Issue 95-96

ESCAPE TO LESHTEN

Rural tourism in Bulgaria was barely known 20 years ago, but in the early 2000s it experienced an EU-funded boom.

But in the late 2000s the still ongoing economic crisis hit and now many guesthouses are struggling to survive with the decreased number of visitors. In the western fringes of the Rhodope, however, is a traditional village which is still one of the best places for rural tourism in Bulgaria.

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MATTHEW KNEALE

London-born Rome-residing Matthew Kneale has been a household name in literary circles since the success of his novel English Passengers, 2000. A story about a religious-scientific expedition that seeks The Garden of Eden in Tasmania, it is set against the background of the brutal destruction of the New World by British settlers and convicts.

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WOMEN'S RIGHTS IN THE COLD WAR

One of the great ironies of the Cold War is that the two superpowers often championed issues that they cared little about in practice. The East bloc defended the social rights of the world’s workers while treating their own citizens like indentured servants. The United States campaigned for political freedoms abroad while brutally oppressing or marginalising their own African-American and Native American populations at home. Any rhetoric that could be deployed against the enemy became a weapon in the wider ideological battle.

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UMAN, UMAN, ROSH HASHAHAH!

Dusty and drab, devoid of any charm unless you count the 18th Century Sofyivka Park and the Georgian cheese pastries at the bus station, the Ukrainian city of Uman would be a strong contender for the most uninteresting place in Eastern Europe.

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PERPERIKON: MAGICAL RHODOPE SITE

The priestess raised the gold bowl and the strong, dark Thracian wine in it reflected the light of the fire burning on the altar. There was only her and the nervous Roman officer standing in the oval-shaped roofless inner sanctum of the shrine of Dionysus, yet the place seemed filled with an invisible presence.

The officer swallowed his fear and moved closer to the priestess. Dionysus was about to reveal the future of his son, Octavianus.

The priestess closed her eyes and poured the wine over the fire.

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FROM WHENCE THE KAMCHIYA SPRINGS

How to define the source of a river is often a tough question to answer. Is it where water springs from the ground for the first time, or is it the place where two or more streams merge into a larger flow? Even the source of the Danube, Europe's largest river, is contentious: at least three springs claim to be the beginnings of the mighty river.

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ST ANASTASIA ISLAND

Bulgaria's Black Sea can be calm or full of tourists, pristine or packed with ugly hotels, but one thing it is not: a sea where numerous islands, large and small, are available for exploration.

Only seven islands dot the 354 km of Bulgaria coastline and some of them are so small that they are little more than rocks in the sea. In the summer of 2014, however, one of the islands in the Bulgarian Black Sea became a genuine tourist attraction.

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SENSE OF HOPELESSNESS

Against the background of Bulgaria's economic crisis and political instability, it has become a matter of course for journalists, analysts and pollsters to "switch sides" depending on who happens to be the best bidder or the most ominous bully, rather than in keeping with a set of moral and professional principles that the media in the West try to adhere to. Occurrences of ardent critics of, say, GERB turning coat overnight and becoming equally ardent supporters of Boyko Borisov are something few would really give a thought to any longer.

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QUOTE-UNQUOTE

The prosecution is for hire. Some people hire prosecutors just like others hire hitmen.

Political scientist Evgeniy Daynov

Probably somewhere with Internet coverage.

Prosecutor Ivan Geshev on the whereabouts of Tsvetan Vasilev, owner of Corporate Commercial Bank

Let's support charities dedicated to children with althuism.

GERB’s Tsvetan Tsvetanov

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JOKES OF THE MONTH

Caesar of Macedon

Bulgaria Without Censorship's Nikolay Barekov went to see a clairvoyant, and asked: "Tell me, madam, will I become prime minister?"

The old woman looked at him from head to toe, touched his forehead, looked at his tongue and his eyeballs, took his pulse, and said: "You will, son, you will. You will also become Napoleon, Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great..."

 

Bulgarian Public Contracts

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