There’s been a surprising amount of change in Sofia since I was here earlier this year. Unsurprisingly, the fruit and veg on sale have changed; it’s now тиква season – that’s pumpkin to you and me. My new favourite thing in the world is a tikva banichka – a delicious and surprisingly sweet pumpkin pastry.
More noticeable is the lack of building work and roadworks going on. This is mostly due to the fact that a new stretch of the city’s metro system has finally opened. I had a ride on it the other day and I can’t even describe what a joy it is compared to my commute on the London underground for the last few months. The platforms are wide and clean, the carriages shiny and new.
An additional outcome of the construction of the metro can be seen near the Sheraton hotel, where ancient ruins that were discovered when constructing the Serdika metro station have now been uncovered, alongside a rather pleasant pedestrian viewing area.
In the world of active transport, this evening, Thursday 16 November, marks an illuminating event in Sofia; lights are being turned on in Borisova Gardens. Previously I was only able to navigate the gardens by night with locals, who knew from years of experience where to swerve to avoid bollards and trees in the path. In order to promote the gardens as a location to take part in sports activities 24/7, Begach running club have organised the 10km Sofia Evening Run which takes place tomorrow. And for some reason, numpty that I am, I have decided to run in it. Numpty, you ask? Well:
- I started training on Monday.
- There are only 25 other female participants. Most of whom are presumably in running clubs.
- I think I’m going to come last. By a significant margin.
Wish me luck!