Issue 139

WAS JULIA KRISTEVA A COMMUNIST 'AGENT'?

Bulgaria has had an uneasy transition from Communism to democracy as a result of which it continues to experience painful pangs related to its recent past. Unlike other nations in the former Warsaw Pact  Bulgaria never made a proper de-Communisation effort. Top Communist-era officials and thousands of apparatchiks continued, and some still continue, to hold public offices.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

IRIT LILLIAN: ISRAEL'S AMBASSADOR ON HER FAVOURITE SPOTS IN BULGARIA

And when she is doing neither, she likes to travel. In fact, for the three years she has been in Bulgaria there is hardly a place she has not been to, often several times over. Irit is simply a perfect guide to Bulgaria – and not only for Israelis but for anyone with a deeper interest in this country and its people. Our imaginary tour of Bulgaria starts, naturally, in the capital, Sofia.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

MYSTERY PEAK

A long, long time ago, a group of Egyptian high priests landed on what is now Bulgaria's southern Black Sea coast. They headed inland, across the Strandzha mountains, until they reached a pyramid-shaped peak. They buried something there and then they disappeared.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

VERY SUPERSTITIOUS

Once you start paying attention to Bulgarians, you will observe some inexplicable actions. Dozens of men and women wear red thread around their wrists. An old woman cuddles a baby, and then spits at it. Another woman panics at the thought of putting her bag on the floor. On TV, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov wears a red thread around his wrist, and says that he never clips his nails, shaves or lends money… on a Monday. A book of self-proclaimed Bulgarian traditional magic for health, good luck, love and so on is a bestseller.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

IS EU PAYING FOR BOOZE, SEMI-NAKED WOMEN?

Alvarado described the Sofia conference as a "textbook example" of what an youth conference should not be like, and billed it "shameful" because it was conducted in a perfunctory manner, young people were not given the chance to get their opinions heard and so on and so forth. The panels did not include any young people, but all the participants were treated to a speech by Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov who in his inimitable manner reminded them that their first task was to "procreate," citing the example of a German minister who had seven children.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

QUOTE-UNQUOTE

The easiest way to turn the European idea into a parody is to let it be associated with people who constantly claim European values without any actual knowledge of them.

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev

I learnt the most from Todor Zhivkov and Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. They are like two universities to me.

Prime Minister Boyko Borisov

It is not true that the MPs are lazybones.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

BULGARIA'S CLOCKTOWERS

With the ubiquity of smartphones and wristwatches the question "What's the time?", coming from a stranger in the street, has become redundant. Yet, until not that long ago people relied on a single source of information for this: clocktowers.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

IRON CHURCH ON ISTANBUL'S GOLDEN HORN

With its mixture of Byzantine, Ottoman and fin-de-siècle heritage, Istanbul is never short of sights to visit, explore and marvel at. Among its lesser known treasures, one stands out. It is both a curiosity and a place with an intriguing history, strongly connected to Bulgaria.

The Church of St Stefan on the banks of the Golden Horn is made entirely of iron. It belongs to the city's Bulgarian community and played a crucial part in 19th century Bulgarian history.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

NYMPHS OF KASNAKOVO

Worn-out streets and strong fortifications, spacious villas and spectacular mosaics: the remains of Bulgaria's Roman heritage are diverse, a multi-layered glimpse into this country's past. And yet, there is a gaping hole in this rich canvas of long-gone life. While hundreds of sculptures, reliefs and mosaics depicting old deities, gods and goddesses have survived, bearing witness to Roman Bulgaria's religious landscape, only a handful of temples can be visited.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

MUMMERS, CATS AND CANARIES

For over 10 years Yambol, the city in southeastern Bulgaria, has been the host of a major street festival attended by dozens of groups of mummers from all over Bulgaria. Usually, it is held at the end of February or the beginning of March, and from its beginning it has included an international photography exhibition of mummers and carnivals called Kukerlandia. In 2018, the Vagabond Magazine Special Prize went to Ekaterina Staromanova from Sofia.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

WAITING FOR THE GOATS: NEW MEMORY FROM OLD BULGARIA, An excerpt from a memoir

My gaze passes onto the other hill, Kalakoch, the kale and its mysterious banks and ditches. The place could have been a Thracian hillfort and some say it was later used as a refuge when the Goths and the Huns and the Avar tribes streamed across the Danube to raid the Byzantine Empire. After that it was a place of quarry for building stone and a tryst for young lovers. Out with the sheep they would pick around the stones and pots and tell stories.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

ON THE ROAD TO HEALTH

Healthy mind in healthy body: since the dawn of humanity health has inevitably been connected with happy life. It is something that people constantly aim to achieve, trying to preserve it will all means possible. However, never before humanity has had the resources and the abilities to take care of its health that we have at our disposal today.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

THE BLUEST ADVENTURE

No-one can say that they have tasted life's great pleasures if they haven't spent even a day on a yacht.

Sailing is an adventure. The landscapes around you change with the speed that you want. You wake up in one bay, swim and have lunch in another and go to sleep in the port of a fishing village or the marina of a luxury resort. By you pass islands and beaches, settlements and sights, fish and stories. Are you going to stop and visit? Maybe yes. If you are in the mood. Maybe next time. If next time you are not in different waters.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

RUSE: A CITY TO LOVE

When we talk about Bulgarian cities that stick in the mind, Ruse is inevitably among the first to pop up. This is well deserved. Bulgaria's biggest city on the Danube offers something you won't find anywhere else in this country. Located on the steep river bank, Ruse interweaves a network of elegant streets and squares, embracing buildings with the fine architecture typical for the transition between the 19th and the 20th centuries. The spirit of Central Europe is strong and recognisable in the elegant facades decorated with fine ornaments, beautiful caryatids, strong male sculptures.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment