I got up early and went for my now traditional run. I ran out beyond the national stadium to the huge park behind it, then ran back in, past the university, the national assembly, the Alexander Nevski Cathedral, the Russian church and the Presidency building. In fact, by the time I got back to the hotel I had pretty much ‘done’ Sofia for the sad thing is that it was heavily bombed by the Allies during the Second World War and a lot of the old city was lost. In terms of infrastructure and atmosphere, I found it strongly reminiscent of Lisbon when I first visited it back in 1987. Then, too, the country had been an EU member state for just two years. If it holds true, the parallel is an encouraging one, for Lisbon now is a beautiful, prospering, and prosperous city. Sofia, surrounded by green mountains and luscious parks, is clearly destined for a similar future.