Issue 143-144 https://vagabond.bg/index.php/ en WHAT'S IN A HORO? https://vagabond.bg/index.php/whats-horo-600 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">WHAT&#039;S IN A HORO?</span> <div class="field field--name-field-author-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field__item">by Anthony Georgieff</div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/user/251" lang="" about="/index.php/user/251" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">DimanaT</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 09/07/2018 - 10:08</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-subtitle field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>Village dance gets put to political use to boost 'patriotism'</h3> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="images-container clearfix"> <div class="image-preview clearfix"> <div class="image-wrapper clearfix"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="overlay-container"> <span class="overlay overlay--colored"> <span class="overlay-inner"> <span class="overlay-icon overlay-icon--button overlay-icon--white overlay-animated overlay-fade-top"> <i class="fa fa-plus"></i> </span> </span> <a class="overlay-target-link image-popup" href="https://vagabond.bg/sites/default/files/2020-06/dancing%20in%20the%20rila%20lakes.jpg"></a> </span> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-06/dancing%20in%20the%20rila%20lakes.jpg" width="800" height="595" alt="dancing in the rila lakes.jpg" title="An unattributed image of the Rila Lakes Horo circulating social media" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>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 <em>Horo</em> in the world." Some of them got so excited that they stepped into one of the Seven Rila Lakes and danced in the water. A snapshot of the event with unclear authorship was quick to spread on social media, prompting the usual flurry of love-hate statements. Predictably, the supporters felt proud that something so quintessentially Bulgarian would perhaps be inscribed in the all-important world encyclopaedia of trivia. The critics, for their part, insisted the Horo dancers had waded into a protected lake, seriously jeopardising its fragile ecology. Both parties traded accusations and counteraccusations. Some implied that the Horo was an innocuous yet powerful antidote to this nation's "cultural identity" being "threatened" by a liberal and multicultural EU. Others countered that the <em>Horo</em>, like the square dance in some parts of the United States, was meant to assert as "official" just one part of the culture, depreciating and denigrating non-mainstream customs and traditions. The debate receded only when an insurance company, where as many as 190,000 Bulgarians had their cars signed up, went bust.</p> <p>Indeed, what is in a <em>Horo</em>? Is it just the dance and the music, odd as it may be to Western ears, or does this peasant rite mean more than the colourful human circle that meets the eye?</p> <p>One of the first things that a visitor to this country will notice, either at a traditional restaurant with live entertainment or at one of the  village festivals that have mushroomed in recent years, is the Horo, Bulgaria's telltale circle dance. It is usually performed by both young and old, sometimes dressed up in 19th century folk costumes. Increasingly, in recent years a Bulgarian flag gets waved by the leader of the <em>Horo</em>. In the past, the flag used to be a white kerchief.</p> <p><img title="Bulgarian horo" src="/images/stories/V143-144/horo/150516-6400.jpg" alt="Bulgarian horo" width="100%" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Central Sofia has not seen a massive Horo since the fall of Communism, when peasant traditions were actively encouraged by the state. The sign in the lower left corner reads: </em><br /><em>"One Horo, One Nation, One Bulgaria" © Anthony Georgieff</em></p> <p> </p> <p>Of course, there is nothing wrong with the <em>Horo</em> or with men wearing coarse baggy trousers, like there is nothing wrong with Germans wearing Lederhosen or Dirndl, but it might be interesting to consider that what was essentially a 19th century village tradition gets unscrupulously used by the extreme nationalist parties currently in government to boost their version of "patriotism." Significantly, they use a dance to impose what they consider to be this nation's cultural identity onto modern Bulgarians many of who can hardly move their feet in the intricate <em>Horo</em> steps.</p> <p>The origins of the <em>Horo</em> are unclear, but like most other things in the Balkans the dance is probably an amalgamation of rites and customs common to Turks, Greeks, Armenians, Bulgars and all others who happened to pass through. The Bulgarian version is in fact quite complex to learn, especially to outsiders unfamiliar with its uneven beats.</p> <p>To start off with, there are several dozen different variants of the <em>Horo</em>. Historically, they originated in different parts of the Bulgarian lands. The region around Sofia, for example, has its Shopska Rachenitsa, its Kopanitsa, its Petrunino <em>Horo</em> and several others. In Dobrudzha, in the northeast, both the music and the dance are quite different. In the north there is the Daychovo <em>Horo</em> and the Dunavsko <em>Horo</em>, the latter being the standard dance everyone gets involved in when the clock strikes midnight on New Year's. Tunes, melodies, beats, rhythms and steps are very different in the Rhodope and in Macedonia.</p> <p>The music the <em>Horo</em> gets danced to is as varied. Sometimes it is slow and heavy. Other times it is joyous and lively. Traditional instruments include drums, bagpipes, flutes and a kind of primitive violin, but clarinets, accordions and even the double bass are also used.</p> <p><img title="Bulgarian horo" src="/images/stories/V143-144/horo/03122013--67.jpg" alt="Bulgarian horo" width="100%" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Dancing the </em>Horo<em> at high altitudes in nothing new in Bulgaria. Pictured here is a 1,500-metres-above-sea-level Horo at Chepelare, in the Rhodope, at the beginning of the 20th century</em></p> <p> </p> <p>Some basic <em>Horo</em> dances are taught in Bulgarian schools, a rather useful subject in gyms as sooner or later pupils tend to grow up and get married whereupon a wedding <em>Horo </em>will be called for.</p> <p>The trouble with the current outpour of<em> Horo</em> dancing is that it is used almost exclusively to assert some kind of a largely imaginary identity that belonged mostly to the peasants of the 19th century. While it is true that the majority of 19th century Bulgarians lived in villages and had the unmistakable Weltanschauung of people living in villages, as Bulgaria strove for its independence from the Ottoman Empire a significant number of people chose to modernise themselves. They sent their children to study in Vienna, Paris and London, and the grown-up kids returned home as doctors, lawyers and scientists to build the new Bulgaria. Those were the people who never wore baggy trousers and fur hats. They dressed in suits and wore bow ties. They had flushing toilets and imported architects from  Austro-Hungary and Italy to build Sofia, the new capital. They wrote law books and textbooks. They ran the country in spite of the fierce internal and external troubles. It is thanks to them that Bulgaria slowly started to assume a more European face.</p> <p>Now, when Bulgaria is finally a formal part of the EU, the peasants are coming back with their baggy trousers, fur hats and the <em>Horo</em>. Whether any of the young Bulgarians who study in Vienna, Paris and London will ever return to their baggy trousers "origins" is doubtful. Yet, the policy of the state, intentionally or not, is to assert this type of "folk culture" as an "antidote" to Western influences.