We reached Sofia on the 11th of June late at night, having had to stop over at Paris Charles De Gaule airport. As we got onto the bus to take us to Radisson Blue hotel we were a group of nine, but were soon told the whole group would be thirty three.
The following morning we headed towards Koprivishtitsa (known as a scenic museum town 100 km east of Sofia at an altitude of 1,030 metres) fairly early in the morning.
We then strolled along the cobblestoned streets and alleys on our way to visit three of the house-museums and some of the memorable places, which seem to have preserved the magic flair of the past.
The first house we visited was the Oslekov's (built in 1856), said to be among the most beautiful buildings in Koprivishtitsa. It has been turned into a Museum of Ethnography, which allowed us to get an insight into the lifestyle of the once well-off families in the town.
We then visited Lutov and Kabeshlov's. Similar in style, each of them has distinct marks which make them very unique.
Detail of one of the Lutov's mural decorations
We could have walked around the whole day and not have been tired ... there is some sort of spellbound atmosphere that draws your attention to small details pertaining to a long gone past ... still present at every step you took, inside those houses and even out in the cobblestone streets ...
As we were walking down some of those we noticed there were quite a few photos of people stuck on the residence doors, whom we could clearly understand were no longer among us ... yet given the huge amount ... at one point it was as if we could be walking in a "dead" city ... until the guide explained it was common practice to have the photos of the deceased be put out during each anniversary of either their death or birthday.
We were not allowed to take photos inside one of the town churches we visited, unless we paid 5 leva, which we did, even if the number of photos taken were not more than just a few, which was quite a pity as the little blue church (1817) was an absolute beauty inside with a unique wooden iconostasis and some amazingly beautiful hand painted ones.
We finished our visit by having lunch at a restaurant in the historic 20th of April square, whose delicious traditional cuisine made the delight of all of us ...
Koprivshtitsa played an important role in the April uprising of 1876, which gave birth to the Bulgarian freedom, as the inscription in the Mausoleum dedicated to its 50th anniversary reads.
I am really looking forward to this afternoon. Will I enjoy it as much as this morning, I wonder ...