Trip to Bulgaria

   Last summer, at the invitation of the Bulgarian Education Bureau and Sofia University, my roommate and I participated in the "45th Bulgarian Language and Culture Summer Training" at Sofia University, and set foot on the target country for the first time. Stroll along the Danube River, swim in the Black Sea, watch handsome guys dive, take a boat trip to the island, go crazy in the town of Banka, DISCO, eat сач (Bulgarian Teppanyaki) at the most famous restaurant in Date... Friendly Bulgarian people, long history , lush forests, charming coasts, and overwhelmed European handsome guys left me with countless beautiful memories.


  Sofia The


  charming capital Sofia, perhaps the most European city in Bulgaria, is also the largest city in Bulgaria.

  Take the subway to the city center, and it is an extraordinary sight when you exit the station. Looking around, the grand National Bank, the small, exquisite and luxurious ЦУМ (Central Department Store), the towering National Assembly building, the open Tsar Lima Square and the Sophia Hotel echoing the bronze sculpture behind it all appear under the spotless blue sky and white clouds. Exceptionally clean and grand. Going further, you can see the National Gallery transformed from the former Royal Palace, the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the Church of St. Sophia, the Church of St. Alexander and the University of Sofia. The layout of the streets feels a bit like Shanghai.

  St. Alexander (Св.Александьр невски) is the most magnificent church in Sofia. It was built in the 19th century to commemorate the soldiers who died in the national liberation war against the Turkish aggression. Bulgaria believes in the Orthodox Church, and religious paintings have ethnic characteristics. The church has four cap-shaped golden domes of different sizes, and the interior is extremely resplendent. The large and small icons are exquisite and serene. The candlesticks scattered everywhere are shining faintly, like the fragile life and flickering faith of human beings. The most breathtaking is the huge fresco at the top, each dome is painted with a saint, or tells a biblical story, brilliant colors, superb techniques, grand scale, unattainable height, small me. Although he is not a believer, he is bathed in the sacredness of religion, and his heart is calm.

  The first Sofia tour was organized by the University of Sofia. After a picnic at the famous Mount Victoria, we drove to the city center and saw the legendary University of Sofia. We quickly took out our cameras and took pictures. Later, Suoda specially organized a visit to Suoda and Suoda Museum. Sophia University is very small, with no courtyards or playgrounds, but only one main building. It is so small that people from Beiwai can feel psychologically balanced. But the interior is different. From the corridor of the hall, a gorgeous chandelier makes me feel like I am in a palace. A ray of sunlight shines through the colorful glazed windows, which is quite a holy church. The lecture hall is not big, but it looks very open. The walls are surrounded by marble, the exquisite chandeliers hang on the white semi-dome, and the soft sunlight shines on the old piano through the window lattice. In this quiet and peaceful afternoon, I was intoxicated in the academic hall, breathing in the wisdom of the master.

  During the three weeks of language training, we went to Sofia many times, and each time we have new discoveries and new feelings. On a sunny afternoon, the high temperature of nearly 40 degrees made our mouths dry, but the great enthusiasm for shopping made us tireless. ЦУМ and Mall of Sofia have luxury goods from all over the world, even window shopping is enough to open your eyes. Several avenues in the city center are lined with shops, "murdering" a lot of my banknotes. The only thing I'm not used to is that they close too early. They close at 7 or 8 o'clock in the evening. The shops are closed on Sundays, and even the money-changing places are closed. The leisurely Europeans and the Chinese who never let go of any business opportunities are completely two ways of life. Sitting in the central fountain square, I couldn't help but admire the exchange students who will be living in Bulgaria for a year. There is no hustle and bustle and impetuousness of Beijing, so bright, so quiet, so harmonious, as if time also stopped.

  After a moderate rain, the streets were surprisingly quiet, and there were almost no people on the streets of the city center, which is absolutely unimaginable in Beijing. We walked towards the post office, the pink Ivan Vazov State Theater was as charming as a girl, bright but not garish. Looking at St. Alexander's Church after the rain is more like a magnificent and hazy picture.

  Bulgaria's economy is underdeveloped and people's purchasing power is not strong, which is also reflected in the capital. The largest supermarket chain, BILLA, has only one floor, and charges for storage and shopping bags. Most of the public toilets in Bulgaria charge money. Even the toilets in the bus station and some restaurants charge money. The most expensive one actually charges a lev (5 yuan RMB).

  We haven't seen any other Chinese tourists on this trip except for a couple from Hong Kong.


  Veliko Tarnovo


  After more than 4 hours of bumps, we finally arrived in Veliko Tarnovo, the old capital of Bulgaria, and took a taxi to хотел света гора to meet with the other two students who participated in the training here.

  After the greeting, we went to the city center to see the night view. The evening after the rain and the clear sky couldn't be more beautiful. Looking from the railing of a tavern, the whole mountain city is shrouded in a thin mist, rendered by a touch of sunset, like a dream. In the haze, I could vaguely see an ancient castle in the distance, as ethereal as a fairyland on earth. It's like being in a fairy tale world! Those bungalows are some years old, all with red roofs. Compared with modern Sofia, Date is old and unique.

  At 8 o'clock in the evening, we were hungry and strolling in the city center, and just happened to see a restaurant with a booming business, which is the most famous local "Happy People" restaurant, specializing in traditional guaranteed meals. The senior said that you must not miss this restaurant when you come to Dante. The restaurant is decorated in a moody way, with maps printed on every ball-shaped lamp on the railing. The business here is so hot that the few empty tables on the first floor have been reserved, and the basement floor is also full, with only one table for two outside. The three of us moved a stool and waited more than 40 minutes for the food after ordering. In the meantime, plates of delicious food were served on other people's tables, and the bursts of fragrance made people's appetites open. We ordered a vegetable salad, a pizza and a chicken сач. The so-called сач is like our teppanyaki, which is served on a round iron plate. Chicken, lemon, peas, radish, and mushrooms are paired together. They look full of color and aroma. Their aromas are perfectly blended and spread out in the mouth. The chicken has the fragrance of lemon, which is so delicious! This dish was swept away by us in no time. This is the best Bulgarian food we have ever had.

  The next morning we visited the Imperial City. After inquiring and groping all the way, we finally found the entrance to the imperial city from an inconspicuous path up the mountain. According to records, this imperial city was captured by the Turks only 3 months after it was built because of the betrayal of traitors, so what we see today are mostly the ruins of the imperial city. The imperial city is built on a mountain, which is easy to defend and difficult to attack. The traitors of the year first set fire in the city and then opened the city gate in the chaos, which led to the fall of the castle. The entrance to the imperial city is very similar to our Great Wall, with city walls and beacon towers, and a moat around it. I climbed the ruins despite the scorching sun, just to see their military defenses. The bottom of the two-story fort was probably used for storage, and there were many narrow openings on the upper floor that should have been used for gun storage. In the fierce battle against Turkey that year, there must have been rivers of blood here.

  The only well-preserved building in the imperial city is the palace on the top of the hill, the dream castle that was hidden by the fog the night before. The palace is small but very tall, and it took a lot of effort to climb up. Standing in the palace, you can look down on the entire imperial city, which is quite domineering. It's a pity that the ruins are no longer in their former glory, and every stone brick seems to be silently telling the pain of a nation.



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