Last night my trolley ride home from downtown Sofia was interrupted by a police roadblock and some rather unusual traffic on Aleksandar Dondukov Boulevard.
Welcome to Bulgaria, where military tanks roll down the streets of the country’s capital in preparation for the annual Armed Forces Day parade. I’ve seen a dozen or so airshows, but this takes the cake! Nevertheless, this was pretty surreal to see.
When I first started visiting Bulgaria I was in awe of the beautiful buildings in Sofia. Here you can see the typical vintage of Europe mixed with a bit of the color and flair of the Orient, a combination rarely seen in Western Europe. For the first few months after I moved to Sofia I maintained the position that it was cliché to say that the Alexander Nevsky cathedral was your favorite building in the city — after all, it is undoubtedly the most famous landmark. But, ladies and gentlemen, this cathedral is absolutely marvelous to behold.
Last month I was traipsing around Skopje admiring the beautiful ligatures of Macedonian Cyrillic and sampling the local burek when I stumbled upon a handful of plaques with quotations from Mother Teresa — she was born in Skopje, after all. One plaque in particular had a quote so preposterous that I just had to take a picture of it: