TRAVEL

GOOD CAPE

Wherever you reach some higher ground in Bulgaria there will be a legend about it. And in 90 percent of the cases it will be about some brave Bulgarian maidens who jumped off it to avoid being "enslaved" by Turks.

Kaliakra is no exception.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

JERUSALEM

You can take religion out of Jerusalem, but you cannot take Jerusalem out of religion. Even the name of the city, at least according to some scholars, derives from that of a god, the Semitic deity Shalim.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

DERELICT BULGARIA, PART 2

Bulgarians are proud of their ruins. There is probably no expat in the country who has been spared the conversation with an overenthusiastic history lover boasting that Perperikon outshines the Acropolis in beauty and importance or that the new discoveries in Sofia's Roman centre make Rome itself look provincial in comparison.

Indeed, over their millennia of continuous habitation, the Bulgarian lands have acquired more than their fair share of prehistoric shrines, ancient cities and fortresses.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

CHERNI VRAH

Sofia is perhaps an exception to the unwritten rule that every great city should be located either at sea or near a major river. Bulgaria's capital has a rare advantage, though: within an hour you can leave behind the noise and bustle of downtown and be climbing up a mountain.

With its 2,290-metre-high peak of Cherni Vrah, Vitosha is Bulgaria's fourth highest mountain. It is in the southern part of the Sofia Plain, and a mountain view or a house on its slopes command higher real estate prices in some parts of the capital.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

KAVALA

"Then suddenly the sea appeared – immense quiet blue space, an abyss of water and sky united behind the tall silhouette of the island of Thassos, it, too, bathed in transparent blue. To the right, the barely visible outlines of Mount Athos were fading away. To the left were the swampy valleys of Sarıbaşan and the marshes of the Mesta River, absorbed by haze, and the dark spots of the Keramoti greenery. In the middle, at the foot of the hill, Kavala was spreading, a giant amphitheatre of white tightly-packed houses looming in a blinding contrast with the inky blue of the sea.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

POLSKI TRAMBESH

Hundreds of people pass through Polski Trambesh every day. The little town has a population of less than 5,000 and is situated on the highway connecting Ruse, the Danube and Romania with the interior of Bulgaria. The name Polski Trambesh, however, is known to few except locals.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

DERELICT BULGARIA, PART 1

One of the major things that will impress first-time visitors to Bulgaria, especially if they stray off the beaten track or undertake a trip through the countryside on their own, is the huge number of abandoned and dilapidated buildings that no one cares about and that look as if they have just emerged from a major armed conflict. Only that, notwithstanding some sporadic Allied bombing in 1943-1944, Bulgaria hasn't had a "proper" war on its territory since at least 1878 when it gained independence of the erstwhile Ottoman Empire.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

FORGOTTEN PLOT

There is hardly a village in Bulgaria without a monument. Those to local victims of the two Balkan and the two World wars are the most common, followed by memorials to Communist partisans and monuments of workers and other "builders of Socialism." There are also the monuments to Revival Period figures, who were usually born or met their end in a particular village.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

TALE OF THREE-AND-A-HALF ISLES

First-time visitors to Bulgaria will probably be amazed to discover one of the striking differences between Bulgaria and its neighbouring Greece and Turkey is that it has no real islands to speak of. Nothing like Greece's thousands of isles and sea rocks, nothing even like Turkey's limited but still significant selection of offshore territories. When God bestowed all its natural wonders on Bulgaria he was very economical with islands. Sad, but true.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

IZMIR

When planning a holiday on the Turquoise Coast of Turkey, Izmir is rarely the first choice. Or the second. Or the third. In fact, it is not even on the Wikitravel suggestion list for Mediterranean Turkey. The idea of postponing even for a day the bliss of swimming in the crystal waters of Fethiye, to name just one major resort not too far away, for the dubious pleasure of being stuck in the congested traffic of Turkey's third biggest city is indeed far from tempting. What is more, if you discount the villas in the Karşıyaka neighbourhood, there is hardly any old architecture in Izmir.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment