February always has a special flavour of wine and love. Stylish wine tastings and romantic candle-lit dinners fill the date of 14 February with festive mood, make us dream, love, be better persons.
Offers for this day are pouring from all sides but to create a really different sense we need something new, unknown, promising.
The politics of UniCredit Bulbank, Bulgaria's biggest bank, to help young people and encourage education, entrepreneurship and arts, received yet another recognition. On 28 January, the bank's CEO, Levon Hampartsumyan, was awarded as the Donator of the Year by the Encho Kiryazov Foundation in Yambol.
This is not a secret: we are in love with Greece. We are Philhellenes in that old-fashioned, slightly romantic sense of the word. We are interested in all aspects of Greece, from its incredible cultural heritage to its fantastic beaches; from its extraordinary island sunsets to its seaside taverns; from its Ottoman bridges in the north to its bizarre volcanic formations in the south. From Crete to Samothrace and from Athens to Thessaloniki – by way of Ioannina, Kastoria and Grevena.
n 2005, about a year before we launched Vagabond, we started HighFlights, Bulgaria's Airport Magazine. It was a square-format mag in both English and Bulgarian, and the initial idea was to distribute it as a compliment to the passengers going through Sofia Airport. Its main purpose was to present travel destinations to both incoming and outgoing travellers. To put it in another way, we would carry stories and travelogues about Bulgaria and about world destinations that air companies flying out of Sofia Airport reached. Significantly, we also ran information about the airport itself – those little but very useful tids and bits that passengers want to know when they have a couple of hours to bide between flights.
Where the best places to eat are is one of the most important questions a foreigner has in a new or relatively unknown country. Knowing this, Vagabond has sought the sound advice of insiders, who have selected for you humble eateries, exotic places and exquisite establishments for a great or intriguing dining experience, or just shared their informed opinions on Bulgarian food.
Since its first issue, Vagabond has been the only media introducing contemporary Bulgarian literature and writers to English-speaking audience. The first to feature was Kapka Kassabova, the Bulgarian-born author living in Scotland, and Street Without a Name, her brilliant memoir for childhood under Socialism and revisiting modern Bulgaria.
One of the best things about living in Bulgaria is its crossroads position, which allows you to reach the farthest nooks of the Balkans within a day's car ride. Each of the 100 issues of Vagabond brought you to some corner of Europe's most fascinating and least known peninsula, allowing you to enjoy astonishing sunsets, walk along the cobbled streets of traditional cities and villages, explore curiosities and lose yourself in crazy festivals.
Routine can be a killjoy, but while churning out day in, day out each of our 100 issues we have rarely felt bored. Besides our regular topics on travel and politics, we produced lengthy, special features and sometimes ruffled some feathers in the establishment.
Diplomats and artists, entrepreneurs and intellectuals, travellers and writers: the faces which appear in Vagabond's interviews are as diverse as Bulgaria and the people living here. Our first interviewee was Vasko Vassilev, the famed musician, and the one featured just before our 100th issue was the Italian Ambassador Marco Conticelli, giving his optimistic view on the prospects for Bulgaria. Here are the people who have spoken to Vagabond through the years.