</p> <p><img title="Bulgarian horo" src="/images/stories/V143-144/horo/06012011-9581.jpg" alt="Bulgarian horo" width="100%" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>A men-only </em>Horo<em> in the icy waters of the River Tundzha in Kalofer, performed on 6 January, the Orthodox holiday of Epiphany <em>© Anthony Georgieff</em><br /></em></p> <p> </p> <p> </p></div> <a href="/index.php/archive/issue-143-144" hreflang="en">Issue 143-144</a> <div class="field field--name-field-mt-post-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--entity-reference-target-type-taxonomy-term clearfix field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/index.php/forum/politics" hreflang="en">BULGARIA POLITICS</a></div> </div> <section class="field field--name-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=600&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="F-tyLUdHmnN4TTC1XvshyrlqU6qMmPRwEFS3Quk5Ovg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 07 Sep 2018 07:08:17 +0000 DimanaT 600 at https://vagabond.bg https://vagabond.bg/index.php/whats-horo-600#comments DIGITAL FUTURE https://vagabond.bg/index.php/digital-future-601 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DIGITAL FUTURE</span> <div class="field field--name-field-author-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field__item">interview by Dimana Trankova; photography by Nelly Tomova</div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/user/251" lang="" about="/index.php/user/251" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">DimanaT</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 09/07/2018 - 10:05</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-subtitle field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>Andon Simeonov, Country Manager of SoftServe Bulgaria, on how to excel in the current software economy</h3> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="images-container clearfix"> <div class="image-preview clearfix"> <div class="image-wrapper clearfix"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="overlay-container"> <span class="overlay overlay--colored"> <span class="overlay-inner"> <span class="overlay-icon overlay-icon--button overlay-icon--white overlay-animated overlay-fade-top"> <i class="fa fa-plus"></i> </span> </span> <a class="overlay-target-link image-popup" href="https://vagabond.bg/sites/default/files/2020-06/Andon%20Simeonov%2C%20SoftServe%20Bulgaria.jpg"></a> </span> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-06/Andon%20Simeonov%2C%20SoftServe%20Bulgaria.jpg" width="800" height="533" alt="Andon Simeonov, SoftServe Bulgaria.jpg" title="Andon Simeonov, Country Manager of SoftServe Bulgaria" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>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.</p> <p>The development in the field is rapid and can become overwhelming for the businesses. SoftServe, however, is a company that can help with innovation, software development and consultancy services. Established in 1993 in Ukraine, it is now a major global player with presence in 14 countries around the world. In 2014, SoftServe opened an office in Sofia. Country Manager for Bulgaria Andon Simeonov, VP, has been a part of SoftServe since the beginning of its Sofia operation.</p> <p><em><strong>What are the latest trends in software economy?</strong></em></p> <p>Companies are paying significant attention to machine learning, data analytics, artificial intelligence. These new technologies use information to enable solutions on how the client's business should develop, providing options for faster decision making.</p> <p>The approach has application in a number of fields, like social media, healthcare, finance and many others.</p> <p>The methodologies vary. For example, in social media the behavior of groups of customers is analyzed. Based on preliminary defined personal traits, the information is used to adapt the content to inspire a wanted behavior from the user or persona, for example the purchase of a particular good in a particular color.</p> <p>These are based on contemporary programming languages, which rapidly evolve to process data faster. For our clients, however, technology remains a mean to achieve the main goal: identifying the best business solution for any problem.</p> <p><em><strong>What is the future of software economy?</strong></em></p> <p>It will continue developing towards AI, predictive data analytics, bid data analysis. Also cloud solutions. Everything is getting to the cloud nowadays, as it makes businesses and people more flexible, allowing them to access their data from any devise, anywhere in the world.</p> <p><em><strong>Who are SoftServe's clients?</strong></em></p> <p>We work with two types of companies. The first one is independent software vendors who develop solutions for the end customer. Such companies are interested in our engineering background, and we excel in software development.</p> <p>The second group is large enterprise companies in different industries. We offer them an in-depth knowledge of how their business works, what software technologies and methodologies could be implemented or improved to increase the company's product value.</p> <p>SoftServe's expertise is in the fields of media, retail, healthcare and fintech.</p> <p>We know what technological solutions can be implemented in the particular industry so that the incomes increase and the costs are optimized.</p> <p>As an organization with 5000+ employees and 25 years of experience, we have thorough expertise in those areas and actually have a great feedback from our clients.</p> <p>SoftServe's NPS (net promoter score) is 69% which is one of the highest in the industry. For comparison, Amazon's score of customer satisfaction is 62%, while the market average is between 25 and 35%.</p> <p><em><strong>What challenges face companies working in software development?</strong></em></p> <p>It is all interconnected. First is lack of experienced staff. It has become endemic on the international IT specialists market. This brings in the problem of what do IT specialists look for in a job. The current market empowers them to be very selective. They look for interesting and challenging projects, good working environment, the opportunity to master new skills.</p> <p>This environment creates two major challenges to companies. They have to find the staff, and then they have to keep it in the company. The firms have to be creative employers and to constantly offer their employees intellectual challenge and the opportunity to develop.</p> <p>SoftServe is such a company. The variety of technologies we apply in a range of fields allows us to offer a score of alternatives for any employee who wants to develop new skills.</p> <p>The challenges a company in our field faces, however, go beyond human capital. Our industry is in a constant flux. To stay on top, a firm should be always up-to-date with the latest trends and innovations. It should adapt, and quickly, to changes, to constantly adjust to the business environment. It also needs a clear focus on where it is heading.</p> <p><em><strong>How does SoftServe Bulgaria achieve that?</strong></em></p> <p>SoftServe has a working methodology, one of the best in the industry, for talent development, which states that each employee has a clear vision on his career development and steps which should be achieved.</p> <p>We also emphasize on developing Big Data analysis for cloud solutions such as AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, allowing the client to achieve the wanted customer service level. We also develop platform knowledge such as Salesforce and Sitecore that not only solve particular business problems, but develop a complete digital experience for the customer.</p> <p>We also have a representatives in CoE  group such as Solutions, DevOps and DXP Platforms serving our Global Organization.</p> <p>The SoftServe University is internal initiative which has many different training programs such as language courses, software development, leadership development, career development, mentoring, etc. It is our greatest competitive advantage. I doubt there is another company with a similar set of tools for talent development.</p> <p>We also use different digital platforms and tools for constant feedback from our employees that gives us a clear view of the problems our teams experience when working on a project.</p> <p><em><strong>What did SoftServe Bulgaria achieve since 2014?</strong></em></p> <p>We successfully ended our baby phase, discovering the strengths and weaknesses of the local market, and establishing functioning operations. We successfully implemented managerial strategy allowing our staff to work for global clients. Now our Sofia office is constantly growing and expansion outside of the capital is a matter of time.</p> <p>In September we are starting an ambitious training program for training of System Administrators into DevOps, which will potentially end up with obtaining a Google Cloud Certificate. Another activity is to create a Google Cloud competence centre in Bulgaria. This program is the first step towards it. We are also starting Salesforce training initiative, which will develop SalesForce certified experts.</p> <p>And of course our IT academy is an ongoing activity with 4-month courses. When a student graduates, he is either employed by us, or finds a job elsewhere. So, we are helping the development of Bulgaria's IT labour market.</p> <p>Career growth and personal development of people is our most significant strength which supports the growth of our SoftServe Bulgaria location. My goal is to go beyond and develop a structure which will become a factor on the world stage with experts in a number of fields who add value to our Customers.