The city I belong to is one of extreme grace and controversy. A place that is overcrowded, yet harmonious and peaceful: Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. When you come to Sofia for the first time, you may be disappointed by the high concrete buildings that greet you with a sad stillness after your taxi leaves the airport. However, if you're lucky, the driver will tell you some local jokes or personal stories and won't smoke. Never again in cabs, as smoking was officially banned in public places back in June. Certainly, this is a benefit for residents.
Various churches around the city tend to impress the visitor. They vary in style from Byzantine to Russian to Ottoman. Each represents a unique slice of history and boasts an astounding interior. The Church of St. George, the Russian Church and the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral are remarkable in size and construction as well as the interior beauty. You can easily spot the Cathedral and the House of Parliament on the skyline.
Another cool thing about Sophia (and Bulgaria in general) is that anyone with a good idea and initiative can pursue their passion. Opportunities are limitless, because there are so many successful options found commonly elsewhere that haven't been done here yet. The small scale is provocative and encourages you to act. As a result, one can see many great initiatives taking place, such as Sofia Design Week, Sophia Film Fest, Sofia Dance Week, Sofia Contemporary, Sofia Architecture Week, Sassy, Kabinka, Open and the Red House. These are clear signs of the presence of local visionaries. I'm thrilled to live here and integrate things I've experienced abroad at home.
Go explore the world, so you can get back home and inhabit it more deeply.
Zhana Borisova is a writer, editor and translator from Bulgaria. She is passionate about traveling then writing on all that impresses, provokes or inspires her. She also seeks to transform text into online action and images. Her pursuits include yoga, ayurveda, organic farming and parenting two-year-old vortex-of-chakra-energy Yan.