FOREIGN TRAVEL

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ATHENS NEVER CEASES TO AWE

It is a place of ancient monuments and of drab, unremarkable post-1940s streets with white houses and greying apartment buildings, with bustling street traffic and elderly people slowly strolling along. There are tourist traps and tavernas that seem unchanged since  the 1960s, intelligent graffiti and classical monuments which laid the foundation of Western art, among the pestering pigeons and of the pageantry of the Evzones national guard.

Mon, 07/03/2017 - 12:12
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IAŞI SURPRISES

Iaşi is one of Romania's greatest, and most pleasant, surprises. Far from popular tourist destinations like Bucharest and the Carpathian mountains, the city is known to Romanians as the heart of their national culture and educational system, but it remains mostly unknown to foreign visitors. The fact that it is close to the border with Moldova, an even lesser known European country, does not help Iaşi's popularity.

Fri, 06/02/2017 - 11:26
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GO GREECE, FOR THE SUMMER

Only 190-kilometre drive separate Sofia from Kulata, the most popular border crossing with Greece. The country is blessed with Mediterranean climate. The summer is hot, sunny and dry, and it is more than guaranteed that the weather will not suddenly turn bad for several days in a row during your vacation – the average number of sunny days in the country is 250. As a result of concurrence of geographical and historical circumstances, Greece has a coastline of 13,676 km – incomparably more than Bulgaria's 354-kilometre Black Sea coast.

Tue, 04/04/2017 - 06:25
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SARAJEVO

Shoppers walk by, perusing the oranges, potatoes and home-made Rakiya, oblivious to the looming memorial to the victims of the 5 February 1994 shelling, which took the lives of 68 people just like them, people who were trying to do some shopping in besieged Sarajevo.

How the people of Sarajevo cope with the wounds of the Bosnian War of 1992-1995, the bloodiest of the conflicts that put an end to Yugoslavia in the 1990s, is a question any visitor to the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina struggles to answer.

Tue, 01/03/2017 - 12:59
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AMAZING ISTANBUL

Home to at least 18 million people, Istanbul spreads over two continents, and has a past so rich that it would take you a lifetime to get to know it properly. And yet, it is so vibrant and full of sensations and experiences that it feels more like sheer pleasure than a history lesson, particularly in winter.

Tue, 11/29/2016 - 15:27
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BEST THINGS TO DO IN NEW YORK CITY IN WINTER

The weather can – and does – get pretty extreme, with temperatures plummeting, snowstorms creating whiteout conditions even in the middle of Manhattan, and airplanes getting landed for hours at the city's airports. However, with a bit of planning and some luck you will actually enjoy NYC in wintertime – that is, if you know where to go and what to expect. Following is a brief, tried-and-tested guide to the main attractions.

Battery Park

Thu, 10/27/2016 - 12:13
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10 THINGS TO DO IN LA

It is impossible for anyone to get to know Los Angeles within a week, a month or, some say, a lifetime. The huge urban sprawl on the West Coast of the United States is home to over 18 million people who make up one of the most diverse metropolises on the planet. With a limited time, however, and a sensible budget, which must include a rented car because the City of Angels has a very modest mass transit system, you can explore some of the highlights – and actually enjoy them even if you get stuck in the rush hour traffic.

Thu, 09/08/2016 - 11:48
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MOROCCO

For centuries Morocco has attracted poets, writers, travellers and adventurers in search of the exotic and the outlandish. It is an inimitable blend of North Africa, Islam and the developing world. However, in contrast to most other Arab states, during much of the second half of the 20th century Morocco sided with the West and the United States rather with the East bloc. Recently, Morocco stood out as the only Arab country not to experience any kind of "spring," meaning local politics and the local way of doing things have been preserved much as they used to be.

Wed, 08/03/2016 - 10:50
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TUNISIAN TALES

Bonjour, Madame!, the fine old gentlemen sitting in the cafés on Avenue Habib Bourguiba, the central street of the Tunisian capital, Tunis, greet me. The morning is fresh with the scent of warm sea meeting warm land. The elegant fin-de-siècle façades on the avenue stand next to modern high-rises, while the narrow side streets are already abuzz with the first shoppers hurrying to the covered market.

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 11:55
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BANGKOK: EAST OF PARADISE AND BACK

The tuk-tuk taxi is cyclamen pink and the driver's name on the sticker has more than 50 letters, most of them consonants. From the rearview mirror dangle a bunch of dried flowers, plush elephants and other paraphernalia. The driver (like all his colleagues) zooms along the roads as if he was in a Formula 1 race, but I loved the tuk-tuk, as it made me feel like a witch on her broomstick – the hot Bangkok air tousles my hair and I am ready for magic and mischief.

Wed, 06/08/2016 - 13:34
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FALLING UNDER THE SPELL OF TAJ MAHAL

Some rulers have won their place in history for their military prowess, others for their law-making, brutality or madness, but none of them can compare with the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (1628-1658). His place in history is due to great love and great grief, immortalised in one of the most stunning pieces of architecture ever created, the Taj Mahal.

Mon, 05/09/2016 - 15:15
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DICSOVERING CAPE TOWN

Cape Town is a city worth flying halfway round the world to visit. Green and white, spreading around the red and blue Table Mountain, it blends the atmosphere of America and Europe with its own, inimitable feel. Cape Town is the result of its geographical location at the southern tip of a whole continent, Africa, and of its troubled history and mixture of peoples, religions and cultures, and of the characteristic good-humoured character of South Africans and the vibrant modern life in this county.

Sat, 04/09/2016 - 13:06
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THE NAME OF THE SUMMER

Greece is a great place to spend your holidays, and this is not news, as show the queues of Bulgarian-plated cars that consistently and predictably form at the border crossings with this country each long weekend and each summer. Each of the persons in these cars will give you his or her own reason for his or her choice of vacation destination. Some say it is the clean sea, others – the calmness and the lack of stress, and third are in love with the quality of service and food. All of these are true, and there are many more.

Fri, 04/08/2016 - 12:42
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THESSALONIKI NOW

Even Bulgarians who love winter will admit this: if you are not on the ski slopes or beside the blazing fire of a traditional guesthouse or restaurant somewhere in the country, the year's coldest season is quite depressing in the big cities. The ice. The slush. The slippery pavements and the chore of clearing frost and snow from your car. The dark clothes Bulgarians unanimously wear. The murky shadows of the side streets at night.

Bulgarians from the big cities have long found a quick solution to the winter blues: Thessaloniki.

Mon, 01/04/2016 - 14:43
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LIVING IN EARTHQUAKE'S SHADOW

On 7 December 1988, the world was hit by the news of a devastating earthquake that killed at least 31,000 and injured about 130,000 people in the little-known Soviet Socialist Republic of Armenia. Buildings lay in ruins and thousands were left homeless in a cold winter's dawn. Shockingly, Mikhail Gorbachev, the leader of the mighty USSR, admitted his country was unable to deal with the destruction, the search for survivors, and the rebuilding.

Thu, 12/03/2015 - 13:20
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WHO ARE THE MOLOKANS?

The village of Lermontovo comes as a surprise. After the drab, grey, decaying city of Vanadzor (and most of the cities in Armenia, for that matter), the village is a splash of colour. Flowers spill out from lush gardens and among the greenery are wooden houses painted in pastels, with steep roofs and birdhouses. You are perfectly aware that you are still in Armenia, but everything around looks as if you have been magically transported deep into the Russian countryside – about 200 years ago.

Thu, 09/24/2015 - 13:37
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