I felt like a walking kind of a day so I set out with culture in mind, I wanted to see things that were beautiful, historically significant or that I could learn from. Sometimes you just need some personal brain stimulation time. My first stop was the National Archaeological Museum, something I had not seen similar versions of before. It was amazing, starting with a single unassuming room and expanding into a maze of different treasures. It ranged from prehistoric spear heads and painted pots, to religious carvings and a room of pure gold. Seeing the craftsmanship of a very different time was fascinating. I weaved through the rooms about power and society, extravagant artistry and primitive tools.
Next I went to the National Art Gallery of Sofia, a confusing, wonderfully uncomfortable and disjointed exhibit. One minute I was looking at 132 hard hats (yes I counted) with only one being blue, the next I was blankly staring at multiple photos of cacti. My favourite part was being taken in by paintings of demons, very unsettling and beautifully illustrated. Different to many galleries was that this place had multiple silent video pieces playing on projectors. Some were as simple as a wasteland horizon and others were as bizarre as a naked woman painted black, dancing in various rooms. I’m sure I didn’t grasp the full extent of what was before me but it was a very enjoyable experience.
Afterwards I moved onto the landmark of Sofia; the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, standing grand, green and gold with the sun setting in the background. It was visually stunning and the inside was even more special. The ceilings sky high and the room lit by endless glowing candles. I’m not religious but something that causes such pure awe always results in me needing to sit quietly and contemplate what matters. It was a beautiful thing to experience and one of my favourite cathedrals I’ve visited. I lit a candle for my lost loved ones and left with peace in my heart and mind.
I spent the rest of the evening strolling through the park and just wandering around the city. I sampled Bulgarian food and looked forward to what I had ahead in my life. Overall it was the perfect balance of mental calming and stimulation.