</p> <p> </p> </div> <a href="/index.php/archive/issue-143-144" hreflang="en">Issue 143-144</a> <div class="field field--name-field-mt-post-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--entity-reference-target-type-taxonomy-term clearfix field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/index.php/interviews" hreflang="en">BULGARIA INTERVIEWS</a></div> </div> <section class="field field--name-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=601&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="gvJsW07xV2fqvcoYpWP49SZEl329W3ktGfZyOnDxTDg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 07 Sep 2018 07:05:49 +0000 DimanaT 601 at https://vagabond.bg https://vagabond.bg/index.php/digital-future-601#comments GOING, GOING, GONE... (BUT NOT QUITE) https://vagabond.bg/index.php/going-going-gone-not-quite-602 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">GOING, GOING, GONE... (BUT NOT QUITE)</span> <div class="field field--name-field-author-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field__item">by Stamen Manolov</div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/user/251" lang="" about="/index.php/user/251" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">DimanaT</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 09/07/2018 - 10:04</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-subtitle field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>As Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, who had said the previous month that he had not been on holiday for "17 years," was doing some summertime rounds of asphalted roads and archaeological sites, his man in Tsarevo, the local GERB mayor, promulgated a new construction plan, just approved by the local city council, to build up Silistar, perhaps the last remaining construction-free beach on the southern Black Sea coast.</h3> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="images-container clearfix"> <div class="image-preview clearfix"> <div class="image-wrapper clearfix"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="overlay-container"> <span class="overlay overlay--colored"> <span class="overlay-inner"> <span class="overlay-icon overlay-icon--button overlay-icon--white overlay-animated overlay-fade-top"> <i class="fa fa-plus"></i> </span> </span> <a class="overlay-target-link image-popup" href="https://vagabond.bg/sites/default/files/2020-06/pristine%20beach%20in%20bulgaria.jpg"></a> </span> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-06/pristine%20beach%20in%20bulgaria.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="pristine beach in bulgaria.jpg " loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field uk-text-bold uk-margin-small-top uk-margin-medium-bottom field--name-field-image-credits field--type-string field--label-hidden field__item">© Anthony Georgieff</div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>Tsarevo City Council was about to go ahead – until Prime Minister Boyko Borisov phoned the local mayor and "asked" him… not to fulfil his councillor's decision until all citizens were convinced the projected bout of construction was pretty innocuous.</p> <p>There are two things very wrong in this story, which qualified hands down for this month's Joke of the Month. First, the gluttony of the Tsarevo construction entrepreneurs knows no limits when it comes to making a fast buck or two. Second, it is quite obviously not the job of the prime minister to order mayors not to honour what appears to be  legitimate, if highly controversial, decisions of their elected city councillors. Things should simply not be done in this fashion in a formal democracy where the various checks and balances should ensure the mayor of Tsarevo behaves sensibly – and so does the prime minister.</p> <p>What will happen to Silistar now? It is unlikely the projected construction will be halted. The rulers will probably use the media they control to denigrate the environmentalists – and the "evil" things they have done to Silistar Beach with their tents and bicycles. Then they will turn back to the already approved construction plan and go ahead with it. In this way they will ensure the general public will be on their side when the cranes move in.</p> <p> </p> </div> <a href="/index.php/archive/issue-143-144" hreflang="en">Issue 143-144</a> <div class="field field--name-field-mt-post-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--entity-reference-target-type-taxonomy-term clearfix field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/index.php/fun/joke-of-the-month" hreflang="en">JOKE OF THE MONTH</a></div> </div> <section class="field field--name-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=602&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="yknsU5Z5EnM2BbmEk1KcXyzPVXZVyYN9bIGA6wWmwuQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 07 Sep 2018 07:04:19 +0000 DimanaT 602 at https://vagabond.bg https://vagabond.bg/index.php/going-going-gone-not-quite-602#comments BULGARIA'S STRANGE ROCKS https://vagabond.bg/index.php/bulgarias-strange-rocks-603 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">BULGARIA&#039;S STRANGE ROCKS</span> <div class="field field--name-field-author-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field__item">by Dimana Trankova; photography by Anthony Georgieff</div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/user/251" lang="" about="/index.php/user/251" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">DimanaT</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 09/06/2018 - 15:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-subtitle field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>They never fail to tickle imagination</h3> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="images-container clearfix"> <div class="image-preview clearfix"> <div class="image-wrapper clearfix"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="overlay-container"> <span class="overlay overlay--colored"> <span class="overlay-inner"> <span class="overlay-icon overlay-icon--button overlay-icon--white overlay-animated overlay-fade-top"> <i class="fa fa-plus"></i> </span> </span> <a class="overlay-target-link image-popup" href="https://vagabond.bg/sites/default/files/2020-06/strange%20rocks.jpg"></a> </span> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-06/strange%20rocks.jpg" width="800" height="533" alt="strange rocks.jpg" title="Rocks at Sinemorets" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>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.</p> <p>Today, we mostly use this subconscious skill to see Jesus face on toast bread and to "read" clouds, tea leaves and coffee powder. Strange rock formations are high on the list, too. Since times immemorial people have been fascinated by strangely shaped pieces of rocks and cliffs, seeing in them human faces and bodies, a menagerie of animals, gods and devils petrified for eternity.</p> <p>Bulgaria has its fair share of strangely shaped rocks that will turn any travel into a Rorschach test challenge. Many also come with legends to match.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>SINEMORETS ECO PATHS</strong><br />Two coastal eco trails head north and south of Sinemorets, a village on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast within the territory of the Strandzha nature park. The southern eco trail will also take you to a couple of wild, unprotected beaches: Lipite and Listi.</p> <p>The educational purpose of both eco trails was to show tourists the different volcanic rocks on the shoreline and to explain how were they formed. The information signs, however, have long faded. The trails now continue to exist mainly due to the constant stream of people trying to reach Listi or Lipite beaches.</p> <p>Let lack of information not discourage you. The volcanic rocks are still there, creating a surreal landscape.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>POBITI KAMANI</strong><br /><img title="Pobiti Kamani Bulgaria" src="/images/stories/V143-144/strange_rocks/011217-4.jpg" alt="Pobiti Kamani Bulgaria" width="100%" />One of Bulgaria's most surreal landscapes is a short drive from Varna. Spreading over 600 acres, the Pobiti Kamani, or Thumped Stones, fit the name perfectly: among a windswept, sandy expanse dotted with shrubs stone pillar after stone pillar rise. Most are relatively small, but some reach up to seven meters in height and three meters in diameter.</p> <p>The rock columns make the unnerving impression that they are manmade. In reality, they appeared millions of years ago. How exactly remains unclear. Some say that they are the remains of primeval organisms: prehistoric coral reefs or petrified trees.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>STONE PILLARS AT MECHKA VILLAGE</strong><br /><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/images/stories/V143-144/strange_rocks/20082011-1780.jpg" alt="stone pillars bulgaria" width="70%" />The two stone pillars, rising up to 2.5 and 12 metres by Mechka, a village on the Danube bank near Ruse, were probably formed in the Mesozoic, when dinosaurs roamed the earth. For the local Bulgarians, however, these formidable rocks are linked to mythical hero Krali Marko. In a show of his strength, he is said to have lifted the larger rock of the couple merely with the tip of his finger.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>PROVARTENIK ROCK, NEAR KARLUKOVO</strong><br /><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Karlukovo rocks bulgaria" src="/images/stories/V143-144/strange_rocks/280816-3157.jpg" alt="Karlukovo rocks bulgaria" width="70%" />Impressive is an understatement for this rock rising over the Iskar, in the karst-defined part of the river's course, near Karlukovo. From a distance, it looks like a Mayan pyramid, misshapen by the passing aeons. And it has a perfectly round hole on its top, conjuring images of ancient civilisations worshiping sun.