Consolidating days off is a peculiar Bulgarian
phenomenon that exists nowhere else in
Europe. The government claims that, in this
way, it enables citizens to "relax more
comprehensively." They probably do.
To visit Bulgaria without going to Pravets is like going to Georgia without stopping at Gori (Stalin), crossing Serbia without spending two hours in Požarevac (Milošević), or touring Romania without visiting Scornicesti (Ceausescu)
It is difficult to explain why Bulgarians are so
reluctant to allow outsiders to take pictures
of what they consider to be their national
heritage, but in many cases the reasons have nothing to do with issues
of ownership or privacy.
Some manufacturers of polythene bags
claim that their wares are "biodegradable,"
but in reality they are not. In time they
just disintegrate into pieces, making
their detection harder and presenting
even further risks to the environment.
In Bulgaria there is a saying which
translates as "A poor man is a living devil."
Especially at a time of economic collapse, such
as now, it should resonate with anyone setting
foot south of the Danube: watch out for all
kinds of scammers
70 years ago, on 10 March 1943, Bulgaria's pro-Nazi government decided to defy Berlin and halt the deportation of Bulgaria's 50.000 Jews. This was down to the actions of one man - Dimitar Peshev. Just two years later he faced Communist justice and found himself on trial for his life. His niece Kaluda Kiradjieva remembers