Finally, I got round to sorting through my pictures of Sofia. I've had a great time there, mostly thanks to the hospitality of my "guides" Rosy, Plamen & Kalin - thanks very much!
I've got the impression that Sofia is a unique place with great potential. No other European capital can boast that intricate a mix of a major orthodox community with important turkish & roma minorities, combined with half a millennium's history of ottoman rule which almost seems a short episode compared to the place's long history. Economically, Bulgaria has a lot of catching up to do of course, but that's the potential, and they seem to be doing just fine. There is one major risk, though, and that is the huge orthodox majority dominating the tiny minorities of Turks & Roma - looking at the nationalistic Ataka movement, that could even become dangerous. Occasionally, I even got the impression of ethnic relations being tinged by more than just a touch of racism. But I guess these are issues Bulgaria just has to work through and find a productive way of integrating all groups in its potentially rich identity!