Day: 6 Touring the City

Day 6: Sofia, Bulgaria

As I already mentioned, we ended up sleeping until 10:30 AM Friday morning.  I can’t name one other time in my entire life that I slept until 10:30, but in this particular situation, it was much needed and much appreciated.

We knew that Friday was, in essence, a “chill and take-in-the-sights” day.  We only had one adoption-related activity scheduled at 1:30 PM which included meeting with Vesta to give them Isus’s new legal name, and to have our documents notarized to begin the legal process of making him our son.    We decided that since we would need to get out for lunch anyway, that we would walk farther into the city through some parks.  Many of them were under construction, but they will be so beautiful when they are finished.

In some ways walking through the city is like walking through any city in the US…..many of the same sights and activities.  McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Toyota, Dunkin’ Donuts, ect.  We walked across a large pedestrian bridge, past an art gallery, a Hilton hotel, and a quiet park.  As it began to drizzle, we headed back towards our apartment and grabbed a Bulgarian cheeseburger from a street vendor, then stopped in a nearby pastry shop for a some tarts we had been eyeing earlier in the week.

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After returning to the apartment, we waited for Rosi, a VESTA employee to call and meet us on the street to have our paperwork notarized.  It was at this time that we confirmed what Zoosy’s new name will be.  (More on that later.)

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The remainder of the afternoon we packed up all our belongings, and enjoyed a few more quiet moments in the apartment.  We enjoyed sitting and watching an elderly woman slowly and peacefully tend to her flowers, then we Skyped with the kids from Bulgaria one last time.

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Around 5:00, we went back to the pedestrian street to shop for some gifts, then met at 6:30 for the daily Free Sofia Tour (a 2.5 hour walking tour of the city).  While the tour typically has 15-20 people per tour, almost 40 people showed up on this particular evening to learn about Sofia’s history.  Here are just a few of the beautiful sights from our son’s birth country:

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Martin, our entertaining and informative tour guide

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Sofia Statue–It was once wrongly believed that she was how Sofia got its name.

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The Sveta Petka Samardzhiiska Church, built in the 14th Century during the Ottoman rule.

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Beautiful mountain view with fog settling over the city

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There are many hot mineral springs around Bulgaria, and it is said to be good for your health to drink from them and bathe in them. It was like drinking warm salt water.

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The former Communist Party Headquarters

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Changing the of guard at the Presidency Building

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Sofia’s oldest preserved building– the St. George Church. It dates back to the 4th Century and has stood the test of time, even as war and destruction took place all around it through the years.

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The beautiful St. Alexander Nevsky Orthodox Cathedral 70% of Bulgarians identify themselves as “Orthodox.”

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There is a gruesome story behind the statue of Tsar Samuil: The sculptor formed the eyes to glow to show that he’s remembering a defeat in which he saw his soldiers taken prisoner and blinded on the orders of Byzantine Emperor Basil II. This statue overlooks a monument of blinded soldiers.

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Our Tour Group

(I’ve almost made it through the posts of each day of our trip…..just one more:

travelling home, adoption friends, and our son’s new name.)

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2 thoughts on “Day: 6 Touring the City

  1. risabuzatova says:

    My husband is Bulgarian and we adopted our oldest from Sofia. We’ve been back many times, and lived there for two-year increments. Congratulations on your son! He has a wonderful heritage.

    • Bethany says:

      Thank you!!! Yes, he does have a beautiful heritage. We believe it is our responsibility as his mom and dad to raise him with a love for his birth country. Bulgaria will always have a special place with our family!

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