A maximum of 8 visitors at a time can see the tiny church for a 10 minute guided tour. The church receives 50,000 visitors a year so we were lucky we didn’t arrive later in the day and had to wait for a long time to see it. It is truly miraculous that the church survived earthquakes and wars with the Turks unlike so many other area churches and monuments. It’s believed that even foreign invaders considered it to be a sacred place and therefore not to be attacked.
|This was what caught my eye as we entered this part of the church before I was told once again no photos. The stupefying paintings were through a door behind the archway above.|
|I bought a painting from the artist above. Just need to figure out where to find space to hang it.|
|Lining both sides of the walkway to the museum's entrance were artifacts to whet our appetites of what was in store for us inside. This one was a fragment of a sarcophagus from the 2nd-3rd C. AD.|
There was even this Russian MiG fighter just outside the front entrance, Zachary! No idea what it was doing there though.
|What a beautiful entrance and view beyond it of the mountains.|
|What positively stunning views of the mountains encircling Sophia from the museum. To see it on a sunny day made it even more fantastic after having had 2 days of rain and/or chilly weather.|
|Funeral offerings from the 7th-6th centuries BC.|
|A no longer used customs barrier once Bulgaria was admitted to the EU on 1/1/07.|
|Some people took the easy way up - not us though.|
|A lousy shot of 2 guys taking their mountain bikes on the chairlift - we saw them race down the mountain not long after this while we were still walking up!|
|Not sure what the building was on the left here right by the entrance.|
|The monastery's small chapel above and the interior below.|
|We spent some time sitting in the sun while taking in the beauty surrounding us before making our way back to the hostel via buses, walking and the city’s lovely metro system. We had just missed the train so that's why the station 'so empty!|
|The hostel itself|
Todd, one of the very friendly and helpful receptionists; he spoke perfect idiomatic English even though he had never stepped foot in an English speaking country.
|Death by chocolate!|
|My fellow chocoholic.|