Spring in Sofia | Musim Semi di Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia in Spring is pretty, flower blossoms everywhere. I was lucky to have visited the city when it’s sunny. When I was taking pictures of the lovely blossoms, I noticed these red and white strings are tied up on the branches of the trees. I was curious what they are all about. Once I got back to the hotel I googled it and found that it is a Bulgarian tradition called Martenitsa.

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Apparently they exchange and wear these strings on the first day of March and for a few days afterward. They are exchanged or given amongst colleagues, friends and family. The red and white threads symbolize the wish for good health. They are the signs of the coming of spring in Bulgaria, whilst white is purity, red is symbolises life and passion. At the end of March they would then hang these threads on trees. I think this tradition is kind of cute. They add something to the trees.

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From Sofia you can see a snow capped mountain, which is rather pretty and I tried to go to the top, I even walked to the place where the gondola starts, slightly outside town. Unfortunately the gondola to go up there was closed for the season.😦 Sofia itself is not a very large city, you can see a few churches, some antique and book markets, a few Roman ruins of Cerdica and a few museum. I went to the National Museum of Art and also the Museum of Socialist Art. I will do a separate update about them. The food in the cafe and restaurant are good and really cheap in comparison to the other parts of Europe I have been. What I did not expect was there were a lot of Italian restaurant, and their bulgarian food was more similar to those in greece rather than to other Balkan countries. A lot of feta like cheese, a lot of salads and yogurth.

 

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The transportation was cheap too, the metro and bus ride only cost 1 Bulgarian Lev a single way, which is around €0.50. or you can buy a day ticket for 4 Levs, which is €2. Bargain! Taxi, if you get the correct one is really cheap a 20 minutes journey cost around 10 levs. Cheap compared to other places I have been. Tip: better to navigate youself on your phones/google map and gps, as the 3 maps I had did not make it easier for me to navigate. On a whole I would really recommend visiting Sofia in the spring, probably just as a weekend break no longer than that. Here are some pictures I took of Sofia and the Indonesian version of the update.

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Indonesian Version

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Kunjungi Sofia pada waktu musim semi, untuk paling lama 2 sampai 3 hari. Mungkin untuk weekend break atau sebagai bagian 1 perjalanan negeri-negeri Balkan. Sebagai sebuah ibukota Sofia bisa dibilang lumayan kecil. Sofia memiliki beberapa gereja, pasar – pasar barang antik dan buku, beberapa museum, dan reruntuhan peninggalan kota Romawi, Cerdica.

 

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Untuk ukuran Eropa, biaya jalan-jalan di Sofia lumayan murah. Makanannya bukan hanya murah tapi juga enak, sepertinya lebih banyak terpengaruhi oleh Yunani dan Turki daripada dari negara Balkan lainnya. Banyak keju Feta, salad dengan olive, dan pengunaan yogurth. Dan, untuk biaya transportasi umum baik bus, metro maupun taxi pun murah, satu kali jalan bus dan metro seberapapun jauhnya cuman 1 Lev. Taxi untuk 20 menit cuman 10 Lev.

 

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Kenapa musim semi? Kotanya sangat cantik penuh dengan bunga yang bermekaran. Lalu banyak pemusik jalanan yang menhibur perjalanan melintasi taman-taman, alam dan penghuninya seperti tersenyum lebar. Ini foto kakek-kakek pemusik jalanan yang main terompet jazz keren banget, mereka memainkan lagu somewhere over the rainbow, its got to be you etc, dan kakek pemain terompet ini suaranya hampir mirip dengan Louis Amstrong. Keren.

 

 

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Waktu saya ambil foto bunga-bunga ini, saya perhatikan ada banyak benang merah putih bergantungan di pohon-pohon bunga. Selidik punya selidik, ternyata ini adalah tradisi Bulgaria untuk menyambut musim semi. Orang – orang bertukaran dan saling memberikan gelang-gelang benang merah putih ini di awal bulan Maret dan pada akhir Maret mereka menalikan gelang ini ke pohon-pohon. Katanya Wikipedia gelang-gelang ini menandakan kehidupan baru, putih melambangkan kesucian dan merah melambangkan smeangat dan kehidupan.

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Tradisi ini lucu juga yah? menurut saya menambah karakter musim semi di Sofia. Bagaimana menurut kamu?