Veliko Tarnovo Overview and Travel Guide

31.07.2012 § 2 Comments

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Overview

This is the catch-all post for anyone interested in visiting Veliko Tarnovo. Here I will link to all the individual articles of interest, as well as provide basic practical information about your visit.

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.

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Pinocchio (Intermediate Bulgarian Text)

30.07.2012 § Leave a comment

The following is a retelling of the story of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi.

Имало едно време в Италия майстор дърводелец на име Джепето. Той си нямал деца и дълго търсел говорещо дърво, от което да си измайстори кукла за свой син. Най-сетне в един мразовит ден той открил вълшебното дърво и започнал да дяла от цепеницата човече.

И какво мислите се случило?

Издялал Джепето главата на човечето и като издълбал очите, то го погледнало насмешливо. Оформил устата, а тя, вместо да каже “Скъпи татко”, му се изплезила. Сглобил Джепето ръцете на куклата, а те го пернали по челото. Сглобил и краката – ритнали го. Ядосал се тогава дърводелецът:

– Това човече е голям немирник. За назидание ще го нарека на името на стария просяк от парка Пинокио! « Read the rest of this entry »

Transliteration of “Боженци”: Bonus Post

29.07.2012 § Leave a comment

While I was writing about the village of Bozhentsi, I came face to face with a very common issue that occurs when converting between alphabets: transliteration. Not only do some Cyrillic letters lack direct equivalents, they are also differently transliterated in different Western languages. I’ll use the name of the village of Bozhentsi as an example.

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Bozhentsi: The End of The Road

29.07.2012 § 1 Comment

The tiny, barely marked turnoff takes us off the main road to Shipka pass and the drive winds past a few tiny villages, narrowing as it goes, twisting and turning to take us to the village of Bozhentsi. It’s where the road ends. To us, it marks the final point of our short pleasure drive and a chance to stretch our legs in search for dinner on a scorching Saturday afternoon. To the few survivors who fled Veliko Tarnovo after the Ottoman conquest, it meant the beginning of a new life in the safety of the nearby hills. « Read the rest of this entry »

Samovodska Sweetness

28.07.2012 § 2 Comments

Veliko Tarnovo’s pedestrian shopping street, where authentic Revival-era artisans jostle with tourist trap souvenir shops, is called Самоводската чаршия (“Samovodskata charshia”). The word чаршия, borrowed from Turkish, means “shopping square/street” (if you’ve ever been to Istanbul, you may have heard of its enormous indoor market Kapalı çarşı), and Samovodska comes from the fact that this road used to lead, and be largely populated by produce sellers from, the nearby village of Samovodene.

As you walk up and down this lovely, narrow, timeless avenue, try to spot the authentic Revival-era masters who have made it their home. Nowhere is this quest more pleasant or delicious than inside the shop of Neli Boncheva. « Read the rest of this entry »

Like an Eastern Block Leader

28.07.2012 § 1 Comment

The five-star Arbanassi Palace hotel is perched on the crags above Veliko Tarnovo with phenomenal views of the city and the surrounding hills. What makes it unique among luxury hotels in the country is that it was designed and built as a residence for the People’s Republic of Bulgaria long-ruling head of state, Todor Zhivkov. « Read the rest of this entry »

The Golden Treasure of Panagyurishte

27.07.2012 § 1 Comment

The Panagyurishte treasure, named after a tongue-twisting town in Bulgaria, is a masterpiece of Thracian worksmanship. It consists of a phiale, an amphora and seven rhytons, all made of solid 24-carat gold. The treasure weighs a total of 6.164 kg (13.5 pounds) and is arguably the single most valuable set of artifacts ever found on the territory of Bulgaria.

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