Issue 143-144

dancing in the rila lakes.jpg

WHAT'S IN A HORO?

In August, at approximately the same time when the Trade Register went dead and commercial transactions, including property sales, ground to a standstill for about a week, a group of folk dance enthusiasts identifying themselves as "patriots" made an attempt to enter the Guinness Book of Records. They climbed up the Rila Mountain Range and danced what they thought would go down in history as the "longest highland Horo in the world." Some of them got so excited that they stepped into one of the Seven Rila Lakes and danced in the water.

Fri, 09/07/2018 - 10:08
0 comments
Andon Simeonov, SoftServe Bulgaria.jpg

DIGITAL FUTURE

Artificial intelligence, clouds, big data analysis, Internet of things: until recently such terms belonged to sci-fi novels and movies. Not anymore. Our lives, business, entertainment, healthcare and a lot more is getting increasingly dependent on software and digital experience. Software economy is a thing.

Fri, 09/07/2018 - 10:05
0 comments
pristine beach in bulgaria.jpg

GOING, GOING, GONE... (BUT NOT QUITE)

What had saved Silistar from becoming an urban jungle in the footprint of Sozopol, Primorsko and so on, had been its remoteness and proximity to the Turkish border. The city councillors of Tsarevo acted to rectify this – and approved a construction plan right in the Strandzha Nature Reserve.

Predictably, some environmentally minded citizens, including Tsarevo locals, protested against what they saw as yet another blow, perhaps the death blow, against the nature of the southern Bulgarian stretch of the Black Sea.

Fri, 09/07/2018 - 10:04
0 comments
strange rocks.jpg

BULGARIA'S STRANGE ROCKS

The human penchant for spotting visual patterns in seemingly chaotic landscapes, preferring false positives to false negatives, has been crucial for survival. For thousands of years, the ones who lived long enough to pass their genes to the next generation were the ones able to spot the lion hidden in the bush. Even when there was no lion at all.

Thu, 09/06/2018 - 15:00
0 comments

QUOTE-UNQUOTE

If a law says we should fly like butterflies, we won't fly like butterflies, shall we?

Tsvetozar Tomov, Central Election Committee spokesman, on why there is still no electronic voting system in spite of it being a part of the Election Code

The Interior Ministry is not the sun to shed light everywhere.

Stefan Balabanov, Deputy Interior Minister

I will return to Burgas, go to the pier, tie a railway track to my neck and jump into the sea.

Thu, 09/06/2018 - 12:59
0 comments
arda river meander.jpg

ARDA'S MEANDERS

Several large rivers define Bulgaria's geography and historical landscape. The mighty Danube has constituted the northern border of the Bulgarian territories for centuries. The Iskar bypasses Sofia (locals still jokingly declare it to be the deepest river in the world) and then carves its way into the Stara Planina gorge, oft-described in the late-19th century Bulgarian literature. The Maritsa flows through the Thracian Plain: an ancient route used by generations of invaders, merchants, emissaries and empires. Today, the international route E80 runs along much of its course.

Thu, 09/06/2018 - 12:52
0 comments
where in bulgaria 143-144.jpg

WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?

Perched on top of the hill is a Communist-era monument that from a distance looks like a huge washing peg. You can drive all the way up to the monument – highly recommended especially when it is dark as this is one of Bulgaria's better dark skies locations. In the future you may not remember what that monument stood for. However, what will probably stay in your memory is the drive itself. 

In fact, this country is full of drives like this, through mountains, plains and the seaside, but you have to know how to find them.

Where in Bulgaria are you? 

Tue, 09/04/2018 - 08:24
0 comments
buzludzha_0.jpg

STARA PLANINA'S FLYING SAUCER

Recently, Bulgaria has become a staple in the Internet lists compiling the oddest abandoned places in the world with a building whose creators hardly imagined, not even in their darkest nightmares, the way it stands now: the Memorial House of the Bulgarian Communist Party at Buzludzha.

The complex of an assembly hall and an huge tower of exposed concrete was built on Stara Planina's Mount Buzludzha in 1981. It was meant to be a celebration of the 90th anniversary of the foundation of the predecessor of the BKP, which had been founded at that mount.

Tue, 09/04/2018 - 07:52
0 comments
berat, albania.jpg

UNKNOWN ALBANIA

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.

Tue, 09/04/2018 - 07:46
0 comments

IN THE SHADOW OF THE DISEASE, An excerpt from a memoir

The day I was admitted to the hospital, I just laid there and stared straight ahead—a piece of paper had been stuck to the closet, and the closet was blocking half of the window. Out its other half, I could see some thick black branches. The piece of paper said, "Inventory of Items in Room 7." I had the surgery the next day. I put on my regular pants because my cell phone, which I'd put on silent, could fit into pocket. As if I'd be able to inform anyone what was happening to me while I was under general anaesthesia… They did a biopsy and the express results came back in about 20 minutes.

Tue, 09/04/2018 - 07:41
0 comments

INTELLIGENT ECONOMY

We are living in an epoch in which the low-technology and high-technology become increasingly important, complement each other and sometimes clash. On the one hand, we are witnessing a revived interest in everything that can be done by hand and is made of natural materials. We plant flowers, we cook, we bake our own bread, we buy our children wooden toys, we choose organic food products and reduce our plastic use. We love to be among nature. On the other hand, however, we are entirely dependent on high technologies.

Tue, 09/04/2018 - 07:40
0 comments

BUSINESS EVOLUTION

Modern economic environment is a system of complex dependencies and connections – change in one of its elements inevitably results in change in the others. The Sofia property market is not an exception. The improved economical environment in the past few years and the remarkable development of the IT and the outsourcing sector energised the market of quality office properties. An increasing number of companies in these fields arrive in Bulgaria or expand their local operations.

Tue, 09/04/2018 - 07:40
0 comments

QUALITY OF LIFE

The managers in the company you take care off are overwhelmed by petty tasks that are way below their expertise. You have invested in a property with the idea to let it, but you lack both the time and the ability to pay the needed attention to your tenants. The block of flats where you live has difficulties with the maintenance of the shared spaces.

Tue, 09/04/2018 - 07:39
0 comments

TO LEARN SUCCESS

He who studies will succeed: the old Bulgarian saying remains relevant in the 21st century as well. It the conditions of dynamically changing labour market, of dying and emerging industries and professions, it is increasingly important to provide our children with proper education that will prepare them for life. We, adults, too, should constantly strive to maintain our level of knowledge – today the idea for continuous learning and constant improvement of qualification is not an empty slogan, but a necessity.

Tue, 09/04/2018 - 07:39
0 comments