The Treasure of Slaveykov Square

24.08.2012 § 1 Comment

Sofia’s Slaveykov Square, named after father-son poet duo Petko and Pencho Slaveykov, is a bustling marketplace for one of the most coveted and important commodities in the nation: books. As a small country with a significant contribution to world literacy, reading and books have always been prized very highly in Bulgaria. The years of the Socialist boom were also the heyday of publishing, with hundreds of Bulgarian authors being printed alongside translations of world classics. Many of these books, often produced in hardcover and printed to last, have been resurfacing in used book stalls alongside new books and editions. « Read the rest of this entry »

Hvoina – Krustova Gora (Hiking Route) – Teaser

03.08.2012 § 2 Comments

I’m posting this as a teaser of the epic travel post about a 7-day hike in the Rhodopes I will write after visiting various places considered holy by the Thracians and the Christians in Bulgaria’s most expansive mountain.

The Rhodopes are unique and incredible. Unlike Stara Planina, which is thought of as a line to cross, or Rila, which is a towering giant to conquer, the Rhodopes are long and wide, creating gorge after gorge and ridge after ridge. With tiny villages, green pastures, cool spring water bubbling through caves and sanctuaries, the birthplace of Spartacus and land of Orpheus offers an immersive, serene, surreal experience.

The route is drawn in alternating yellow and white markers. (Click for larger map.)

I ♥ Maccabees (and the Virgin Mary)

02.08.2012 § Leave a comment

The days from August 1 to 12th are celebrated in the Bulgarian Orthodox calendar as the days of the Holy Maccabean martyrs – a woman, her seven sons and their teacher, who were all martyred in the 2nd century BC.

According to tradition, each of the Maccabean days corresponds to a month of the year, with August 1 being September, August 2 – October and so on. Legend has it that the weather on that day will predict whether its corresponding month will be mild or harsh for the crops.

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