Let the Train take the Strain, Part 2
Now on to more serious matters. I forgot to mention one of the weirdest things about the main station on the Sofia MTR. It is called "Serdica" and there are archaeological exhibits on the MTR platforms. In large class cases, there are bits of Roman architecture, statues and so on. Rather strange. Most of these Roman artifacts were found when the new MTR stations were being built.
Just in case you were wondering, the Serdii was the local tribe who were living in the area when the Romans came along. In fact, in the 3rd and 4th centuries AD, the city of Serdica became one of the largest and most prosperous in all of the Roman Empire.
You are also wondering what an MTR ticket looks like. Well, here we have a genuine MTR ticket from the Sofia Metro.
Note the price: 1.60 leva. It is standard price, no matter how long or short your journey. Usually I am brave and buy my ticket from one of the machine, but Irena does not really trust technology and so she invariably buys her tickets from the ticket seller by the barrier. When you put your ticket into the little slot, the machine reads it and the barrier slides open. "1.60 leva!" I hear you cry. "What a rip off!" Well, I suppose it is a bit pricey, when you compare it to Shenzhen's MTR. A lot of Sofia's residents, the Sofiots, buy weekly or monthly cards for the MTR system and maybe that works out a lot cheaper, if you use the MTR regularly.
On Sunday we drove to the Slivnitsa MTR station and then we took the metro into the centre of Sofia. Then we walked through the rather nice park, next to the huge NDK ("National Palace of Culture") building, Sofia's ugly and squat equivalent to London's Albert Hall. The sun was shining (for once!) and the fountains were sloshing about. Irena, of course, was looking lovely, as usual.