Before starting this evening’s report it should be noted that Appleby’s Bulgarian Blog has acquired quite the following in Sofia. With this welcome attention comes a certain degree of pressure on the writer to find something new to write about each day. Fortunately our gracious hostess Rosita, who has been absolutely fantastic and has gone out of her way each day to ensure that we are made to feel welcome and happy, has ensured that we have a fantastic programme of activities. Today has been no exception with the entire group kept busy for the last twelve hours!
This morning we met early in school and headed into the city with a group of Bulgarian pupils and their teacher. We made straight for the grounds of the National Gallery - the former Royal Palace from an earlier period of Bulgarian history. Here we all participated in a fun workshop using a unique method of identification to name some of Sofia’s oldest trees. By counting the number of children required to ‘hug’ the full circumference of the trunk, we identified oaks, sycamores, ash and cedar trees. The children really enjoyed themselves and we all had great fun.
Next on the agenda was the National Museum of Natural History - a taxidermist’s dream. We saw all sorts of birds and animals from around the world. Mrs Clifford was intrigued to learn the difference between a buffalo and a bison - you can’t wash your hands in a buffalo!
The highlight of the day was музейко - a museum designed specifically for children and a gift to the children of Bulgaria from the United States. Children of all nationalities enjoyed a workshop on stars and constellations before enjoying the museum together. There were a wide variety of interactive exhibits from a space simulator to a virtual reality headset which allowed the wearer to take part in an undersea archaeological investigation of a Black Sea shipwreck.
Once again it has been really rewarding to see children from all our schools working and having so much fun together. This evening we have all been for a walk in the centre of Sofia and enjoyed and ice cream in a park when chess enthusiasts meet to challenge each other in the open air.
It is an early night tonight as tomorrow brings an early start as we are visiting Koprivshtitsa. In the Sredna Gora mountains, Koprivshtitsa is a historical town and city museum; home to an array of traditional Bulgarian buildings and architecture.
It has been another fantastic day and the children have had a great time. Our days have passed so quickly and we can hardly believe it is almost Friday already! Time flies when you are having fun!