Blogs from Bulgaria, Europe - page 60

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Europe » Bulgaria » Plovdiv Province » Plovdiv July 20th 2004

Dig down a few feet anwhere in Plovdiv and you're bound to find something. History oozes from every corner of this town. With ruins dating back 7000 years to 5000bc, the area has been continually inhabited, invaded, destroyed, rebuilt, re-invaded and so on since that time. Walking around Plovdiv you can see Roman Ruins, Thracian Ruins (from 5000bc), Churches from the 13th Century through to the 17th Century and Mosques from the Turkish occupation. Highlights of our time in Plovdiv Watching Van Helsing in the Roman Ampitheater at night. Silly film but a fantastic place to watch anything. Climbing one of the seven hills for each sunset. Chatting to locals who haven't had the novelty of tourists spoilt yet. Learning to read the cyrillic alphabet and making random orders from the lunch menu, eg. Mish-Mash - ... read more
Plovdiv, Bulgaria
St Nedelya Church
Courtyard


The Rila mountains are the largest and most impressive in Bulgaria. Most peaks rise to around 2600m with Mount Masala at 2915m the highest. Many miles of beautiful marked hiking trails cross the mountains, in many directions. Based at the Rila Monestary at 1100m the many trails that begin and end there have one main direction, up. Having seen photos of the Seven Lakes on postcards, we decided that we had to see them, we couldn't find the starting point of the shortest route, blue, but easily found the red route. Unluckily we had taken so long organising our things that we could only start the hike at 12 noon. The Red path starts at the Monestary, and ends at Ivan Vazov mountain hut, near the seven lakes. The first hour is through beech forest, the ... read more
Ali and Lakes
Resting in the Rila Mountains
Tree of Life and Death


After a few days in the bustle of Sophia we headed south to the Rila Monestary. Famed world wide for its beauty and tranquility. The slow journey by bus from Dupnitsa yielded successively more impressive views until we arrived. We wandered around briefly, it is such a beautiful place, why so many police? We couldn't stay too long as we needed to find a camp site. About 1.2km along the only road into the mountains is the Bor Camp site. Again the setting is beautiful, and on a friday evening we were one of about 3 tents, we set the tent in the middle of a meadowy area. Apart from a dog the decided to guard our tent during the night it was peaceful and comfortable. I woke early went to the monestary and wandered around ... read more
Rila Monestary
God
River Rilska

Europe » Bulgaria » Sofia City » Sofia July 15th 2004

The train from Belgrade to Sophia did appear as scheduled this time, and after the rough night before we paid the $10 upgrade to sleeper. It was well worth doing. I had an almost uninterupted nights sleep, and felt good when I arrived in Sophia. First impressions of Bulgaria. 1 - Friendly people - for the most part, a guy helped us get the sleeper carriage, a Bulgarian. 2 - Great coffee - again a real cafe society. 3 - Great Ice Cream - the best Sara has ever eaten in her life :) 4 - Magnificent churches - hope the photos show this well. 5 - Watch out for pickpockets! - more later.   On arrival in Sophia we got talking with Hyun from South Korea on his way to Istanbul with 10 hours in ... read more
St Nikolai Church
The Rotunda
The National Theatre

Europe » Bulgaria June 5th 2004

I arrive in the capital Sofia at 5am, still dark, no sleep, no map; just a piece of paper with a hostel name scribbled on it. I set off into the city looking for a Taxi - unknown city in an unknown country - and my Bulgarian is about as good as yours. Call me strange, but these little situations make me feel alive - waving down dodgy taxi drivers and judging by their reactions whether they know where the place is - of course they all do, but their confused expressions and head scratching give the game away. “Danger!” they say as a final defiant gesture, “I think I’ll walk if its all the same with you…” Visions of depraved Macedonian women riding the pink pony have bought me to Sofia; on an impromptu rendezvous ... read more

Europe » Bulgaria » Plovdiv Province » Plovdiv March 8th 1997

Last run of the day, fading light, a quick joint and then drop into untouched snow between dark green trees. Powder fizzes as your board cuts over it, and we were riding fast, snaking tight, blind corners through trees. Fizz- Turn - Swoosh - Cut - my stomach was up in my throat, gripped in concentration as me and Oli raced down the dense forest. Oli shot off to the left, i took a right hand swerve around a clump of trees. As I carved fast, i came up against a wall of tree trunks - Instantly my brain calculated i could not stop in time... CRACK! A moment of freeze-frame, the taste of blood in my mouth and i sank into snow up to my shoulders. Then silence. Then came the pain, deep in my ... read more

Europe » Bulgaria » Plovdiv Province » Plovdiv March 4th 1997

Heaven had no ski lifts. Heaven had no piste maps, queues or cafes. But Heaven did have a dull, groaning, grinding Bulgarian Army Tank. It was a roaring metal dragon that broke the silence of the dark green forest with its black smoke fumes and crunching tracks that clunked and bashed through the foot-deep snow. Perelik Mountain - March 1997 (part I - ) (part II - ) Heaven lies on the border of Bulgaria and Greece in the Rodopi mountain range, once a part of the Iron Curtain and a strategic point for the former communist countries. This is why there is an army base on the highest of the mountains, known as Golyam Perelik (2,191 m) with large guns pointing at the neighbours, Greece. These mountains have been worn away by the elements over ... read more
some snow
The Rodopis

Europe » Bulgaria » Plovdiv Province » Plovdiv March 3rd 1997

(part1 - ) The map arrived on a cold, dark, wet London morning in January. The map was a glowing ray of adventure and mystery on a cold, dark, wet London morning. An Adventure that would see me facing death in a cold, dark, snowy paradise. Bulgaria - March 1997 They say that a journey of a thousand miles starts with one small step, but that's not true - a journey starts long before a shoe is tied, before a bag is packed or a ticket booked. Travel starts in your head. When an idea grabs you and you know that you must go. When your everyday routine screams boredom at you and a cold, wet morning feels like a commute though a graveyard of dreams. When a map like that turns up, you know that ... read more

Europe » Bulgaria » Plovdiv Province » Plovdiv March 2nd 1997

The shiny, silver metal drill bit pushed against my right leg, pressing into the skin just below my knee, and the burly Bulgarian doctor turned his face to me and cheerfully said: 'Radio, Musica? Yes?' Bulgaria - March 1997 Looking around the room at the cracked paint, the box of tools of on the floor and its wide window with a view of the crisp blue sky and the tops of the dusty mountains, i was suprised to see a small radio next to me. 'Why not? OK.' i agreed. You dont argue with a man built like this guy, especially when he has a drill positioned against your shinbone and is ready to drill a hole through your leg. The nurse walked around and clicked on the tiny plastic brown box that was the radio. ... read more
town centre

Europe » Bulgaria » Sofia City » Sofia May 6th 1996

Has anyone been to Bulgaria? Well, our traveling group didn't cover much ground in Bulgaria but what I remember about this trip is how well we started it. Coming from more than a week's travel around Greece, we drove from Thessalonika towards Bulgaria. Our introduction to Bulgaria was a visit to the impressive, awesome Rila Monastery. The pictures do not do justice to the lovely sights of Rila Monastery. Do please remember that I was then still using a non-digital camera. Just point and shoot, no reviews permitted. If one gets a double exposure, tough luck. The Monastery of St. John of Rila I am not into antiquities. I am not even a collector of anything. I never formed any attachment to material things and a piece of art for me, is really something best preserved ... read more
Rila Monastery
Alexander Nevsky Church
With Friends




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