</p> <p>The Provartenik is actually natural phenomenon.</p> <p>Plenty of people, though, are still sure that it was made deliberately as an observatory for the winter and summer solstices.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>STONE MUSHROOMS OF BELI PLAST</strong><br /><img title="Stone Mushrooms bulgaria" src="/images/stories/V143-144/strange_rocks/180716-8767.jpg" alt="Stone Mushrooms bulgaria" width="100%" />By the road close to the Rhodope village of Beli Plast there stands a group of stone mushrooms. The most spectacular of them rises up to 2.5 m. This phenomenon is the result of underwater volcanic activity, combined with erosion when the sea, which used to cover most of what is now the Rhodope, withdrew.</p> <p>As with many strangely shaped rocks, the Stone Mushrooms became the stuff of legends. An old tale suggests that these were petrified Bulgarian girls who preferred brave death to falling into the hands of Ottoman invaders. A newer one claims that the zeolite rock the natural phenomenon is made of has almost magical healing powers. You only need a chunk of it in your drinking water, supposedly.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>KORABITE ROCKS BY SINEMORETS</strong></p> <p><img title="Sinemorets" src="/images/stories/V143-144/strange_rocks/240816-2188.jpg" alt="Sinemorets" width="100%" /><br />To see one of the most photographed rocks on the Bulgarian Black Sea shore you don't even need to leave Sinemorets. All you have to do is to go to the St Yani rocky bay and look for a pair of rocks that resemble ships of stone. Now you know why they are called Korabite, or The Ships.</p> <p>A local legend connects the place with a sinister past. Back in the days, the people of Sinemorets were engaged in a rather nasty form of pirating. In stormy weather they used to light fires on the shore, luring passing ships to false safety. Then they looted the shipwrecks.</p> <p>The place where those maleficent fires burnt? Korabite Rocks, of course.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>PALIKARI ROCKS IN SOZOPOL</strong></p> <p><img title="Sozopol" src="/images/stories/V143-144/strange_rocks/090617-0353.jpg" alt="Sozopol" width="100%" /><br />Located by the seaside promenade at the northern part of Sozopol's Old Town (the one without a fake ancient fortress wall), the Palikari Rocks are one of the city's symbols.</p> <p>Their name means a boy in Greek, the language that since Sozopol's foundation in the 6th century BC until the state-organised population exchanges in the 1920s used to dominate local soundscape.</p> <p>The name is explained by the story of a local boy who loved diving from the rocks, exploring an underwater cave beneath. One day, however, a storm arose. The boy was trapped in the cave. He never resurfaced again.</p> <p>A hint: If you know from where and when to look at the Palikari Rocks, you will discover that they quite surprisingly resemble the Easter Island stone heads.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>STONE MUSHROOMS BY SINI RID VILLAGE</strong></p> <p><img title="stone mushrooms bulgaria" src="/images/stories/V143-144/strange_rocks/060617-20.jpg" alt="stone mushrooms bulgaria" width="100%" /><br />The three stone mushrooms by the Sini Rid village, near Ruen in the eastern reaches of the Stara Planina, are among the lesser known phenomena of the kind in Bulgaria. They rise up to four meters and are the result of wind, water and time working on the soft lime rocks.</p> <p>They are also the last remaining trace of the village of Dobrovan, which ceased to exist in 1963. Consequently, they are also called Dobrovanski Mushrooms.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>TYULENOVO VILLAGE</strong></p> <p><img title="Tyulenovo bulgaria" src="/images/stories/V143-144/strange_rocks/220417-10.jpg" alt="Tyulenovo bulgaria" width="100%" /><br />The rocks and cliffs near Tyulenovo village, north of Kavarna, form arguably the most picturesque part of the northern Bulgarian Black Sea coast. Coves and stone pillars, arches and hidden caves licked and beaten by the sea waves: the coast here looks as if created by a crazy superhuman sculptor on a particularly creative day.</p> <p>While other strangely shaped rocks have tragic legends explaining how they appeared, the Tyulenovo rocks have witnessed a real-life tragedy. Until the 1970s, the cliffs and hidden coves and caves were the home of a colony of monk seals (hence Tyulenovo, or Seal Village). By the late-1970s, the local fishermen had already wiped out the seals because they damaged their nets. Now there are neither nets, nor seals.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>THE SHIP ROCKS, ST ANASTASIA ISLAND</strong></p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="St Anastasia Island" src="/images/stories/V143-144/strange_rocks/310517-8693.jpg" alt="St Anastasia Island" width="70%" /><br />St Anastasia Island, off Burgas, is rocky and covering just 5 acres, but it has accumulated more history than its humble size suggests. It has been inhabited at least since the 4th-6th centuries AD, and in the Middle Ages monastery dedicated to St Anastasia was erected on it. In 1923, the Bulgarian government closed the monastery and turned the island into a political prison for members of the persecuted Agrarian Party and the Bulgarian Communist Party. That is why under Communism the island was renamed to Bolshevik. In the 1960s-1980s, the island became one of the favourite haunts for both tourists and the Burgas bohemians, who loved the rugged terrain, the marvellous vistas of Burgas Bay and the cheap restaurant. With democratisation after 1989, the island's old name was restored. Regular transportation was terminated and the restaurant was closed. For years, the only people on St Anastasia were the keepers of the lighthouse, which was first built in 1888, and in 1914 was replaced with the structure still in operation today. The end of St Anastasia's desolation came in 2014, when the Burgas City Council brought back the island onto the local tourist map. The monastery was restored into a museum, restaurant, hotel.</p> <p>And there are the Ship Rocks. They indeed look like a stranded vessel.</p> <p>According to a colourful legend, when pirates attacked the island in an effort to retrieve a hidden treasure, the monks prayed for salvation. Consequently, the invaders' ship turned to stone.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.us4bg.org/?hl=en"><img style="margin: 10px; float: left;" title="America for Bulgaria Foundation" src="/images/stories/V130/AFB_LOGO.jpg" alt="America for Bulgaria Foundation" width="30%" /></a>High Beam is a series of articles, initiated by Vagabond Magazine, with the generous support of the <a href="http://www.us4bg.org/?hl=en" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">America for Bulgaria Foundation</a>, that aims to provide details and background of places, cultural entities, events, personalities and facts of life that are sometimes difficult to understand for the outsider in the Balkans. The ultimate aim is the preservation of Bulgaria's cultural heritage – including but not limited to archaeological, cultural and ethnic diversity. The statements and opinionsexpressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the America for Bulgaria Foundation and its partners.</strong></p></div> <a href="/index.php/archive/issue-143-144" hreflang="en">Issue 143-144</a> <a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/221" hreflang="en">America for Bulgaria Foundation</a> <a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/248" hreflang="en">Nature</a> <a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/226" hreflang="en">Natural phenomenon</a> <div class="field field--name-field-mt-post-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--entity-reference-target-type-taxonomy-term clearfix field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/index.php/travel/high-beam" hreflang="en">HIGH BEAM</a></div> </div> <section class="field field--name-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=603&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="wmUgX6k6kXqLl1j5V2hneIGJJuZRqfTzXjfLCS5Vivw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 06 Sep 2018 12:00:38 +0000 DimanaT 603 at https://vagabond.bg https://vagabond.bg/index.php/bulgarias-strange-rocks-603#comments QUOTE-UNQUOTE https://vagabond.bg/index.php/quote-unquote-604 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">QUOTE-UNQUOTE</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/user/251" lang="" about="/index.php/user/251" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">DimanaT</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 09/06/2018 - 12:59</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-subtitle field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><blockquote> <p>We have prepared very seriously for the cannabis harvest.</p> </blockquote> <p>Prime Minister <strong>Boyko Borisov</strong></p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><blockquote> <p>If a law says we should fly like butterflies, we won't fly like butterflies, shall we?