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Where In The World Is Wakend: Sofia Bulgaria

Where In The World Is Wakend: Sofia Bulgaria

Where in the world is Wakened? | Sofia, Bulgaria

To be honest, I had never heard of Sofia, Bulgaria before. I thought it was part of Romania. My wife and I traveled here in the first leg of our Europe trip for a close friend’s wedding. Not having any idea of what to expect, we packed our luggage and headed out the door. We flew direct to London for a layover and than to Sofia.

We arrived quiet late at night and getting a cab was a bit tricky. We had heard the cab drivers try to quickly get you in their cab without telling you any prices and than surprise you with a large charge, but I was ready to deal with that situation. The first cab driver just said, "jump on in!”. I told him give me a price fist, he responded with"i don’t know — the meter.” (insinuating we’d find out once we arrived to our destination.) So I answered with a no, thank you. I went to the next cab driver and he told me 40 leva which was way too high from what our friend had told us, so we didn’t take that one either. The last cab driver spoke no english, but we asked how much Leva it would take to get to the hotel. After much back and forth in two different languages, he wrote on his phone 15 Leva. That price was just right! He dropped us off at the Festa hotel which all our friends were staying at and where the wedding would take place. It was a nice hotel, the person that first helped us at the check in desk was okay but not very friendly. As I expected when we got to the room we could not sleep until it was about 3 am. The next day — and I say next day because we slept through the morning cause — we woke up at 2 pm. When we finally got up, we caught up with our friends and met in downtown Sofia. Our first stop was a museum. There is a lot of history in the Bulgaria from the Byzantine empire and even falling under soviet rule and from there achieving their their freedom. We walked around downtown went to the Center where we had dinner and drinks and enjoyed walking around. There was a lot of cool bars and cocktail lounges and given the fact that the U.S. dollar goes a long way there, it was nice to enjoy 5-6 dollar cocktails and 3 dollar beers everywhere. We called it a night at around 11:30 pm and went to bed cause tomorrow was our friends wedding, which was going to start early in the day!

The next morning we went to the civil ceremony first, which is a Bulgarian law that you have to get married at the civil courts first. Then we did a ministered ceremony followed by the reception a few hours later. It was an all day affair, but with about three hours in between the civil, than ministered ceremony, then reception, it left a lot of time to go have drinks and appetizers. The reception started at 6 pm. The traditions are very interesting and fun. The first course started with a medley of salads, than was the dance with the groom and bride, and parents. Next, we enjoyed the second course, which was followed with more dancing and Bulgarian traditional dances. Those were really fun to learn and most people joined in. Lastly was the third course and that was followed with more dancing. The friends from Bulgaria from the grooms side were great people! Very kind and they had Bulgarian liquor which was extremely strong but amazing. We got to know people from all over Bulgaria. Many said that the city of Sofia doesn’t define Bulgaria as a whole. They said that the country side and the coast is where we had to visit next. They showed us pictures of rows and rows of giant sunflower crops. They told us about the great winters they have where the ski resorts rival Austria. Over all, the wedding day was a lot of fun and we made new great friends from Bulgaria and else where. My wife and I left the next morning at 4 am so we didn’t get any sleep but we were excited for our next leg of the European trip: Santorini Greece.

Stay tuned for our experience in Santorini! I’ll share how it both stole and broke my heart. Stay tuned and subscribe.