Bulgaria

Unfortunately, my initial flight to London was severely delayed, causing me to miss my connection to Sofia.  After being rebooked through Vienna, I settled in for a forced 8 hour layover in Heathrow.

My afternoon was meant to be spent touring Sofia.  Now, I was due to land at 11PM, and leaving for Transylvania the next morning.  But, finally some good news!  The tour company agreed to honor my reservation, so I was picked up from the airport and given a unique midnight tour of the city.

Alexander Nevsky Back
Alexander Nevsky Back

I was able to see the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the second largest Orthodox cathedral in the world, all to myself.  We also stopped at the Ivan Vazov National Theatre.  When it was built in 1906, university students used the opening as a way of protesting the King.  As retribution, he closed the university for a year!

Ivan Vazov National Theatre
Ivan Vazov National Theatre

My last stop was the old headquarters of the Bulgarian Communist Party, now home to a Sheraton hotel, bank and the office of the president.

Former Headquarters of Bulgarian Communist Party
Former Headquarters of Bulgarian Communist Party

If you are looking for an affordable tour company in Sofia, I highly recommend V Travel.  They are friendly and knowledgeable about their city, and were incredibly helpful and responsive when my plans changed last minute.

My trip to Bulgaria was part of my larger trip to Bulgaria and Romania.  See the rest of the trip here:

Bucharest

Dracula & Peleș Castle

Jews in Romania

Nicolae Ceausescu

Transylvania