</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Tsvetozar Tomov</strong>, Central Election Committee spokesman, on why there is still no electronic voting system in spite of it being a part of the Election Code</p> <blockquote> <p>The Interior Ministry is not the sun to shed light everywhere.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Stefan Balabanov</strong>, Deputy Interior Minister</p> <blockquote> <p>I will return to Burgas, go to the pier, tie a railway track to my neck and jump into the sea.</p> </blockquote> <p>Deputy Prime Minister <strong>Valery Simeonov</strong></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> </div> <a href="/index.php/archive/issue-143-144" hreflang="en">Issue 143-144</a> <a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/261" hreflang="en">Boyko Borisov</a> <div class="field field--name-field-mt-post-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--entity-reference-target-type-taxonomy-term clearfix field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/index.php/fun/quote-unquote" hreflang="en">QUOTE-UNQUOTE</a></div> </div> <section class="field field--name-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=604&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="QX9GxguhA1D4wy_qSAVZzYmeGyilQGMBmweBw1nn4iE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 06 Sep 2018 09:59:41 +0000 DimanaT 604 at https://vagabond.bg https://vagabond.bg/index.php/quote-unquote-604#comments ARDA'S MEANDERS https://vagabond.bg/index.php/ardas-meanders-605 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">ARDA&#039;S MEANDERS</span> <div class="field field--name-field-author-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field__item">by Dimana Trankova; photography by Anthony Georgieff</div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/user/251" lang="" about="/index.php/user/251" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">DimanaT</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 09/06/2018 - 12:52</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-subtitle field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>Arguably Bulgaria's most picturesque river flows through Rhodope</h3> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="images-container clearfix"> <div class="image-preview clearfix"> <div class="image-wrapper clearfix"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="overlay-container"> <span class="overlay overlay--colored"> <span class="overlay-inner"> <span class="overlay-icon overlay-icon--button overlay-icon--white overlay-animated overlay-fade-top"> <i class="fa fa-plus"></i> </span> </span> <a class="overlay-target-link image-popup" href="https://vagabond.bg/sites/default/files/2020-06/arda%20river%20meander.jpg"></a> </span> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-06/arda%20river%20meander.jpg" width="800" height="533" alt="arda river meander.jpg " title="The Big Arda Horseshoe Bend at the village of Star Chitak" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field uk-text-bold uk-margin-small-top uk-margin-medium-bottom field--name-field-image-credits field--type-string field--label-hidden field__item">© Anthony Georgieff</div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>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.</p> <p>Compared to these, the Arda, in the Rhodope, looks insignificant.</p> <p>For most of the time, it runs through the mountains, and soon after it leaves them, it joins – you guess it – the Maritsa.</p> <p>And yet the Arda is a true wonder. Its banks, bends and meanders across the Rhodope form a picturesque landscape: often charming, sometimes otherworldly or magnificent, always crammed with stories old and new.</p> <p>The Arda springs from a karst water source picturesquely located at the roots of an old tree at the northern slope of the 1,730-metre Ardin Peak, by the village of Gorna Arda in the western Rhodope. Until recently, Arda's springs used to be in the border zone with Greece and hence visiting was not possible. Now, however, it is perfectly easy to take a trip on horseback, organised by the villagers, to the source of the river. This area offers other sites of interest, such as the Uhlovitsa Cave and the Agushevi Konaks in Mogilitsa village.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="arda river bulgaria" src="/images/stories/V143-144/arda/140418-1899.jpg" alt="arda river bulgaria" width="70%" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>An early morning drive through the Madzharovo-Borislavtsi road offers superb views of the nearby meanders</em></p> <p> </p> <p>From its source, the Arda flows eastwards for 272 kms, carving its way through the slopes of the Rhodope, passing through stunning landscapes of rocky cliffs, green forests and abundant wildlife. Here and there there are traces of human life: hamlets and villages built of stone, a few cities, and several old bridges. The best of these is the 16th century Devil's Bridge, near the town of Ardino. Once it used to facilitate travel on the old route from the Thracian Plain to the Aegean, but the road was abandoned during the Cold War, and now the bridge, as well as the nearby ghost village of Dyadovtsi, stand by the Arda, quiet and alone.</p> <p>When the river enters the eastern Rhodope, its waters get captured by three large reservoirs: Kardzhali, Studen Kladenets and Ivaylovgrad. Their construction  has changed the landscape, turning the river into a string of large artificial lakes connected by thin strips of water. The landscape is still picturesque: a mosaic of rising slopes and still water, and of volcano rocks frozen into prismatic shapes, along with the menacing canyon of Sheytan Dere and the bucolic beauty of the calm river lined with poplars near Dolno Cherkovishte.</p> <p>There is also the historical heritage. In addition to the Devil's Bridge, some stunning Thracian megaliths like the shrines at Utrobata Cave, Tatul and Bivolyane, the clusters of rock niches and rock tombs at Orlovi Skali near Ardino, the Gluhite Kamani near Harmanli and near Dolno Cherkovishte are located around the Arda.</p> <p>Once the Arda leaves the last dam on its course, it frees itself from the Rhodope. Passing through Ivaylovgrad city, around which are the Roman villa Armira and the Lyutitsa fortress, the river enters the Thracian Plain, passing through Greece and joining the Maritsa at Edirne, Turkey.</p> <p><img title="arda river bulgaria" src="/images/stories/V143-144/arda/140418-1886.jpg" alt="arda river bulgaria" width="100%" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Arda meander by Madzharovo</em></p> <p> </p> <p>The best part of Arda's course in the Rhodope, however, are the places where the river meanders, snake-like, hugging the mountain's slopes into formidable gooseneck bends. They are so impressive that you will be excused if for a moment you get mentally lost, imagining yourself in Utah rather than in Eastern Europe.</p> <p>Some of Arda's meanders appeared naturally. Others were either created or enlarged by… human activity. These are mainly seen near the dams that cram the river.</p> <p>The so-called Zavoya, or The Bend, at the beginning of Kardzhali Dam, is arguably the most impressive of those. It is best seen from the southern bank of the river, by the village of Star Chitak.</p> <p>There are two more intriguing meanders of the Arda nearby, by the Rusalsko and Lyubino villages. They are harder to reach as the road is far from perfect.</p> <p>The Arda's stunning meanders near the town of Madzharovo, by the beginning of Ivaylovgrad Dam, are just by a road that was once asphalt. Their natural beauty is coupled with their environmental importance: the meanders are the home of Bulgaria's only vulture sanctuary and of a number of other rare birds, including black storks.</p> <p><img title="arda river bulgaria" src="/images/stories/V143-144/arda/140418-2066.jpg" alt="arda river bulgaria" width="100%" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Morning mist envelopes an abandoned church at the village of Borislavtsi</em></p> <p> </p> <p><img title="arda river bulgaria" src="/images/stories/V143-144/arda/140418-2116.jpg" alt="arda river bulgaria" width="100%" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Vultures nest at these rocks above the Arda</em></p> <p> </p> <p><img title="arda river bulgaria" src="/images/stories/V143-144/arda/150809-1240238.jpg" alt="arda river bulgaria" width="100%" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <em>River Arda along the Rudozem-Smolyan road</em></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.us4bg.org/?hl=en"><img style="margin: 10px; float: left;" title="America for Bulgaria Foundation" src="/images/stories/V130/AFB_LOGO.jpg" alt="America for Bulgaria Foundation" width="30%" /></a>High Beam is a series of articles, initiated by Vagabond Magazine, with the generous support of the <a href="http://www.us4bg.org/?hl=en" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">America for Bulgaria Foundation</a>, that aims to provide details and background of places, cultural entities, events, personalities and facts of life that are sometimes difficult to understand for the outsider in the Balkans. The ultimate aim is the preservation of Bulgaria's cultural heritage – including but not limited to archaeological, cultural and ethnic diversity. The statements and opinionsexpressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the America for Bulgaria Foundation and its partners.