This major Bulgarian city of poets and musicians has been underrated in recent years as the poets and musicians have gone, and the city council has destroyed many listed buildings to make room for unbridled construction work and meaningless monuments.
Yet, if you get off the beaten track you might be able to bypass the at times extremely ugly housing blocks and feel some of the romanticism of the old streets where thriving Jewish, Armenian and Greek communities once lived. If you go in summertime you may well be taken aback by the tackiness, but in the cold winter months you will discover a really well-hidden treasure.
And you'd better hurry - plans to build a pipeline from Russia to Greece may soon outdo the 1960s project, the nearby oil refinery, that destroyed what should have been a major protected nature area.
Where in Bulgaria are you?