Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Going to Bulgaria

We had an early start on Friday – out the door at 6 AM to make it to the other side of the city for the bus to Bulgaria at 7:30.

We drove about 2 hours to the border, where we had a few stops – one to check out of Greece, one at the duty-free shop, and one to check in to Bulgaria. After that, it was about 3 more hours to Sofia. We arrived at 2:30 PM, making the whole trip about 6 hours.

We checked into our hotel and then headed out to explore the city.


When I first saw the people, I felt like I was among my people. The experience in Bulgaria was like coming closer to my homeland because of the Slavic people. I sensed the leftovers of communism in the architecture, but the people were excited about a new phase – they were entering the EU on January 1.

I was also excited about the fact that the first church service would be in Old Church Slavonic, which was what I grew up with in the Eastern Rite Catholic Church in North Dakota. I was not disappointed.

Speaking of North Dakota, the weather was similar – it was quite chilly the whole trip.

That evening we wandered into the Church of the Seven Enlighteners (Sts Cyril and Methodius, along with their 5 immediate disciples). We caught the end of Vespers, where (retired) Archbishop Hilarion was chanting with a few women. Roger Michael immediately remembered some of the Old Church Slavonic in the service.

The top photo is from the bus trip. The middle photo is of The Church of the Seven Enlighteners, and the bottom photo is of the mosaic of the 7 Enlighteners above the entrance.

We have close to 200 photos (from 2 different cameras) posted here.

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