August 6, 2011 - 7/23 – Sofia Tour*

Ottoman 11: Sofia Tour
Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A very brief post for this break day.. 

After the last few days of riding, everyone was looking forward to some unstructured time.  We planned to take Cheri’s (pedal problems) and Bob’s (a mess) for some tune up work at a Vivelo – the best bike shop in probably 300 kilometers which was recommended by Toni Schneider, to take a two hour walking tour, and generally rest up.

I started out thinking that Sophia would be my least favorite of the six capitals.  The Bulgarian villages and Sophia itself is some slight step down from Belgrade and Serbia.  And as Lisa says, the people are stoic.  But after the cafes, dinners, tours and all, it grows on you.  Just a few pictures for today…

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Just out the front door of the Sheraton Sofia Balkan Hotel, this is the statue of Sofia herself.  Though the symbolism of Sofia is centuries old, the statue isn’t even 20 years old.

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This is our tour guide.  Compared to the other few we’ve used, he was pretty good.  He could answer questions and provide opinions, as well as all the dates and descriptions.

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Hete’s the walking tour team:  Jürgen, Bob, Lisa, Annie and Nels.  We’re sitting in front of some uncovered Roman ruins in front of the oldest operating church in Europe, in front of the back of our hotel.  The Sheraton is in a spectacular location

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Here are tow impressive squares and buildings just east of our hotel   Unfortunately, flying over the Atlantic at the moment with Lisa sleeping next to me, I can’t remember or get accurate information on them – but they are important.

Oh, and here’s my late lunch after the tour, from some little shop/window on a side street.  It’s a big piece of thin dark bread that they spread on a thin layer of ground beef, then a bit of cheese on top, then bake it somehow.  You put catsup on it and eat it with a Coke.

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As always, I try not to provide the basic information that’s available anywhere on the places we visit.  So, for more information on Sofia, go to Wikipedia!

Bob 8/3/11 2:43p   Over Nova Scotia

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