One of the main reasons for selecting Sofia as my destination for my stop in Bulgaria was Rila Monastery. I thought it was stunning and beautiful. I knew that there were areas you couldn't photograph, and decided to visit because that mystery left me wondering what was hidden away from cameras.
I thought among the monastery hallways surrounding the church had passageways and other stuff worth seeing. The monastery is difficult to access, and requires a day trip tour. It cost 25 euro for the day. It was a 2.5 hour drive in both directions, and we stopped at the Boyana Church on the way back. I opted not to enter, I had seen enough churches by that point.
When we arrived to Rila Monastery, it turned out there were only a few museums and the church that were available for viewing. The church was drenched with gold covered decorations. I felt physically sick. The amount of money that Orthodox churches have invested in pretty buildings is disgusting. All physical reminders of the corruption by churches. Orthodox seem to be the worst, and unfortunately, most beautiful in consequence.
Something worth mentioning. . . the toilets. While in the balkans, I got introduced to the Turkish toilet in a few places. That's pretty much a hole in the floor with foot track "grips". I've been told they are all over in certain places. Italy. Greece. Southeast Asia. Everytime I see one, I'm lucky not to need it. But, I think it's just a rare moment, and forget about them until the next time I get surprised. Well, I wasn't sure what to expect when I arrived to the Monastery. Secluded mountain area. Two facility options. The tour guide suggested one over the other. The "better" one was awful smelling. Just awful. Imagine the worst bathroom smell, and quadruple it. There were two toilet stalls. Behind door number one was a turkish toilet with a present still sitting on it, and yellow stained tissue paper. I stepped out. Door number two was occupied. When it became vacant, to my relief, it was a real toilet! Downside, no toilet paper. I passed. I asked the tour guide if the restaurant bathroom was more hygienic, and he reassured me that it was nice. I waited until we went to the restaurant. It was new. Plenty of toilet paper. No smell. It's the little things in life I tell ya. Americans are way too spoiled!