The beauty of living in Europe, for an Australian, is being able to go to a new country or city, every weekend if you like, in an hour or two!! 

My city of Parma was pretty centrally located for travel, with a straightforward train trip to Milan, and then Milan’s three airports flew to anywhere in the world. Such a fantastically connected city.

The East West route in the Balkan Peninsula is something has always fascinated me, perhaps because of my own East meets West genetics. So I took a ticket to Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.

Aleksander Nevsky Cathedral from the rooftop bar called Sense.

These pavement stones are yellow – the King at the time got into a lot of trouble for borrowing money so that the government could pay for this gold pavement in the city center! Rumor has it that there is one solid gold stone, somewhere in the city streets of Sofia…

Inside this complex of Communist era buildings, is a treasure of Sofia. It is the Rotunda of St George, from the 4th century. The oldest surviving structure in Sofia with its preserved roof, it was constructed in the time of Constantine the Great. 

This is the Russian Orthodox church of Saint Nicholas the Miracle Maker. I couldn’t stop looking at it – isn’t it beautiful! 

What I loved about Sofia, was the layers of history actually visible in the street outside my hotel. Within one turn I could see four temples of different religions, and was told that this is the Square of Tolerance. Within eyesight and a few minutes walk was a mosque, a Catholic cathedral, an orthodox church and a synagogue.

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