WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?

WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?

Mon, 08/05/2013 - 12:30

Tucked in one of the remotest corners of the Rhodope, these two villages were put on the tourist map of Bulgaria only recently, as under Communism they were consigned to the no-go border zone. Now they are a hit for alternative tourism.

where in bulgaria are you 82.jpg

In addition to the mountain treks, local soul food and friendly people you are likely to encounter, don't forget the region's main attractions: several of Bulgaria's best known and most spectacular caves. Those are enveloped in many legends: one refers to the "throat of the devil," another speaks of Orpheus and his beloved Eurydice. Orpheus, in point of fact, is a big thing here as even a local flower is called "Orpheus's blood."

Pictured left is the high pass cutting through the region and dubbed "The Wolf's Jump" (guess why!).

Where in Bulgaria are you?

Issue 82

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where in bulgaria
WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?
Sometimes they are "parked" in the middle of villages, in one or two instances inside Communist-era housing projects, often they will be the first to greet you as you drive into some Bulgarian town.

where in bulgaria is this place
WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?
The Thracians were able craftsmen. The gold and silverware they produced was exquisite – and is now a priced treasure in Bulgarian museums. They were also great winemakers.

where in bulgaria are you?
WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?
Vestiges of that era can be seen all over modern Bulgaria, but there is one city where their sheer concentration astounds.

where in bulgaria are you
WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?
The Thracians, the Romans, the Proto-Bulgars, the Venetians and the Ottomans were all here, and with them came Czechs, Hungarians, Germans, Armenians and Jews. All left their marks on the modern city.

where in bulgaria is this place
WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?
An UNESCO World Heritage site, this is the largest East Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria.

where in bulgaria are you
WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?
Abundant with small coves, some of them underwater, and sporting a jigsaw waterline the coast here is easily accessible, yet full of surprises.

where in bulgaria is this place
WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?
Built on a hill almost 180 degrees surrounded by a river meander its outlook constantly changes with the weather and the seasons. Bulgarian kids are bussed there on obligatory school tours.

where in bulgaria are you
WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?
Most of these water reservoirs exist to this day, though some are reportedly in a bad state as they have not been maintained for years. The majority are unremarkable, but some are in fact quite serene – and many locals frequent for angling or camping.

where in bulgaria are you
WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?
As a result of what some Bulgarians refer to as the "unbridled" construction of hotels, resorts and holiday homes – "entombing the Black Sea in concrete" – many of them have been destroyed.

where in bulgaria are you
WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?
But owing to its topography it is one of the best places in Europe to explore bridges.

where in bulgaria are you.jpg
WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?
Still, this country does boast a number of small isles one of which is even permanently inhabited.

where in bulgaria are you
WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?
It was supposed to commemorate a series of 19th century battles between Russian and Ottoman forces that led to the restoration of Bulgaria's independence. As such, every Bulgarian school kid knows it as they are taken on obligatory bus tours of the area.