Here is the next instalment in our ‘Travelling in Taxis’ series, this time focussing on Sofia, Bulgaria.
While we have had mixed experiences of taxi journey’s in Bulgaria (including a time when a taxi driver got angry with us for asking him to take us to the airport), our first ever taxi journey pleased us greatly.
It was our first morning in Sofia. We had stayed in our usual airport adjacent hotel, which comes complete with a view of a tractor factory and barking dogs. Neither of us had gotten much sleep, excited and nervous about our first visit to Bulgaria. This was because we had been talking of visiting Bulgaria for almost a year, and had put the county on a pedestal of must see spots. Both of us were quietly afraid that our chosen dream land was going to be a disappointment, and the tractor factory view was not helping.
The hotel called us a taxi and we waited awkwardly. When we got in, we didn’t know what to say, so we just said ‘Um, centre?’. The driver nodded.
Through the windows we watched the city emerge. Wooden houses were replaced by brick, graffiti by huge murals. I stared at the eastern European architecture in wonderment, it was entwined with the history of Sofia. Eventually, the taxi pulled over and the driver turn around. He smiled, and pointed at three grand buildings, ‘National Assembly, Council of Ministers, Presidents Office…the centre.’ We now know that this is area is called Largo, and, after a few visits to our favourite city we know the best coffee shops that are nearby, the history that surrounds those bricks, and the shortcuts through the parks. But this remains one of our favourite introductions to a city, and we often repeat it to each other.