Since visiting Bulgaria last year I've been an avid reader of any news item that makes it into the British press.
However, these mostly concern quirky millionaires trying to buy up a Bulgarian village, a few paragraphs about the impenetrable politics leading up to EU accession in 2007 or, my favourite, tantalising photos of golden Thracian objects. Tantalising, because I passed through the countryside where they were found. Who knows what lay just beneath my feet?
I travelled by train from Sofia to the Black Sea and was struck by the diversity of the landscape, the ever-narrowing mountain gorges suddenly giving way to the green expanse of the Valley of Roses - it seemed as though a couple of centuries had been lost as I looked out on my rattling train window and saw the peaceful progress of horses and carts as they clopped along the country lanes between the patchwork fields of spring flowers.
Sozopol was my goal, out of season, and it buzzed with an airof getting readyfor the sun-seekers. The orchestra of builders' saws and drills tuned up with the sunrise, thesmall stalls along the empty roads seemed to be rehearsing for the summer sellingseason but the restaurants were fully stocked with delicious fish and wine. I found one perched on the cliffside,tablesand chairs fashioned from driftwood, curious objects hung and scattered over thetiny terraces. I sat for hours until the sun set behind a tiny island.
From these experiences, and from many more days exploring Sofia and he outlying villages, I began to seeBulgaria as a complex, many-facetted country. Its archaeology reveals the richness not only of its artifacts but also of the melding of peoples over the centuries. Beautifully preserved villages such as Koprivshtitsa contain the sories of bloodshed and heroism within their colourful walls, and Sofia is welcomingly accessible, its wide boulevards and parks beckoninga vagabond wanderer to explore.
Sincerely, Viktoria Heard
Allow me to eagerly welcome Vagabond magazine to the English reading community in Bulgaria. I would like to commend the founders and editors of Vagabond for addressinga feltneed of expatriates living in Bulgaria as well as those travelling here. The Anglophone community will now have thebenefit of an upscale magazine that will address various subject matters of special interest, includingthe arts, politics, dining, shopping, travel, business, investment, real estate, and all-around fun. I intend not to miss reading ay issue.
Resident Financial Enforcement Advisor,
US Treasury Department
My wife and I are very keen travellers from the UK and particularly enjoy travelling to countries which offer an interesting cultural legacy. For many years we have kept Bulgaria on our "hot list“ of travel destinations, not just for the obvious historical significance of the country, or the apparent sublime beauty of the land, as depicted in various books as well as tourist brochures and food and wine catalogues.
We have at last decided to take the plunge and have booked a holiday over the Christmas period, which to some may seem a strange time to discover a potential summer paradise. We, however, are more interested in the local festivities and traditions of countries with a long cultural history, especially as we are soon to become partners in the EU. It was this interest of ours that alerted us to the launch of your publication, Vagabond, with the hope that a potential source of information may spring from your journalists. We wish you all the best of luck in your new venture, and look forward to gleaning much information from your forthcoming editions.
Michelle and David, London
Bulgaria is such an unknown quantity (except for the skiing and its beaches) that you have an almost empty canvas to fill. I look forward particularly to the culture and "foodie“ pages and to knowing how Bulgarians themselves feel their country fits into Europe and what its historical and cultural strengths are. Regular foodie pages celebrating the freshness of Bulgarian ingredients, the wonderful open-air markets and the friendliness of your restaurants would certainly keep me reading. I am savouring the prospect of my fourth visit to your lovely country later in the year when I will definitely pick up the latest copy of your magazine from the news stand.
Good Luck to you all!