Stradun, Dubrovnik's 300-metre main street, used to be packed with tourists
Stradun, Dubrovnik's 300-metre main street, used to be packed with tourists
Гърция нямаше да бъде Гърция, ако ги нямаше островите. Разпилени сред сините води на Егейско, Средиземно и Йонийско море, те са мозайка от различни истории, култури, пейзажи и кулинарни традиции, които са се преплитали на тях през вековете. След края на карантината пътуването с ферибот в Гърция вече е възможно - отличен момент да тръгнем на откривателско пътешествие. Единственото, което трябва да направим, е да имаме отрицателен PCR тест и да изберем накъде да тръгнем. Предвид богатия избор, второто не е лесно, но ето няколко идеи.
We have written extensively, with justification, about the many charms of Thessaloniki. A short drive from Bulgaria, the second largest city in Greece abounds with pleasures for both body and the soul. Excellent restaurants and charming cafés, a marvellous seaside promenade and atmospheric central streets, a lively openair market selling everything from olives to icons. Add the late-Roman ruins, Byzantine churches, Ottoman monuments, museums, bars, cultural events... You name it, Thessaloniki has it.
Domestic scientific and healthcare human capital’s efficiency in tackling the virus’s spread has made Greece as one of the safer destinations, in which everybody can spend their holidays, a vacation time that will not be deployed under usual norms. The imminent tourism season may facilitate the promotion of an array of forms of tourism, Central Greece and especially its heartland Fthiotida (regional unity) can certainly provide.
2020 is particularly bad year for people who love to travel the world, to discover new landscapes, cultures, food and experiences. In a time of closed borders and fear of contagion, a country stands out.
Many cities are situated on famous rivers or seas, but Edessa, in northern Greece, was founded on waterfalls.
Edessa sits on the edge of one of the easternmost outcrops of the Pindus mountains, where streams and rivulets jump through thick greenery and fantastically shaped rocks. Water has been its defining feature since the very beginning, as evident in its Greek and Bulgarian names. Both Edessa and Voden mean Water City.
In popular imagination, Lesbos is associated with Sappho, the ancient Greek poetess who composed enchanting love poems inspired by and dedicated to other women. In recent decades, this has resulted in a steady stream of LGBT visitors to Eressos, the village on the south shore of Lesbos where Sappho was born. An enchanting place in its own right, its tiny houses are enfolded in the hills above a wonderful beach, a place of pure relaxation that busts into activity during the Sappho Women Eressos Festival in September.
T-Rexes and diplodocs, pterodactyls and megalodons. These are the first things we usually think of when contemplating the distant past of our Earth, of the times when strange creatures roamed continents and oceans that are now only a distant geological memory. Fascinated by these giants of the past, we often miss the larger picture. These animals did not live in a vacuum. They inhabited an environment dominated by plants that they used for food and shelter.
As a rule, Bulgarians are not interested in Romania. They would rather go south, with Greece and Turkey being their favourites especially in summer time. Yet, Bulgaria's northern neighbour, which is about three times the size of Bulgaria, holds a plethora of sites and experiences, many of them totally unknown to Bulgarians, that can provide fodder for multiple and very rewarding trips.
A cloud of dust appears on the edge of the horizon, where the flat plains give way to snow-covered peaks. As the cloud comes nearer, low thunder rumbles through the air. The noise increases, the dust rises. Amid the haze appear the heads, the bodies, the flying manes of horses, hundreds of them, black, chestnut, grey, white. They pass by, a mass of animals and dust, of galloping feet and changing colours. Then they disappear, the cloud of dust dissipating on the horizon, a dying rumble of hooves.
Every year, come a long weekend and the start of the holiday season, the Bulgarian media focus on this nation's border crossings with Greece, and start counting the cars in the queues. Ordinary Bulgarians, for their part, start filling their Facebook and Instagram pages with photos of beaches, ice coffee and tables groaning under the weight of plates of Kalamari and Horiatiki salad, and glasses of Ouzo and Retsina.
Several major cities border the Black Sea. They are home to millions of people, with their own personality and atmosphere, monuments of interest and distinctive cuisine.
What do you need to make a sea? In the case of the Black Sea, you take three tectonic plates between Europe and Asia that clash, divide and subside under the pressure of volcanic activity for several million years, and let rivers and rains fill the gaps. You then add a narrow strait to connect the water basin to the Mediterranean. The end result is a sea with low salinity whose shores and currents still reflect its geological past: on maps and in aerial photographs the two ancient basins that made the current Black Sea are still clearly discernible, divided by a pointy end: the Crimea.
It encompasses six countries, with wide rivers, majestic mountains and splendid beaches, and the remains of ancient civilisations and modern developments. Peopled with adherents of the three Abrahamic religions, and redolent of times of splendour, confrontation and tragedy, the shores of the Black Sea combine different nations, geographic and climatic features, and history. In a series of three articles, we will cover the most exiting sites in a region that is still underexplored by Western travellers. We begin with the history of the Black Sea.
The Balkans are associated in the common imagination with bloody conflicts, but in recent months a series of events challenged this notion. After years of grandstanding and disputes two Balkan countries finally agreed on... a name. Greece accepted to stop referring to its northwestern neighbour as Skopje, the name of its capital city. Said neighbour, for its part, agreed to stop calling itself Macedonia, recognising that there is a Macedonia in Greece, too. Thus, the republic of North Macedonia was born.
The villa on the hill looks as un-Greek as I expected from the quote of its most famous guest, an English author once declared to be one of the most important writers in the English language. The building is too far from the road to see in detail, yet I find myself trying to discern the distant music of a virginal coming from the abode of a mysterious man who seemingly posses inner knowledge of and power over humanity's dark side.
Winter with its cold, ice and smog can be overwhelming in Bulgaria. Thankfully, there is a quick solution: Thessaloniki.
The second largest city in Greece is a five-hour drive from Sofia, and has everything you might crave in the harsh Balkan winter. The weather is balmier. There is no ice. The sea breeze wafts in fresh air and the ideal conditions to relax, unbutton your coat and breathe freely.
Greece has thousands of islands and each of them has its own identity, even those that belong to the same archipelago. In this highly competitive crowd, however, Corfu – or Kerkyra – stands out.
For millennia, Albania was a country impenetrable to outsiders. Guarded by steep and menacing mountains, it allowed Romans and Byzantines, Venetians and Ottomans, Fascist Italians and Nazi Germans to colonise and properly rule only its thin strip of coast and a handful of cities. The rest of the country, hidden behind rising peaks crisscrossed by narrow and dangerous roads, remained isolated, independent, ruled by its own tribes and codes. Communist dictator Enver Hoxha brought his country's isolation to a whole new level.