WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?

WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 13:43

Until the early 1990s this was a no-go border zone. Isolated for over 40 years from the Bulgarian hinterland, the area developed its own ecosystem unseen anywhere else on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. Come the post-Communist liberalisation and a trickle of visitors started to come.

where in bulgaria are your 127.jpg
© Anthony Georgieff

They soon discovered that they had found one of the prettiest locations in the country: pristine beaches, slow rivers, oak forests untouched by man.

Those first visitors were quick to tell their pals, who told their pals… the Big Bang came in the 2000s when, like elsewhere on the coast, construction started in a rather unregulated and ugly fashion. Now what used to be a small backwater of a village is a booming resort, but still nothing like Sozopol or Sunny Beach.

Where in Bulgaria are you?

Issue 127

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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.

where in bulgaria are you.jpg
WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?
During the centuries the natural fortification provided by the rocks was used for a military installation by whoever happened to be in power.

where in bulgaria are you 173_0.jpg
WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?
Through the centuries, Bulgaria has changed the location of its capital city at least a dozen times.

where in bulgaria 171-172.jpg
WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?
High hills were deemed a particularly appropriate location as they used both Socialist Realism and the power of nature to assert the invincible authority of the Party and the working classes.

where in bulgaria are you 170.jpg
WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?
A few yards from the muddy waters a small village house stands. This is where Vanga, the blind clairvoyant and one of Bulgaria's best-known 20th century phenomena, used to live.

where in bulgaria are you.jpg
WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?
He discovered he could find virtually no information relating to it. In fact, he could find a lot more about the Nile's journey through Africa than he could about this river's meanders through southeastern Europe.

where in bulgaria are you.jpg
WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?
Often, they can be visited without any restrictions. But Bulgaria has another type of military installations that predate the Warsaw Pact barracks and border outposts.