Issue 150

BIZARRE BULGARIA

There are many ways to categorise and promote Bulgaria's heritage: traditional towns and villages, Thracian rock sanctuaries, nature, sun and fun on the seaside, and so on and so forth. But there is a number of places that defy being so easily pigeon-holed. Some of them were created by nature, others are manmade, their age ranging from the prehistory to the recent past. What unites them is that the first reaction they provoke in the viewer is "That looks weird. How did it come to be?".

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NZ KILLER 'INSPIRED' BY BULGARIAN HISTORY

Though his name has been circulated thousands of times on the Internet, this journal has decided – out of respect for the victims and their families in what will go down in history as the deadliest act of terror in New Zealand – to desist using it. As Jacinda Ardern, the New Zealand prime minister, has stated, the main purpose of the self-proclaimed white suprematist who shot at and killed people, including children, praying in a temple was to gain notoriety. This journal will not give him that privilege.

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HAVE RECEIPT, WILL DANCE THE HORO

At the time of writing, the Inland Revenue did not appear to be particularly perturbed by the purchases of luxury flats in Sofia by senior GERB functionaries. However, it sped up its investigations of Lozan Panov, the chairman of the Supreme Court of Cassation, who has often been critical of GERB and has repeatedly warned of the oncoming autocracy in Bulgaria.

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OFFROAD MADNESS

Spring adrenaline often needs to find an outlet, and on 20-21 April you have the perfect excuse to let it all out. For two days Hadzhidimitrovo Village, near Yambol, will host Tundzha Trail, one of craziest 4WD competitions. The event is a part of the Bulgarian championship and is organised by Yambol 4x4 Extreme Club and Tundzha Municipality. Though the championship has run for 12 years, this is the first time Hadhzidimitrovo will host it.

The competition has competitive trials, each of them has nine zones with six gates. Participants have 12 minutes to pass through each gate.

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FRONTIERS BRINGS THE AMERICAN SOUTHWEST TO BULGARIA

The exhibition was organised with the support of the American Embassy in Sofia. Ambassador Eric Rubin opened the event, together with Amelia Gesheva, the deputy minister of culture. The guests included Bulgarian and American expats, representatives of the diplomatic community, artists and photographers, entrepreneurs, journalists, members of the NGO sector and others.

Frontiers: Photography from the American Southwest will travel around Bulgaria. Its next stop is in Varna, with opening at Varna City Art Gallery on 5 April.

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FRONTIERS: THE AMERICAN SOUTHWEST

"There are many such places," he continues. "Every man, every woman, carries in heart and mind the image of the ideal place, the right place, the one true home, known or unknown, actual or visionary… For myself I'll take Moab, Utah. I don't mean the town itself, of course, but the country which surrounds it – the canyonlands. The slickrock desert. The red dust and the burnt cliffs and the lonely sky – all that which lies beyond the end of the roads."

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TASTY TRAVEL

Stomach is not only the sole way to men's heart. The rule is valid for anyone who is in a foreign country and wants to get to know it. The qualities, tastes and diversity of Bulgarian cuisine thus explain to a significant degree why so many visiting foreigners fall in love with the country.

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THE OLD MAN AND THE MOUNTAIN, A short story

It's difficult to talk about this, it's difficult but someone should do it, the old man wanted only to confess his sins before his death, there was no priest in the village, I had lost my way in the Blue mountain, I heard some voices and went downhill through some thorns, I met some old people and asked them where I was, they were crying like infants, especially an old woman, she turned out to be the old man's wife, she explained everything to me, she didn't tell me where I was, only told me come to confess him, poor man, he shouldn't take his sins to the grave, I agreed, instead of arguing

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KARLOVO

Karlovo is one of those places where size does not equal importance. Tucked between the Stara Planina and the Sredna Gora mountain ranges looks fairly unimpressive now, but in the 19th and early 20th centuries it produced a disproportionate number of men and women who influenced this nation's history.

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SILENCE OF SHARDS

Pavlikeni, a town in north-central Bulgaria, is hardly famous for its attractions, and yet this small, quiet place is the home of one of the most interesting ancient Roman sites in Bulgaria: a villa rustica, or a rural villa, with an incredibly well-preserved pottery manufacturing site.

It was discovered by pure chance.

In 1971, while searching for gold, a group of local treasure-hunters stumbled on the remains of an ancient villa rustica. Instead of gold, they found thousands of broken pottery shards.

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BULGARIAN EASTER

How to celebrate like locals without getting lost in complex traditions

Easter in Bulgaria, which this year falls on 28 April, is one of the best times to get to know the country and its culture. The weather is generally good, spring is in full bloom and travelling outside the big cities is a pleasure.

To make the best of the Bulgarian Easter, you should have some understanding of how do Bulgarians celebrate it.

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