For our last day we thought we’d better take a look around Sofia. We had a street map with carparks on it the problem was it was all in Cyrillic. If I had been given the map at the start of the holiday there is no way I could have navigated us though the busy traffic to find a carpark but amazingly (not sure if it was down to my excellent grasp of the Cyrillic alphabet or more down to good luck), we found the carpark down a little back street on our first attempt 🙂
Our first stop was the presidential palace to watch the changing of the guard which is very conveniently next to the archaeological museum which we visited and that I would highly recommend. It had a stunning display of finds from various prehistoric sites around Bulgaria. The craftsmanship of some of the really early pieces was quite breathtaking.
Next we visited the National Art gallery which yet again was well worth it. On rounding a corner in the museum I almost walked into one of the members of staff carrying a huge canvas down the corridor on his own. I don’t think you would ever see that happening at the Tate!
The rest of the day was spent wandering around the streets of Sofia and exploring until it was time to go to the airport.
Now finding an airport is usually easy; you just follow the signs with a plane on it, right? Wrong; we found one plane sign and followed it but that was it, no more signs. We realised we were heading in the wrong direction by where the sun was; we had learned to navigate by the sun quite early on in our trip. After an hour we finally, quite out of the blue, rounded a corner and there was the airport!
The deal with the hire car was to take the car back full of petrol, which is wasn’t. Did we risk going in search of a petrol station and getting lost again or hope the car hire people would understand? Luckily, the guy turned up for the car and took us to get it filled up; great, that problem solved. The only thing was it was a long way round to get onto the other side of the dual carriage way; not a problem, we can just drive the wrong way down it until we come to a gap and then cross over to get on the right side 😯
Car dropped off we decided to wait in the café at the airport for our fight which was at 5 am the next morning. Yet again we were wrong in presuming an airport would have a café; it doesn’t. There is one a couple of minutes walk away which was OK for us but not good if you struggle to carry your cases etc. with you. We spent a very uncomfortable few hours trying to get some sleep before our flight back home.