Because I have had a postcrosser pen-friend (Christina Nesterova), who is indirectly responsible for this little "adventure" of mine, (once it was thanks to her and the postcards she sent me over the last 2 years that I ultimately decided to visit Bulgaria) I couldn't leave Sofia (where she lives) without trying to meet her (which I did).
She came to the Hotel at around nine in the morning with her little boy Marty and the four of us wandered around the Russian Church area until it was time to go back to the hotel to meet the guide. It was really nice having had the possibility of finally meeting the person I had become close to over the years and whom I expect to meet again in the near future (hopefully again in Bulgaria).
Once we handed the luggage we were still allowed some free time before being driven to the Airport, we therefore decided to walk towards St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and visit its crypt, which houses a unique collection of Orthodox Art of the National Museum of Bulgarian Fine Arts.
The Virgin of Panhymnitos (to whom hymns are sung), tempera on wood, dating back to the end of the16th century-early 17th century. Provenance - Nessebar (painter unknown).
St. George, tempera on wood (1684). Provenance - Church of Virgin, Veliko Tarnovo (painted by John from Chevindol).
St: Demetrius and scenes of his life, tempera on wood (1729). Provenance - Boboshevo Monastery (unknown painter).
We were really impressed with it and felt it had been a good decision on our part. The last few hours in Bulgarian territory allowed us once more to "immerse" in the Bulgarian culture, by providing us with a comprehensive insight into the development of Christian Art in Bulgarian territory.
I will strongly advise those who haven't yet had the chance to visit Bulgaria to do so ... and if ever we have the possibilty we shall go back. Throughout the entire week there wasn't a single moment we didn't like ...