04 August 2005

The weather catches up with us

Since we arrived, everyday has been warm to hot and bright & sunny—if a little smog filtered. We were aware that this was not normal, yet a little surprised how cool, dark, and gloomy it has been today; during language class this morning, we had to turn on the lights for the first time. Drippings from the doner I had for lunch soiled my shirt, so when I changed, I decided for a long-sleeve shirt just to keep from having to take a jacket. (It just a matter of principle; August is summertime!) Later in the evening we even had a hail storm for a couple of minutes.
Bulgarian National History Museum
The cultural event for today was a visit to the National History Museum. It is situated at the foot of Mt. Vitosha, a 20-30 minute bus ride from the center of Sofia. Our guide was a cute 18-year old docent with passable English. At first we joined a group already in progress; they were Israeli retirees, and would translate her explanations into Hebrew to other in their group. She ended the tour at 1901 because “they were tired” and then returned to the beginning—5th millennium BC to the Thracian period. The highlight of the museum is some recently uncovered, well-preserved golden jewelry and armor from the 4th century BC. (BBC story)
Corp 2005 with museum guide
Paris, Ryan, Elizabeth, Joel, Julia
We then moved on to some more contemporary stuff finishing with the wedding gown of a Bulgarian princess from a few years ago. Our little group had a ball; Paris asked a couple of silly questions and our laughter echoed throughout the nearly empty museum. I thinks Elizabeth, our guide, enjoyed our company as much as we did hers. Since the museum was closing at 17:30, she joined us on the bus ride back to the city as Paris tried out all of his Bulgarian on her, so the merriment continued all the way back home.

Tomorrow we have to go back to the police station to submit our ‘lichna karta’ application…no actually we will apply for permission to submit an application—talk about Byzantine bureaucracy, and each step takes two weeks! We would have done this Wednesday, but all four of us had forgotten to take our passports with us; Doriana assumed we would know enough to bring them with us by the fact she had informed us that we are going to the police station—I felt like a dumb American.
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