Bulgaria and Sofia were both complete unknowns for me. I didn't know what to expect. After coming from Skopje, Macedonia, nothing had quite the impact. But it was still fairly interesting and unique.
I learned going through the Balkan countries very quickly that Orthodox Churches were a big deal. Sofia's main attraction and "must see", is none other than, the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Another balkan country. Another orthodox church. I took the first few photos inside before getting chased out by some old short bearded guy, and kept telling me to delete the photos. I said I would, but didn't. Walked out, put my camera in my daypack, and returned inside.
After sneaking a few photos with my phone, shhh, I know, naughty right? An Australian guy walked nearby, and I joke about not being able to take photos. He informed me that you can with a ticket. He was leaving, passed me his, and I pulled my camera back out. The old robed man reappeared, and I showed him my ticket. He looked carefully at it, had a strange expression on his face, reluctant and disappointed, and handed it back. I went on my way. Later, the Australian guy returned, and found me. I told him about the ticket situation, and he said he bought the ticket from the man, not the teller at the entrance. So it was the robed man who wrote the date on the ticket. So, I realized how confused he must've been to not remember writing the ticket for me, and know I didn't get it from him, yet how did his handwriting appear? How did I obtain such ticket. He was a hustler. Running, sometimes sprinting across the space to ask someone with a phone or camera for a ticket. We laughed. Eventually, upon leaving, passed the ticket onto a couple entering the church. Let the next game begin! I hope the ticket train lasted for awhile. Poor hustlin' robed man.
The next day, I went on the walking tour. It was long, and loaded with way too much history. Occasionally, I would wander away to take photos, and return 10-20 minutes later to find the group in the same spot.
One of the coolest things about Sofia; the original city. It was discovered during the construction project to install a second metro line into downtown. They built stones onto the original walls to preserve from the weather.