When you go to Tirana, you do not seek stunning architecture or rich history. You go for the curiosity factor. Albania and its capital are shrouded in the atmosphere of a little-known, little-visited, isolated and poor country haunted by the memories of Europe's last dictatorship.

Published in Foreign Travel
Tuesday, 31 October 2017 14:24

CREATORS OF THE BULGARIAN STATE

Built under Communism, this larger than life monument in Shumen continues to awe

Published in High Beam
Tuesday, 05 September 2017 13:18

¿HAVANA, SI?

Communism in Cuba dies with a whimper, not with a bang

Published in Foreign Travel
Monday, 31 July 2017 16:07

LAND OF LOST LENINS

Only a handful of the hundreds of Lenin statues under Communism remain standing

Published in High Beam
Monday, 31 July 2017 15:24

FALL OF 1,300 YEARS OF BULGARIA

Demolition of huge Communist-era monument turns as controversial as monument itself

Published in Vagabond Features
Monday, 31 July 2017 15:19

GOING, GOING, (ALMOST) GONE!

Bizarre monument in front of NDK may finally be consigned to dustbin of history

Published in Bulgaria Society
Monday, 31 July 2017 14:51

ST ANASTASIA ISLAND

When God created the earth, the Bulgarian legend goes, He gathered all the nations to divide the world among them. To the British, He gave mastership over the seas, while the Swiss received the mountains, the Russians got the great plains, and the Germans took possession of the thick forests. When God ran out of gifts, He noticed that there was a people who were still empty-handed: the humble Bulgarians, languishing at the end of the queue of nations. Baffled, God soon realised what had happened: the Devil had stolen all the best pieces of the earth. The Almighty took everything back, and gave it to the Bulgarians.

Published in High Beam

In Sofia, there is a place where you can see a representative sample of modern-day Bulgarian society in just about a couple of square miles and in less than a few hours. This is the National Palace of Culture, or NDK. On its vast square, teenagers skateboard and flirt, elderly people have coffee with friends and mothers stroll with their children, while buskers and icecream sellers vie for customers. In the evening, people heading for some festival or concert at the NDK's Hall 1 flock in front of the main entrance. It has about a dozen doors, but typically just one is open. The bars around are packed, and those who can afford it head for the luxury restaurant on the top floor.

Published in High Beam

Being a flight attendant was a glamorous job during Communism. Uniformed beauties on calendars for Balkan Airlines, the state air carrier, reinforced that the job as an aspirational one, while for the more practically minded, the profession had another advantage. When local shops lacked essentials like toilet paper, working on an international fight meant having the opportunity to buy foreign luxuries (whisky, perfume, fur coats and Levi's jeans) and sell them for a good profit on the eager Bulgarian black market.

Published in High Beam
Friday, 28 April 2017 13:38

ZGORIGRAD FORGOTTEN TRAGEDY

Remains of mining disaster linger on near Vratsa

Published in High Beam
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Vagabond Interviews

WORKING FOR A BETTER FUTURE

WORKING FOR A BETTER FUTURE

Bulgarians should be proud of themselves, believes Avinoam Katrieli

Society

REMEMBERING 11/11/18

REMEMBERING 11/11/18

Bulgaria's foreign community commemorates end of Great War in military cemeteries

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