Bulgaria? Nobody goes there!; Charlene Kasian; San Diego Reader

Bulgaria – Rila Monastery

Like many Westerners, I imagined a gritty, gray and boring post-Communist Balkans.

“Bulgaria? Nobody goes there!” said my husband when I mentioned it.

Admittedly Bulgaria had never really been high on my list of places to visit, but fate brought me an opportunity to meet an old friend in the capital, Sofia. Like many Westerners, I imagined a gritty, gray and boring post-Communist, post-Yugoslavia Balkans. However, I had once read that Bulgarians nod their heads for “no” and shake them for “yes”, and I thought it might be interesting in an offbeat way to at least see that for myself.

I was surprised to find that Bulgaria is also a place with ancient history and spirituality like in Rome and Greece, walkable cities with ornate architecture and good wine like western Europe, and Middle Eastern flair inherited from centuries in the Ottoman Empire.

The more I looked the more I wanted to see.

Sofia historic interests

Unless you’re a scholar of ancient history, you might not realize that Bulgaria was part of the Roman Empire from around the 1st century. Recently-excavated archaeological remains were woven into the fabric of modern Sofia.

Source: Bulgaria? Nobody goes there!

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