A grey and grumpy Vitosha mountain stared down at me as I made my way along the wide scruffy boulevards of downtown Sofia, cobbled streets and tram lines glistening with a smattering of winter rain, the commies had gone but their heritage remains, a snub-nosed ageing tram proof of Sofia’s charming Soviet past, eager to explore a new city and a new country I set off with expectant stride, what had the Russians done for us I thought as I set out to discover.
I found myself strolling through a pretty park and through the naked trees I spotted the golden balls of the Russian church, its steeple thrusting into the moist evening sky, officially named after the patron saint of the last ruling Russian Czar, who by all accounts was a complete asshole, not though Saint Nicolas the Miracle Maker who, needless to say was a thoroughly nice chap-as Saints have a habit of being.
I didn’t have a guide book but if I did am sure it would say it was a pretty little church well worth a visit, as I pondered the pious the quiet evening air was punctuated by a high pitched scream, I glanced in the direction of the pained outburst; and there, just in front of the back entrance of the church, so to speak, were two Dachshunds coitally engaged, their owners, one on her knees and the other stooping to the level of the dogs were seemingly orchestrating a less than romantic union, another couple sat sucking enthusiastically on cigarettes on a park bench, voyeurs to a public display of canine copulation, I, on the other hand tried not to stare but out of the corner my eye watched stooping owner maneuver the horny hound much like a quarterback with a football, another screech and shuffling of paws, the voyeurs puffed in silent boredom. This I thought, was a curious affair.
Another screech, unable to resist one last glance I stumbled over the curb of the pathway and headed towards the Alexandra Nevsky cathedral in search of some neo-Byzantine sanity.
What was happening in the corner of a Bulgarian park is something of a mystery to me, perhaps the proximity of the church was relevant, a blessing from the Miracle Maker perhaps? Could it have just been everyday animal husbandry occurring in a pretty little park in Sofia.
The art and joy of street photography allows me to slowly absorb the environment I am exploring, to pause and observe, to question, often voyeuristic and always fascinating.
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2003-2013 Living in Syria
2013-2018 Living Turkey
2018- I have now relocated to Sofia in Bulgaria for a new chapter and Balkan adventure.
Here are a few of the first street images I have made while exploring my new home-with lots more to follow along with my usual off-beat observations.
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