Sunday, 15 April 2007


The transport to and in the city is quite an experience. Buses, trolley buses, trams, route taxis (marshrutka) are the most common means of public transport here. The underground is also popular, although it still covers only a small part of the city - from Liulin to the centre.

Trams are the most distinctive means of transport of Sofia - the capital is the only place in Bulgaria where trams are used. They vary in models, colours and...age. My favourites are the ones which are used only for lines 1 and 7 because of the modern outlook and fast and smooth movement. Unfortunately they are among the dirtiest trams.

One of the busiest bus lines is line 280: from the University of Sofia to Student's town (Studentski grad). During most of the day it's very difficult to close the doors because of the huge crowd inside. At Pliska station everyone wants to go inside, and some people even risk falling out of the bus as the doors can't be closed because of them standing on the steps.

The most dangerous means of transport is undoubtedly the marshrutka. They first appeared about 10 years ago when the public transport was in a very poor condition, while people needed to reach the other part of the city quickly. With the improvement of living standards the pace of living also increased and citizens of the capital have been the ones mostly in a hurry in Bulgaria. So the marshrutka was born. Nowadays there are more than 30 lines: some of them cover almost 100% of existing bus, tram or trolley bus lines but their existance is certain because of one single fact: quickness. This inevitably means risky driving. Marshrutka drivers are among the most dangerous drives in Sofia. Most often the passengers would almost fall from their seats or feel dizzy after sitting in the minibus. But sometimes, as I felt it myself, passengers even get overdoses of adrenaline because of the crazy driving. One day I was sitting in marshrutka number 20. The driver saw a huge traffic jam ahead and instead of getting stuck into it and being behind the schedule, he decided to turn left and pass through...the meadows between the opposite lines!

There are also means of transport that have never moved but have had passengers though. One year ago I saw this small train in a small park near Evlogi Georgiev blvd. Probably it's been an amusement place for children once. Now it's a gathering place for all kinds of creeping creatures, plants and also a rain drops collector. Or another practicing area for graffitti artists.

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