</strong></p></div> <a href="/index.php/archive/issue-143-144" hreflang="en">Issue 143-144</a> <a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/221" hreflang="en">America for Bulgaria Foundation</a> <a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/229" hreflang="en">The Rhodope</a> <a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/248" hreflang="en">Nature</a> <div class="field field--name-field-mt-post-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--entity-reference-target-type-taxonomy-term clearfix field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/index.php/travel/high-beam" hreflang="en">HIGH BEAM</a></div> </div> <section class="field field--name-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=605&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="_FzIMflHx2AwWYkWZK4g__JuR1d1ZIp72Q-WKNCN6K8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 06 Sep 2018 09:52:51 +0000 DimanaT 605 at https://vagabond.bg https://vagabond.bg/index.php/ardas-meanders-605#comments WHICH CITY HAS A YELLOW-BRICK PAVED STREET? https://vagabond.bg/index.php/which-city-has-yellow-brick-paved-street-606 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">WHICH CITY HAS A YELLOW-BRICK PAVED STREET?</span> <div class="field field--name-field-author-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field__item">by Bozhidara Georgieva</div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/user/251" lang="" about="/index.php/user/251" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">DimanaT</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 09/06/2018 - 12:48</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-subtitle field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>Think you know Bulgaria and the Bulgarians? Take our test to doublecheck</h3> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="images-container clearfix"> <div class="image-preview clearfix"> <div class="image-wrapper clearfix"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="overlay-container"> <span class="overlay overlay--colored"> <span class="overlay-inner"> <span class="overlay-icon overlay-icon--button overlay-icon--white overlay-animated overlay-fade-top"> <i class="fa fa-plus"></i> </span> </span> <a class="overlay-target-link image-popup" href="https://vagabond.bg/sites/default/files/2020-06/yellow%20brick%20road.jpg"></a> </span> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-06/yellow%20brick%20road.jpg" width="800" height="533" alt="yellow brick road.jpg " title="Yellow brick road" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field uk-text-bold uk-margin-small-top uk-margin-medium-bottom field--name-field-image-credits field--type-string field--label-hidden field__item">© Anthony Georgieff</div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>1. What happened in Bulgaria on 9 September 1944?</strong><br /><strong>A.</strong> The Communists took power<br /><strong>B.</strong> Bulgaria became independent<br /><strong>C.</strong> The Principality of Bulgaria and Eastern Rumelia united</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>2. Which city is famed for its fin-de-siècle architecture?</strong><br /><strong>A.</strong> Tryavna<br /><strong>B.</strong> Aytos<br /><strong>C.</strong> Ruse</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>3. The Hemus motorway is in…</strong><br /><strong>A.</strong> Southern Bulgaria<br /><strong>B.</strong> Northern Bulgaria<br /><strong>C.</strong> Southwestern Bulgaria</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>4. Which birds migrate from Bulgaria to Africa in September?</strong><br /><strong>A.</strong> Storks<br /><strong>B.</strong> Eagles<br /><strong>C.</strong> Sparrows</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>5. What is <em>Lyutenitsa</em>?</strong><br /><strong>A.</strong> Eggplant paste<br /><strong>B.</strong> Garlic paste<br /><strong>C.</strong> Tomato-and-pepper paste</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>6. The Rozhen National Astronomical Observatory is located…</strong><br /><strong>A.</strong> In the Stara Planina<br /><strong>B.</strong> In the Rhodope<br /><strong>C.</strong> In the Pirin</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>7. The Bulgarian National Television was established in…</strong><br /><strong>A.</strong> 1959<br /><strong>B.</strong> 1969<br /><strong>C.</strong> 1963</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>8. Which city has a yellow-brick paved street?</strong><br /><strong>A.</strong> Burgas<br /><strong>B.</strong> Plovdiv<br /><strong>C.</strong> Sofia</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>9. The Bulgarian school year begins on…</strong><br /><strong>A.</strong> 1 September<br /><strong>B.</strong> 15 September<br /><strong>C.</strong> 1 October </p> <p> </p> <p>The correct answers to the questions: <br /><strong>1.</strong> – A; <strong>2.</strong> – C; <strong>3.</strong> – B; <strong>4.</strong> – A; <strong>5.</strong> – C; <strong>6.</strong> – B; <strong>7.</strong> – A; <strong>8.</strong> – C; <strong>9.</strong> – B</p></div> <a href="/index.php/archive/issue-143-144" hreflang="en">Issue 143-144</a> <div class="field field--name-field-mt-post-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--entity-reference-target-type-taxonomy-term clearfix field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/index.php/fun/bulgaria-s-monthly-quiz" hreflang="en">BULGARIA&#039;S MONTHLY QUIZ</a></div> </div> <section class="field field--name-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=606&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="HafVOrBiTz7AL8ZQeeYeHGvG3iiQq4PCGjVoBNpQjzI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 06 Sep 2018 09:48:36 +0000 DimanaT 606 at https://vagabond.bg https://vagabond.bg/index.php/which-city-has-yellow-brick-paved-street-606#comments BRIDGE THAT MADE CITY https://vagabond.bg/index.php/bridge-made-city-607 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">BRIDGE THAT MADE CITY</span> <div class="field field--name-field-author-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field__item">by Dimana Trankova; photography by Anthony Georgieff</div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/user/251" lang="" about="/index.php/user/251" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">DimanaT</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 09/06/2018 - 12:43</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-subtitle field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>People, traffic still use majestic Ottoman bridge in Svilengrad</h3> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="images-container clearfix"> <div class="image-preview clearfix"> <div class="image-wrapper clearfix"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="overlay-container"> <span class="overlay overlay--colored"> <span class="overlay-inner"> <span class="overlay-icon overlay-icon--button overlay-icon--white overlay-animated overlay-fade-top"> <i class="fa fa-plus"></i> </span> </span> <a class="overlay-target-link image-popup" href="https://vagabond.bg/sites/default/files/2020-06/svilengrad%20bridge.jpg"></a> </span> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-06/svilengrad%20bridge.jpg" width="800" height="533" alt="svilengrad bridge.jpg " title="The Svilengrad bridge was a part of a larger system of bridges built by the Ottomans along the approaches of Constantinople. Several more are preserved in what are now the westernmost neighbourhoods of Istanbul" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>One of Bulgaria's most impressive off-the-beaten-track treasures lies hidden in plain sight. In the town of Svilengrad, on the borders with Turkey and Greece, cars and pedestrians still cross the River Maritsa by a bride that is six centuries old.</p> <p>Solid and cleverly built in 1529 by Mustafa Pasha, a vizier of the sultans Selim I and Süleyman the Magnificent, the 295-metre bridge is the longest Ottoman bridge in Bulgaria. The widest of its 21 arches spans 18 meters. By the bridge there was also a large complex that offered free food, accommodation and even baths to travellers and merchants, regardless of their faith and origin. This practice was not new to the Balkans – it had been established by the Romans – but during the turbulent Middle Ages it was discontinued. The Ottomans brought it back to life.</p> <p>In fact, had it not been for the Mustafa Pasha bridge, there would have been no Svilengrad at all.</p> <p>Before 1529, this stretch of the Maritsa was uninhabited. Soon after the bridge appeared, people recognised the potential of its location. In the mid-1550s, a village with a large marketplace already existed there. The village was called Mustafa Pasha. A century later it gained such prominence that it was recognised as a town.</p> <p>The bridge is still known as Mustafa Pasha, after the man who built it. The town itself was renamed to Svilengrad in 1913 when it became a part of Bulgaria.