One in a million, not one of millions. (May 2012)

After visiting the tourist hotspots of Turkey and Greece we arrived to cooler weather and a decided lack of visitors.

Sofia and Bulgaria doesn’t seem to be high on the tourist agenda.

Tour buses are rare and groups of snap happy visitors, doing the conga line, following their flag wielding leaders, are nowhere to be seen.

If fact we feel more out of place here than we have in months.

It has it’s advantages but the lack or tourist also means that there is no tourist infrastructure.

In Turkey we organised 3 weeks of touring, with hotels, transfers and transport, in about 3 hours, here in Sofia, we were told we needed at least a week.

So we decided to DIY.

After walking around Sofie, a European city with an obvious Communist past, we booked a trip on a shuttle bus that took us to Rila Monastery and Boyana Church.

Rila Monastery was founded in the 10th century and is regarded as one of the most important monuments for the Eastern Orthodox Church.

You can’t take snaps of the frescos inside the church but the ones outside are enough to take your breath away.

We then visited Boyana Church, and like Rial Monestary is also UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It was originally constructed in the 10th century and then had a few additions after that, in the 13th and 19th centuries.

The outside is rather ordinary but the inside has frescos, painted in 1259 and so lifelike, are said to be the predecessors of European Renaissance art.

Unfortunately no snaps were permitted inside.


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