski Pazar), as the area is being renovated right now. Maybe next time!