May 17, 2013

A night walk in Sofia

Since the first ten posts were about Cuba, now it is time for something local, Bulgarian, not that it would be very long, just one post, but still I have promised myself to alternate the posts, abroad and homeland. Some of you have already seen them in Facebook, but for others the upcoming photos will be new. However, the next few posts will be new for everybody, I promise.
What the night has in mind for me?

But let's return to the first Bulgarian post – one night of past year Sofia (2012). Since I needed to be awake because of work one night in May, I decide that it would be easiest to resist Morpheus if I go out for a walk. It is still quite cool outside, so I struggle for some time with my laziness and with my unwillingness to be cold, those who know me well, know how chilly I am. With some great efforts I push myself to dress up, eat something (of course), put some music on and grab the photo equipment. I apply some more efforts in order to overcome the quilt attraction of the bed and go out.

During my first similar night walk a couple of months ago, I had some places in mind to shoot, but I couldn't because of my drunky soft legs. I head to Khan Krum Str., where my semi-asleep conscience needs some time to become conscious why my photos are blurred, although I use a tripod. I switch off the saboteur, which is my lens' stabilization and my picture sharpens up, Full HD, even more. I won't explain why it is more than Full HD, because I don't want to make you asleep.
Khan Krum Str. and Rakovska Str.

I pass Rakovska Str. and make my way into the green tunnel, formed by the crowns of the leafing trees. I wait some time for a car to pass and to leave its marks, and not after long some of the most regular night birds appear – the taxis. At the end, I don't have a picture with their marks, probably they didn't do their job good enough, as usual, or maybe it's me, as usual.
The midnight green tunnel of Khan Krum Str.

Every time I go for swimming, which is twice weekly at best, I pass by one church and I always check her out (in Bulgarian it's "her", not "it"), so now I decide to drop by, at this ungodly hour. The church is called St. Sedmochislenitsi, the favorite for all seven grade students from the near 7th school, for example. For those who don't know me the use of "for example" is a sign that I have said/written some nonsense. So you know now, although, I rarely admit it recently and don't use it to designate my brain damage. The name, St. Sedmochislenitsi, comes from the collective name for the seven saints venerated by the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, as creators and spreaders of the Glagolhic and Cyrillic alphabets. The interesting fact about it (brought to you by Wikipedia) is that the building is erected in the 16th century as a mosque, most probably by the famous Sinan, who built/designed some of the most popular mosques in Istanbul. After an earthquake and the followed damages, it was abandoned. After the Liberation of Bulgaria, it was turned into a warehouse and later into a prison. In the beginning of 20th century the building was reconstructed as the present day church; during the construction works were found remains of an old Christian temple and an even more ancient Asclepius sanctuary. Even from ancient times people used to plagiarize.
St. Sedmochislenitsi church
A nice rooftop with clock and a statue

I head to another two buildings with the same function – the Russian church, which I leave for later and rush to the second one – the St. Alexander Nevski cathedral, because the sky starts to lighten up and soon the dawn will come and I will turn into a bat at the first sun ray, for example. Still, it is dark enough and the impressive building is illuminated from all sides. There is almost nobody around to wonder what kind of night bird I am with this tripod. If I am a fiend of the dark or first cousin of Dracula, I will die hungry – there isn't anybody to bite and drink from. Probably my choice of route is the one to blame – only religious places and those who visit them go to bed early, with the chickens as a popular Bulgarian saying goes. There are even no chickens around, but it is Saturday and my best shot probably should be some of the near clubs. In spite of my bloodsucking deviation, I continue snapping the Nevski cathedral. Soon somebody turns off the building's night lights and it darkens, but at least that somebody lightens the sky even more or maybe it is the sky itself.
Full frontal of St. Alexander Nevski cathedral
The Synod office hides behind some trees
The cathedral has found its place under the trees crowns

I head back to the Russian church and stop at the beginning of Georgi Benkovski Str., a long paved street opening a view towards the chimneys of a thermo power plant (TPP).
The TPPs' chimneys as seen from Georgi Benkovski Str.

While I walk around the Russian church, trying to find an interesting angle, one individual seems to be interested in me and starts walking around. I take one of my ear phones off  to be able to react, in case he decides to give a battle cry and attack me. He might be some werewolf or whoever are the vampires' sworn enemies.
Georgi Benkovski Str. again, but in the opposite direction
An interesting angle of the Russian church

The guy refuses to say whatever he had to say to me and leaves, or maybe I leave, I don't recall, but I head back to the cathedral, because the sky awards me with some wonderful colors and I decide that I have to combine them. I can't believe that one can see such beautiful sunrises in Sofia.
The cathedral and the sunset

My extraordinary night shift is over and I turn back home. Good night.
The pinkish sky and the lamps of Ivan Vazov Str.
The keeper of the banana books

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