Tanks Rolling Down the Streets of Sofia

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.

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Sofia’s Marvelous Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

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.

Sofia's Alexander Nevsky cathedral on a sunny afternoon
Sofia’s Alexander Nevsky cathedral on a sunny afternoon

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Vakali Rocks a Packed NDK Auditorium

How do you write a review of a performance dance group that wears Viking costumes, uses bones to play their drums, and has pyrotechnics so badass that I could feel them twenty rows back in the audience? I was clapping so hard during Vakali’s performance at the National Palace of Culture (NDK) in Sofia last week that my hands still hurt. ?

Vakali group (from their Facebook page)
Vakali group (from their Facebook page)

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