</p> <p>With the memory of its builder largely intact, the Mustafa Pasha Bridge is probably the only old bridge in Bulgaria that lacks a legend about a woman's shade being built into its foundations. It does, however, feature in another legend.</p> <p>When Mustafa Pasha finished the bridge, the story goes, Süleyman I attended the inauguration. He felt jealous of the magnificent structure and wished to buy it. Mustafa Pasha was unwilling to see the work into which he had put his heart and his money in the hands of another, but his refusal would have dishonoured the Padishah. The Pasha was at his wits' end and asked for a night of reflection. Süleyman agreed.</p> <p><img title="svilengrad bridge" src="/images/stories/V143-144/svilengrad/15082004-1155.jpg" alt="svilengrad bridge" width="100%" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Some attribute the bridge in Svilengrad to Mimar Sinan, the famed Ottoman architect</em></p> <p> </p> <p>On the following morning the Pasha was found dead. He had committed suicide, having decided that death was the most dignified way out of the situation. Süleyman did not share this opinion and in his august wrath cursed the bridge: May the first man that crosses it die.</p> <p>It seemed that the bridge would never be used, but one man dared cross it. This was Mustafa Pasha's father, a now childless parent whose life had lost its meaning.</p> <p>The bridge you see today in the centre of Svilengrad is not exactly the same as the one from 1529. In 1766 a particularly high surge of the Maritsa swept away half of its arches. The bridge was rebuilt in 1790.</p> <p>The building inscription is still in place, on a tall pillar in the middle of the bridge. It reads: "This bridge was built when Caliph was the greatest among sultans Sultan Süleyman Khan, son of Selim Khan, may he continue his safety and security, their vizier Mustafa Pasha – may God bless all that he creates. And it [the building of the bridge] was his most lasting good deed in the year, on the day on which an eternal good deed came to be." The last words is a chronogram – the digital value of each of the letters encodes the year of construction. Constructing chronograms was a favourite mind game of Ottoman intellectuals.</p> <p><img title="svilengrad bridge" src="/images/stories/V143-144/svilengrad/15082004-1156.jpg" alt="svilengrad bridge" width="100%" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>An intricate inscription retelling how the bridge came to be</em></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.us4bg.org/?hl=en"><img style="margin: 10px; float: left;" title="America for Bulgaria Foundation" src="/images/stories/V130/AFB_LOGO.jpg" alt="America for Bulgaria Foundation" width="30%" /></a>High Beam is a series of articles, initiated by Vagabond Magazine, with the generous support of the <a href="http://www.us4bg.org/?hl=en" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">America for Bulgaria Foundation</a>, that aims to provide details and background of places, cultural entities, events, personalities and facts of life that are sometimes difficult to understand for the outsider in the Balkans. The ultimate aim is the preservation of Bulgaria's cultural heritage – including but not limited to archaeological, cultural and ethnic diversity. The statements and opinionsexpressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the America for Bulgaria Foundation and its partners.</strong></p></div> <a href="/index.php/archive/issue-143-144" hreflang="en">Issue 143-144</a> <a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/221" hreflang="en">America for Bulgaria Foundation</a> <a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/277" hreflang="en">Ottoman heritage</a> <div class="field field--name-field-mt-post-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--entity-reference-target-type-taxonomy-term clearfix field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/index.php/travel/high-beam" hreflang="en">HIGH BEAM</a></div> </div> <section class="field field--name-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=607&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="BVs6KVLsMmxN2TPQ4K2yhW2706vR_LVCAvJkMHxySLg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 06 Sep 2018 09:43:43 +0000 DimanaT 607 at https://vagabond.bg https://vagabond.bg/index.php/bridge-made-city-607#comments WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU? https://vagabond.bg/index.php/where-bulgaria-are-you-608 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?</span> <div class="field field--name-field-author-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field__item">by Stamen Manolov </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/user/251" lang="" about="/index.php/user/251" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">DimanaT</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 09/04/2018 - 08:24</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-subtitle field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>To reach this major Stara Planina, mostly known as the Balkan Mountains, peak you have to do a strenuous drive along a steep road with many hairpin turns, each revealing stupendous views both south and north of what has for centuries been the Great Bulgarian Divide.</h3> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="images-container clearfix"> <div class="image-preview clearfix"> <div class="image-wrapper clearfix"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="overlay-container"> <span class="overlay overlay--colored"> <span class="overlay-inner"> <span class="overlay-icon overlay-icon--button overlay-icon--white overlay-animated overlay-fade-top"> <i class="fa fa-plus"></i> </span> </span> <a class="overlay-target-link image-popup" href="https://vagabond.bg/sites/default/files/2020-06/where%20in%20bulgaria%20143-144.jpg"></a> </span> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-06/where%20in%20bulgaria%20143-144.jpg" width="533" height="800" alt="where in bulgaria 143-144.jpg" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field uk-text-bold uk-margin-small-top uk-margin-medium-bottom field--name-field-image-credits field--type-string field--label-hidden field__item">© Anthony Georgieff</div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>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. </p> <p>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.</p> <p><strong>Where in Bulgaria are you? </strong></p> </div> <a href="/index.php/archive/issue-143-144" hreflang="en">Issue 143-144</a> <div class="field field--name-field-mt-post-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--entity-reference-target-type-taxonomy-term clearfix field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/index.php/fun/where-in-bulgaria" hreflang="en">WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?</a></div> </div> <section class="field field--name-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=608&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="Ewje8pcoCkbbQSPu_EXSYkdMsQqav7btiksVAm48jsA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 04 Sep 2018 05:24:29 +0000 DimanaT 608 at https://vagabond.bg https://vagabond.bg/index.php/where-bulgaria-are-you-608#comments STARA PLANINA'S FLYING SAUCER https://vagabond.bg/index.php/stara-planinas-flying-saucer-609 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">STARA PLANINA&#039;S FLYING SAUCER</span> <div class="field field--name-field-author-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field__item">by Dimana Trankova; photography by Anthony Georgieff</div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/user/251" lang="" about="/index.php/user/251" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">DimanaT</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 09/04/2018 - 07:52</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-subtitle field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>Communist-era hilltop monument sits in windswept dereliction</h3> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="images-container clearfix"> <div class="image-preview clearfix"> <div class="image-wrapper clearfix"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="overlay-container"> <span class="overlay overlay--colored"> <span class="overlay-inner"> <span class="overlay-icon overlay-icon--button overlay-icon--white overlay-animated overlay-fade-top"> <i class="fa fa-plus"></i> </span> </span> <a class="overlay-target-link image-popup" href="https://vagabond.bg/sites/default/files/2020-06/buzludzha_0.jpg"></a> </span> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-06/buzludzha_0.jpg" width="800" height="533" alt="buzludzha_0.jpg" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>On 2 September 1891, a group of Socialists, led by Dimitar Blagoev, used as a cover the mass gathering commemorating the revolutionary band led by Hadzhi Dimitar, who had been defeated at Buzludzha by the Ottomans in 1868. They needed the precautionary measure as the then government was at least unsympathetic to the young Bulgarian Socialist movement. This was how the Bulgarian Socialist Democratic Party, or BSDP, came into being.