Sofia

I catch myself thinking that nothing can surprise me anymore. And every now and then I get amazed. When we arrived to the biggest Bulgarian city I didn’t expect modern architecture and I was right. What I saw, I would call a “deep communism style”. It was hilarious to see a compact McDonald’s injected into the station’s landscape.

sofia station

The day we arrived to Sofia was one of the longest days. As usual, we were tired and the temperature was very high. We had a few hours before meeting our host, so we decided to devote that time to find a nice place to sit in a shadow. There was no bench, however a sidewalk worked for us perfectly.

After having some rest we decided to see what the city has to offer. We just opened the map to have a look where to head to and immediately some lady came to us asking if we need any help. That was very unexpected and nice.

We came across very strange balloon head statue. Actually, it’s Stefan Stambolov, Bulgarian politician. And opposite to him, there is a couple of deer. Cute. This kind of sculptures always make me curious about their origins. How amazing it is to be an artist, whose pieces of art are well recognized and liked. I don’t know if this is a good thing or not, but Mr. Stambolov’s statue is a spot point for a pub crawls. I’m not sure about deer’s role though…

stefan's head

deer

To be honest, I found Sofia very artistic. Starting from simple mosaics on the sidewalk, through the icons at the local market, to street artist selling his work. I regret I didn’t ask for a portrait.

lion mosaic

mosaic

icons

street artist

Somebody had really nice idea to decorate the city with fake, but still cute birds. We cold also noticed live animals, like homeless dogs, or a horse… The climbing cats are very common in this particular place in the world. But you know, cats are cats.

birds

horse

hello kitty

While walking around the city I noticed something really disturbing. I could really read what was that place, but I assumed it was really big deal, if the guns are not allowed there. Damn, and I wanted get inside so badly ;)

no guns

Serbia has a huge touristic potential, but we didn’t manage to see it all. But then again, we can come back some time and see the rest of it. Honestly can’t wait for it.

Strangers on a Train II (patrzeć jak wszystko zostaje w tyle*)

Punctuality is not valued enough. Or maybe I am a neurotic who cannot imagine being late. Well, I can imagine it actually, but the very idea of it makes me shiver. Me? Being late? Nah, it must be a joke! I don’t hate people who have the habit of not checking theirs watches, though. I simply condemn such behavior.  When I have an appointment I like to be at agreed place earlier without a hurry and have at least a few minutes to take a breath.

At the railway station I need a time to buy a ticket and check the platform where the train waits for me. I always hope for a place by the window. You already know why. But the wild animals are not the only reason to be so excited about taking good sits. There is much more magic!

I am already accustomed to solitary walks around the city. There was a time I listened to the music during this walks. I was passing the shop windows, bakeries and bookstores. The changing landscape was reflecting in my eyes but I couldn’t see anything. The music absorbed me immediately. I wasn’t really there. The staves designated the paths through the Land of the Sounds.

This happens every time I put my headphones on, also in a train. Therefore I prefer to listen to the sound of the surroundings. Otherwise I would feel like I am missing an important part of the journey. The train sets its own hypnotic rhythm that I find alluring.

In the season of winter thaws and in the early spring the water floods the meadows and ditches. When the Sun goes down the afternoon light reflects on the surface of water and pleases the eye. That light has a unique color. Just before dusk the Sun grazes everything it encounters: trees, houses and faces. In the summertime you can be lucky enough to see a stork. The sunlight allows you to read books until late evening.  Out of curiosity each day I check the exact hour when I am no longer able to see the letters. Amazing how long the day can be!

In the glow of the Sun I espy old houses with roofs covered with moss. Near the roads there are crosses reminding of the tragedies of former days.  Far away from the sight you can hardly see hunting blinds. The road runs through the minor railway stations that are forgotten and neglected. All of them share common traits: rusty tracks and decaying concrete constructions that are overgrown with weeds.

At nights I wonder where all the light comes from and why I can’t stop staring through the window…


* The title refers to the Polish song of Czerone Gitary and then Maryla Rodowicz titled “Remedium”.

Be aware! The clip is kinda old and sometimes creepy… Enjoy!