Issue 176

RENETA TSONKOVA AND THE HEART OF DIAMONDS

You need an appointment to enter the elegantly splendid Renée De Clair, a boutique for diamond jewellery and a gemological laboratory on Sofia's Rakovski Boulevard – and this is just the first sign that you are up for an experience without parallel in Bulgaria. Charming and smart, Reneta Tsonkova, founder and owner of Renée De Clair, welcomes you and guides you through the complicated process of selecting the best diamond piece of jewellery for yourself or your significant other.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

WILL BOYKO BE GONE FOR GOOD?

Following the failure of Bulgaria's "short" parliament, which sat for less than a month, to fulfil its basic constitutional duty, form a functioning government, President Rumen Radev stepped in and appointed a caretaker administration. Though its main task is to organise the next general election, to be held on 11 July, the "caretaker" government is not as powerless as it seems. In fact, it can do everything a regular government is able to do save for actions – such as altering the state budget or concluding international treaties – that would require parliamentary approval.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

FROM START TO FINISH

Bulgaria has plenty of mountains and peaks that challenge even experienced mountaineers, yet one of its greatest outdoor adventures is not just conquering some 2,900-metre-high summit. It is trekking along the ridge of the Stara Planina, the mountain range that divides Bulgaria from west to east, known also by its more poetic name, the Balkans.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

MAKING THE ROUNDS IN BULGARIA

At the beginning of an exam a student turns to the professor:

"Let's now see what you have taught me online."

*

"Do you remember when we were optimistic and made grandiose plans?"

"That was yesterday. Now clean up the mess."

*

"They opened the gyms."

"Finally! Haven't been to one in 12 years."

*

An electricity meter installed at a Bulgarian court suddenly changed its testimony.

*

"There are three surefire ways to lose money."

"?"

"Fast, pleasant and foolproof."

"?"

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

(RE)DISCOVERING MELNIK

What is Bulgaria's smallest town? Bulgarian children learn the answer early in school. However, the reason both local and foreign tourists visit Melnik, population 194, is not its size. They cherish Melnik, in southwest Bulgaria, for its well-preserved Revival Period architecture, strong local wine and surreal surroundings of white limestone pyramids. Its location is just off the E79 route from Sofia to Greece, a short drive from Bansko.

Comments: 1

Read more Add new comment

WHO WAS HRISTO BOTEV?

Every 2 June, at exactly noon, the civil defence systems all over Bulgaria are switched on. The sirens wail for a minute. A minute when many people stop whatever they are doing and stand still.

The sirens are the noisiest part of the commemorative events for the death of Hristo Botev (1848-1876), arguably the greatest poet Bulgaria ever produced. He died, along with many of his fellow revolutionaries, in a battle with the Ottoman forces, while trying to start an uprising in Bulgaria's northwest.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

BANKS OF KOZLODUY

On 28 May 1876, the passengers of the Radetzky, a steamer headed on the Danube to Vienna, were in for a surprise. As the ship was heading upstream, three men in strange military uniforms, swords and guns in their hands, appeared on the deck. Their leader, a handsome bearded man, cried something and suddenly young men, that until then had looked like ordinary gardeners heading for seasonal work in Austria-Hungary, gathered around the band. Dozens of them. They took off their clothes and put on uniforms. More weapons were seen onboard.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

FIREFLIES MAGIC

Much has been said and written about the beauties of Bulgarian nature and the abundance of its wildlife. Birdwatching, for example, has become a mainstream tourism activity that many travel agents organise for Western visitors. Yet little if anything has been promulgated about another remarkable if not so obvious (for obvious reasons, pun unintended) treasure that Bulgarian forests, meadows and riversides have: the abundance of fireflies.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment