28.05.2012 § 1 Comment
In 1914 Bulgaria was a young state, recently gained its independence and continuing to look for the means to realize the vision of unifying all Bulgarian lands within its borders. After the humiliating Treaty of Bucharest at the end of the Second Balkan War, Bulgaria was exhausted from two wars and in an economic crisis due to the loss of wheat-producing Dobrudza.
27.05.2012 § 2 Comments
If you’re ever in Bulgaria, and you’re doing travel right, you *will* find yourself drinking in the company of Bulgarians. Whether it’s in a restaurant with dinner, in a bar, in a city park, or on a beach slash mountain peak, here are a few essential tips.
26.05.2012 § 2 Comments
Bulgarian given names are taken from a variety of sources. Biblical, Greek and Latin (like much of Europe), but also Slavic and Protobulgarian names abound among the population, with various regional varieties and pronunciations.
Geórgi (George), Iván (John, pronounced “ee-VAN”, not “I-vuhn”) and Dimítar are the three most popular boys’ names in Bulgarian. The first two are Biblical, after St. George and St. John the Baptist, respectively, while the last is the name of an important Orthodox military saint, St. Demetrius of Thessaloniki, and is distantly related to the Ancient Greek goddess Demeter.
25.05.2012 § 2 Comments
The seven Rila lakes are a group of glacial lakes in northwestern Rila. At an altitude ranging from 2100 to 2500 m above sea level, they are the most visited mountain lakes in Bulgaria, and with good reason. Layered one above the other, they are wild, picturesque and clear, and the paths between them are rocky and steep. Buses from Sofia stop at the nearby town of Sapareva Banya, which is a day’s walk from the lakes. Two mountain lodges operate nearby: the old one (“Rila lakes” mountain lodge) and the new one (“Seven lakes” lodge). All lakes are located above the tree line, meaning that the vegetation around them consists mostly of grass and shrubs.
23.05.2012 § 2 Comments
In the dimly lit colonnade of a villa’s courtyard, a blindfolded young lady is laughingly following the call of a tiny bell in the hand of a masked gentleman. Her laughter echoes from the empty stage. Three masked figures peel away from the shadows and join their game with predatory grace. Two grab the gentleman, gag him and drag him off the stage. The third takes out a bell and lures the lady towards him. Completely oblivious, she trustingly approaches the predator calling to her with the bell of her beloved. He lunges at her and she screams in fear. Her screams attract the men from the house. Cornered and surrounded, the predator shoots the girl’s father and disappears in the ensuing chaos.
20.05.2012 § 4 Comments
Poet, playwright, screenwriter and translator, Valeri Petrov (pseudonym of Valeri Nisim Mevorah) is one of the most multifaceted talents in Bulgarian literature. In prose, verse and translation, his style is crisp, light and accessible and every rhyme underscores the beauty and melodiousness of the Bulgarian language.
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17.05.2012 § 2 Comments
Standing at 2376 m above sea level, Botev is the tallest peak in Stara Planina. It lies within the boundaries of national park “Central Balkan” – a beautiful natural reserve protecting 72 000 hectares of natural beauty. Botev peak is a popular hiking destination and can be reached via one of several routes, most of which are suitable for beginners. This part of Stara Planina is very picturesque: rocks and imposing cliff faces give way to cool forests, grassy pastures transition into shrubs and every peak offers a unique and marvellous vantage point.
16.05.2012 § Leave a comment
Among the national soccer teams of the world, the elite group of “top” teams has gradually bubbled up – Brazil, Argentina, England, Italy, Spain, Holland, Germany, France, Portugal, and so on. These teams invariably make up the finals of European and World Cups and trade shots on goal, victories and titles. Every subsequent tournament tends to be a reshuffling of these teams in the “best-of” listing.
But sometimes there are surprises at these tournaments. For example, South Korea reached the semi-finals in 2002 and Greece won the European title as a host in 2006. And yet, the biggest surprise in a world soccer tournament in the last twenty years took place at the World Cup finals in the USA in 1994.
16.05.2012 § 11 Comments
In the foothills of the Balkan mountains, around the twists and turns of the Yantra river rise three hills: Tzarevetz, Sveta Gora and Trapezitza. Perched atop these hills and reflected in the river are the houses and castle walls of Veliko Tarnovo – the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire and once the beating cultural heart of South-Eastern Europe.
15.05.2012 § 4 Comments
I am a “summer Bulgarian”. I ordinarily reside in Canada and I’m only in Bulgaria for short bursts of time, usually in the summer. After the obligatory two weeks spent with various grandparents, I used to go to the seaside. However, four years ago my cousin convinced me to visit the Seven Rila Lakes with him. After a three-day hike through one of the most beautiful mountains in Bulgaria, I was converted: I was an avid hiker.