Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Final Shopska

Well, the conference is officially over, and mom is on her way over the pond to go home. Meanwhile, I am sitting in my hotel room watching animal planet and getting ready for my flight to Istanbul tomorrow morning. 

Covered Market
First things first. Yesterday, we were feeling a bit guilty about not attending more of the conference. It was what brought me here in the first place, so we went to the first session of the morning which turned out to be so great. An Australian couple presented about theories of curriculum and how they can make or break a program. Soon it was tea time, so we stealthily snuck back to the room until lunch time. After lunch, we went into the city of Sofia for the last time to wander around the streets and check out the covered market. The covered market is exactly what it sounds like. There were little shops selling all sorts of food, but there were also random things like leather belts and umbrellas. 

Revolutionary Statue in Downtown Sofia
A little later it was time for the closing of the conference, group picture, and dinner. Mom and I had a lovely time eating our four course meal. Nickolay, the conference coordinator and his wife came by for a chat to make sure we were having a good time. He was joined by his staff for a cheers too. I then became known as Erin Brockovitch. Everyone had a good laugh. Everyone was so nice and accommodating, and we all got invited back for next year. They are not sure where the conference will be held but they have narrowed it down to either a mineral spa in the middle of nowhere or a small village in the middle of no where. I may need to look for a new conference for next year :)

National History Museum
This morning, mom and I had breakfast together then we were off on our separate ways: mom to the airport to head home, and me to the National History Museum. This was a very exciting place where I got to see the both the oldest gold and the oldest glass in the world dating back several thousand years b.c. The museum was full of all sorts of interesting history about Sofia, one of the oldest cities in the world. The building that the museum was housed in was formerly a government building with beautiful wood carved ceilings and chandeliers. The English speaking guide, we’ll call her Agnes, was a wealth of information speaking in one long stream of words and barely taking a breath. She rushed us through the entire 3 floors of museum in the span of about an hour. Amazing! 

I then came back to the hotel, had some lunch outside at the restaurant and had a Bulgarian massage. I can’t say that it was the most relaxing experience of my life, but that is a story for another time and place. If I’m feeling brave perhaps I will tackle the Turkish baths next. I’m such a risk taker. Finally, to end the day I ordered some room service including my final Shopska salad.  

On to Istanbul tomorrow for the last leg of my trip!