The stories of my life on a little island in the middle of the Mediterranean sea ... and my occasional adventures beyond these shores.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

The Sun Always Shines Above The Clouds

Sometimes life takes you to places where you never expected to go. Last week, work took me to Sofia. I wish I could say that the experience enriched me, as travelling usually does. But all I got to see of Sofia was the view of the mountains from the office and a view of the office from my hotel window.
Sofia 031
Sofia 033
Other than that my impression was limited to the short drive from and to the airport: a city ringed by mountains, with ugly, run-down apartment blocks badly in need of a coat of paint interspersed between Art-deco buildings that have seen better days. Graffiti is common, as are the roses that spill their blooms into the roundabouts and centre-strips in which they are planted. And trees – lots and lots and lots of trees.
Sofia 035
Sofia 032
Never in all my life have I had so little to say about a city I visited. But perhaps it was  meant to be that way. Travelling solo can be lonely but I never fail to pack a trusted companion. For this trip it was Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist”. Perhaps it was fitting that on a trip loaded with work I chose a book about chasing your personal dream. Perhaps it wasn’t a coincidence that  on both of my flights back home the plane had to break through dark storm clouds into the sun. Perhaps, as the book suggests, omens are all around us – we just have to know how to read them. Perhaps life teaches us lessons even when we are several thousand feet above the ground.
“We are travelers on a cosmic journey,stardust,swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share.This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.” – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria – May 2014


  1. Before I started reading, I thought wow, this doesn't look like Malta!

  2. Hello Loree,

    It is, for us at least, a deeply unsatisfying experience to visit a place for so short a time that one does not really see beyond the hotel room. One cannot help but think that Sofia must have more to offer than the uglier aspects.

    We have never visited but know of it through a musical friend who studied there at the University. So, culture in some form must surely be there. As always, we think that places where one knows a friendly face are the best to visit. The sun shines then even if the rain is falling.

    The quotation is beautifully complementary to your wistful post.

  3. I read somewhere you work for a drug company??Does ALLERGAN mean anything to you?My uncle started that and I know they are in ITALY.Its been sold to another which I cannot seem to recall at the moment!
    My neighbor is from SOPHIA he agrees with you!!!!!!!!!!!!
    At least you got away and now will appreciate your little island more!!!!!!

  4. Business trips are always boring, you don't see anything but airport, hotel, office and a little bit of streets. Cities of Eastern countries look all mostly sad, So many years of communism has left traces will take a long time to catch up !

  5. I love how you quoted Coelho's book, "omens are all around us." I tend to think so. We just have to be open to them.

    I agree, business trips aren't that fun :).

  6. You pictures show a busy city, but the book you mentioned sound intriguing! I often believe in the signs too when intuition kicked in :)

  7. A book is always a good companion, especially in a city you don't find interesting (or the time to). Wishing you a lovely weekend! xx, Brenda

  8. Hello Loree
    I can understand your feelings for Sophia. I have, like you, travelled for business for short periods and it can be challenging. All is strange and it is also unfortunate if we meet someone who is not as friendly as we would like. Then again I suppose we can remind ourselves that we can glimps the world on an expense account, which many envy. I love Paulo Coehlo's books and wisdom and I have a large number of his books in my library.
    Thanks for visiting
    Helen xx

  9. I guess Sofia must have been too long a city in the pollution of eastern Europe - maybe some day it will experience a revival?

    I love that book - one worth re-reading. The image of the plane bursting through the clouds was lovely.

  10. Dear Loree - I think traveling alone must be so difficult. Sometimes my hubby has to do it and he always says it is just no fun with not having someone to share the place or the experience. Glad you took a good book along. May have to check this one out. Hope you are home now and enjoying your beautiful island. Have a great week.

  11. The omens and fate is all around us ... it's only a matter of decrypting messages.
    I've never been to Sofia, but, according to my count, it is not a pretty city.
    Also in business travel can not see many things.
    As Quevedo, Spanish writer said:
    "La Vida es un extraño vacío que la Muerte ocupa"
    I become a follower of your blog.

  12. This often my husband's reaction when he travels for work. I'm sorry that it was such a disappointment but it sounds like there were other messages that might put the experience in a different light.

  13. Oh I think sometimes lessons are best learnt several thousand feet above the ground. I don't like travelling for work, but it does offer a window into ourselves in a way that other travel doesn't xx


Thanks for stopping by. I read and appreciate every one of your comments. I will do my best to reply whenever I can.


Related Posts with Thumbnails