On Monday my sister Melania and I decided to escape the beach town of Nessebar and explore the city of Varna. After a two hour mini bus ride along the coast we arrived at Varna’s small bus station. After getting our bearings we made our way to the center of the city. Our first memorable landmark was the Cathedral of the Assumption on the Virgin topped with golden onion domes. It had breathtaking murals and a beautiful dark wood ikonostas inside. After a small lunch at Alex, a restaurant on the side streets we made our way down Knyaz Boris I, a pedestrian mall lined with shops of all sorts. Signs of the Varna Summer festival could be seen and heard everywhere as the city was preparing for music, theatre and dance. From Knyaz Boris I we made our way to the sea gardens where we strolled along the tree lined pathways passing by skateboarding parks, fountains, flower beds, and monuments. Also appreciating this beautiful park where many young families with babies in strollers in the ‘quiet alleys’ as well as many of Varna’s older residents gathering on the benches. It was nice to be in the shade of the trees and to feel the sea breeze while enjoying the sophistication of Varna. Spending the afternoon in this large city was a nice contrast to the beach town of Nessebar.