</p> <p>The Bulgarian Communist Party claimed to be the direct heir of the BSDP. Its top brass were aware that 1981 was the best year to celebrate the continuity.  At the time, Bulgaria was in the midst of the celebrations of the 1,300th anniversary of its foundation. With the monument on Buzludzha, the BKP wanted to publicly declare its place in the age-long history of the nation and in its future.</p> <p>The decision for the building of a congress centre for the BKP elite on Buzludzha was taken in 1971. Construction work began in 1974.  A significant investment of 14 million leva was needed, but a solution for it was found quickly: the project was to be financed by "voluntary" contributions of 0.5 leva deducted from the salaries of all working Bulgarians. The construction itself was given to the Construction Corps joined by volunteers.</p> <p><img title="Buzludzha Bulgaria" src="/images/stories/V143-144/buzludzha/210517-7247.jpg" alt="Buzludzha Bulgaria" width="100%" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>The weather on Mount Buzludzha is notoriously harsh and unstable, making construction of the monument a hard task. According to some accounts, several construction workers died during the building process. The Communist authorities never acknowledged the deaths</em></p> <p> </p> <p>The architect, Georgi Stoilov, created a building that was simultaneously futuristic and brutalist. It dominated the environment, could be seen from miles away and easily conveyed the project's message: the BKP's roots are deep, the party is here to stay.</p> <p>The dimensions were overwhelming. The round conference hall, which gained the monument the monicker Flying Saucer, had a diameter of 42 metres and was 14.5 metres high.  A 70 - metre-tall tower rose next to it. It was decorated with 12 - metre-tall red stars, rumoured to be made of rubies.</p> <p>The interior decoration was entrusted to established artists and sculptors including Velichko Minekov, Valentin Starchev and Yoan Leviev. The mosaics in the assembly hall included portraits of Marx, Lenin and Todor Zhivkov while the murals in the corridors extoll "peaceful labour." The titles of the various artworks are self-explanatory: A Figure of Those Who Burn in Struggle Eternally; Workers of the World, Unite!; Fifth Congress of the BKP; Bulgarian-Soviet Friendship, and so on.</p> <p>The builders of Buzludzha faced a variety of challenges. The mountain top had to be artificially flattened, the weather was sometimes extreme, roads leading up to the complex had to be built. There were labour accidents, some of them resulting in fatalities.</p> <p><img title="Buzludzha Bulgaria" src="/images/stories/V143-144/buzludzha/26052011-6733.jpg" alt="Buzludzha Bulgaria" width="100%" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Visiting the assembly hall is no longer possible as the monument was sealed off for safety reasons</em></p> <p> </p> <p>The Memorial House was inaugurated personally by Todor Zhivkov on 23 August 1981. In the following years the building came to symbolise the victorious Communist party. However, few at the time knew that owing to poor workmanship the building had serious technical deficiencies even on the day it was inaugurated. Shortly thereafter some of its installations had to undergo a major overhaul.</p> <p>The collapse of the regime in 1989 turned Buzludzha into an anachronism. It became the target for anyone who wanted to express their negative sentiments for Communism or, pressed by the economic crisis and destitution, was in search for any scrap material. As Todor Zhivkov was pulled down from his position as the supreme party and state leader, the party leadership decided to scrape his face off the mosaics. In 1992 the building was nationalised along all other BKP property, and consequently started to fall apart.</p> <p>The aluminium window frames were lifted for scrap metal, the window panes were broken, the furniture got carried away. Some used shotguns to shatter the red stars in the hope some rubies would fall down. However, it emerged that the stars had actually been made of red glass.<br />In the course of just a few years the building, which has been supposed to epitomise the triumph of Communism in Bulgaria, turned into a ghostly ruin.</p> <p><img title="Buzludzha Bulgaria" src="/images/stories/V143-144/buzludzha/26052011-6749.jpg" alt="Buzludzha Bulgaria" width="100%" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>The Stara Planina seen from the Buzludzha monument</em></p> <p> </p> <p>However, the monument has not been forgotten.  At the beginning of August every year the Bulgarian Socialist Party, the heir to the BKP, organises a traditional rally near the abandoned monument. It is an event that gathers ageing public that indulges in outdated songs and fervent speeches. In the 2010s the BSP and the state began arguing on who and how to take care of the building. Meanwhile, the destruction reached a point that, due to safety concerns, the entrances to the monument were sealed.</p> <p>Still, whoever wants to get into Buzludzha can always find a way, especially if they are photographers. While the devastation continues, the monument's online popularity grows. When entry into it was relatively easy, bikers got inside the assembly hall to rev up their engines. The walls are covered in graffiti of varied artistic merits. Visitors climb up the huge letters once depicting stanzas from the Communist Internationale and Song of Labour in search for better selfie opportunities. Some particularly daring newly-weds do photo shoots inside the assembly hall.</p> <p>The Buzludzha monument has become a part of contemporary mass culture. The building featured in <em>The Mechanic: Resurrection</em> (2016) starring Jason Statham, Jessica Alba and Tommy Lee Jones. The movie was shot in Bulgaria, but for artistic purposes the Buzludzha monument was "moved" to the Black Sea.  A fictitious description of the monument is also in Elizabeth Kostova's novel, <em>The Shadow Land</em> (2017).</p> <p>In recent years some projects emerged to reconstruct the monument through virtual reality or turn it into a history museum with a panorama lift in the tower.</p> <p>Most of the time, however, Buzludzha is empty – without adventurers, nostalgic Socialists or inquisitive tourists. </p> <p><img title="Buzludzha Bulgaria" src="/images/stories/V143-144/buzludzha/26052011-6790.jpg" alt="Buzludzha Bulgaria" width="100%" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Mosaic portraits of (from left) Engels, Marx and Lenin, the defining figures of world Communism</em></p> <p> </p> <p><img title="Buzludzha Bulgaria" src="/images/stories/V143-144/buzludzha/26052011-6792.jpg" alt="Buzludzha Bulgaria" width="100%" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>"Workers of the World, Unite!": the slogan of the Communists from Marx's Communist Manifesto, is the centrepiece of the assembly hall</em></p> <p> </p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.us4bg.org/?hl=en"><img style="margin: 10px; float: left;" title="America for Bulgaria Foundation" src="/images/stories/V130/AFB_LOGO.jpg" alt="America for Bulgaria Foundation" width="30%" /></a>High Beam is a series of articles, initiated by Vagabond Magazine, with the generous support of the <a href="http://www.us4bg.org/?hl=en" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">America for Bulgaria Foundation</a>, that aims to provide details and background of places, cultural entities, events, personalities and facts of life that are sometimes difficult to understand for the outsider in the Balkans. The ultimate aim is the preservation of Bulgaria's cultural heritage – including but not limited to archaeological, cultural and ethnic diversity. The statements and opinionsexpressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the America for Bulgaria Foundation and its partners.</strong></p></div> <a href="/index.php/archive/issue-143-144" hreflang="en">Issue 143-144</a> <a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/221" hreflang="en">America for Bulgaria Foundation</a> <a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/108" hreflang="en">Communism</a> <a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/223" hreflang="en">Communist Bulgaria</a> <a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/235" hreflang="en">PostCommunism</a> <a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/249" hreflang="en">The Stara Planina</a> <div class="field field--name-field-mt-post-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--entity-reference-target-type-taxonomy-term clearfix field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/index.php/travel/high-beam" hreflang="en">HIGH BEAM</a></div> </div> <section class="field field--name-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=609&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="vzYcYV_wqBWLZ1pvJF4zW6gzMe_gMJk8OMEXKEQjiAs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 04 Sep 2018 04:52:29 +0000 DimanaT 609 at https://vagabond.bg https://vagabond.bg/index.php/stara-planinas-flying-saucer-609#comments