Posted by: bkropf | April 15, 2008

Soviet Military Museum

Waking up in my scratchy blanket in Sofia was not a pleasant surprise, but we did have water this time to shower in. Owen Wilson (look alike) and I took off for the military museum while Tyler went to a monastery a couple hours away.

We got lost on the way to the museum. We walked forever through parks and other paths getting more and more confused. Lucky for us the parks had crazy communist statues and monuments that were really fun to look at. The monuments are all so different than most art I view and they are so inspirational in many ways. Aesthetics are not really a huge part of the statues, the art seems to focus much more on comradeship. We eventually gave up trying to find the museum and got a cab to take us there.


[Before I go on I want to give a little history. Bulgaria volunteered to join the Soviet Union in the 1970’s. Also, Bulgaria joined the Nazi’s in WW2. The nice fact is that they were one of the few countries which refused to send any Jews to concentration camps.]


The museum was really awesome. Unlike most museums in the west (which focus on American and western weapons) this museum was exclusively Soviet. We spent a lot of time climbing on tanks and viewing SCUD missile systems and MIG aircraft. My favorite piece of equipment was an anti-aircraft gun that was fully functional (except for shooting). We were able to sit on it and twist two handles to move the barrel from side to side and up and down. It was fun seeing who could track with the passing cars the best.


After the museum we went antique shopping for some Soviet pins. I bought 3 really cool ones and I am pretty sure they are authentic.


After shopping, we stopped by the Happy Grill. Tyler and I have been saying if we started a Red Robin or Applebee’s here it would do amazing. Well that is what the Happy Grill did and it was doing well. It actually had a better menu and lower prices then RR and Applebee’s. Owen Wilson and I really enjoyed it.


Going back to the hostel I stopped by the Palace of Culture to get some culture as Leon suggested. Not really worth it Leon!


When I was back at the hostel I decided to go back to the post office to try to get my phone, again. I assumed after delivering mail for hundreds of years the Bulgarian mail system would be automated. I was wrong, or at least the packages aren’t automated. The woman behind the counter pulls out a HUGE book and starts flipping through it until she finds my package entry. Then she hands me the package. No charge. I was so surprised, both hostels said they weren’t going to pay and I didn’t pay so I wonder what happened. I asked if they wanted money and she said no, so I left as happy as could be to have my phone! What a blessing!


One thing Tyler and I have been noticing about many of the women in the old Yugoslavian countries (Bulgaria doesn’t fall into this category) is that they have huge hands. Some of the older ladies could crush watermelons with their hands without breaking a sweat.

Another thing I have been noticing is that Americans talk really really slowly! Basically every other language I have heard is spoken really fast. Even the British and Irish speak so much quicker than us.









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