Five String was really excited to visit Bulgaria. He spent a month in college studying in Russia and was excited to return to a country where they use Cyrillic script. Unfortunately due to the crazy pace of this trip we knew that we wouldn’t have a huge amount of time to explore the country. Due to the frequency of trains running from Greece to Bulgaria we ended up with just 17 hours in which to explore Sophia, the country’s capitol city.
Our first stop was Hotel Favorit, which ended up being a gem of a hotel. The hotel is super close to the train station, and the amenities were fabulous. The room even had a bathtub, which is a rarity in Europe. Once inside the room the kids didn’t want to leave and we had a hard time getting them back out the door to venture into the city.
After a very long train ride from Greece we were ready for a sit-down meal and headed to Restaurant & BBQ Niagara. We had not idea if we would be able to find any vegan options, but the restaurant had a wonderful atmosphere and great reviews, so we decided to give it a try. The gamble ended up paying off and we had a great meal thanks to the top notch staff. They really made us feel welcome and even though they couldn’t understand why we would order a pizza without cheese the chef prepared one of the most amazing vegetable pizzas that we have ever tasted. It had pickles on it, which we never would have thought of, but was amazingly delicious.
From there were braved the cold winds and icy sidewalks to enjoy a quick walking tour of Sophia’s landmarks. In a short loop we viewed an Eastern Orthodox Church, a Mosque, and a Synagogue. Each building had wonderful architecture and the kids had fun picking out the different religious symbols.
While we were all anxious to return to our hotel and get out of the freezing temperatures, it was hard not to keep walking around Sophia admiring the lovely city. This is one city that is definitely at the top of our “To Return To” list, but next time during a warmer time of year.