TRAVEL

FROM RAG TO LABEL

If you arrive in the village of Breznitsa in the evening, you’ll catch the glint of a gold-laminated minaret out of A Thousand And One Nights. The minaret and the entire revamping of the mosque was done through a donation by a local entrepreneur who commissioned Ukrainian craftsmen.

Against the blue peaks of Pirin Mountain, the scene is like a film set. Then you’ll see groups of different-aged women walking down the street. They are going home, and they are the women who stitched your clothes from rag to label. 

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BULGARIA'S LAVENDER AFFAIR

"If I see another one of you posing in a lavender field, I will scream!," a Facebook friend posted recently. The image of rows of vibrant purple coloured plants became ubiquitous on Bulgarian social media in 2021, and not because Bulgarians have suddenly started going on trips to France. 

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BULGARIA'S WONDROUS BRIDGES

With their ingenuity, some bridges puzzle, and those you will find in Bulgaria are no exception. Some of them are centuries-old, while others are relatively new. What unites them is their beauty and their strength to withstand the passage of time, the burden of traffic and the power of swollen rivers. Many of them also come with a gloomy legend or two. Here is a selection of some of the bridges in Bulgaria that merit more than a single visit and an Instagram post.

DEVIL'S BRIDGE

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FORGOTTEN MAUSOLEUM

The stories of what happened to the bodies of those who ruled Bulgaria post-1878 are as poignant as some of their deeds. King Ferdinand (1887-1918) was buried in 1948 in Coburg, Germany. Ferdinand had abdicated following his disastrous leadership of the Kingdom of Bulgaria through the Great War, and settled in his native Germany. His son, King Boris III (1918-1943) was buried inside the Rila Monastery church, but soon after the 1944 Communist coup his remains were exhumed and lost - or destroyed.

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ДЕСЕТ ГРЪЦКИ ОСТРОВА

Може да са 1200. Може да са и 6000. Точният брой на островите в Гърция може да варира според това как броите и както смятате за остров. Едно нещо е сигурно - колкото и да са късчетата суша в гръцки териториални води, те със сигурност са много, много повече от тези в акваторията на България. 

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1,340 YEARS OF BULGARIA

When was Bulgaria founded? If you ask Google, be prepared for a travel through a rabbit hole of increasingly bizarre theories that use fanciful "evidence" to "disprove" the "ruling hypothesis" that Bulgaria came into being in 681. The most extravagant ones claim that Bulgarians are the oldest nation in the world, of course.

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DARK SIDE OF BULGARIAN ROSE

You have already seen it: in Bulgaria's official logo, on fridge magnets, boxes of Turkish delight, cosmetics, Facebook and Instagram posts, and any tourism promotion material imaginable. The oil-bearing rose is one of Bulgaria's most recognisable national symbols, a fragrant and humble flower that thrives in one particular region and powers a global luxury market.

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