Entering new phase, from 'fragile' to 'ostensible'
Revival Period monasteries, traditional towns, mountain peaks, beaches: you may think you have seen it all in Bulgaria, but you would be mistaken. This country has a number of eccentric places to visit, a delight for the connoisseur of the strange and the odd.
Surprising for a country that is proud of its 1,300-year history, just a few tombs of its grand kings have been identified with certainty.
Bulgaria has not changed its name since its founding in 681, as if the 200-year Byzantine and the 500-year Ottoman rule never happened, but the list of the preserved and known graves of its rulers makes for an extremely short paragraph in its long history.
A short drive north of Primorsko, a resort town on the southern Bulgaria Black Sea coast, you will find a site that challenges the imagination.
The ancient Thracian sanctuary known with the Turkish word Begliktash stands in a meadow that opens up dramatically before you after a 40-minute walk along an overgrown path through the oak forest of the Strandzha. Anticipation builds even before you start on the path because just where it begins is the Dragon's Houses, a Thracian dolmen hidden by a canopy of tree branches.
"These are heritage tourists."
National Museum of History chief Bozhidar Dimitrov on the Bulgarian tour of a Russian pack of bikers, "Night Wolves," supporting Vladimir Putin
Ah, Sozopol, it used to be so quiet/picturesque/authentic/artistic!... If you are fed up with Bulgarian friends mourning the over-touristification of this southern Black Sea (former) gem, there is an answer. Anyone tired of the madding crowds in summertime Sozopol should go farther south, to Ahtopol.