Tag Archives: Culture

Bulgaria and Its Neighbors: Turkey in the Spotlight

As part of a new series called Bulgaria and Its Neighbors, ~WithLoveFromBG~ will feature each one of Bulgaria’s neighboring countries in an effort to showcase the cultural, historical, and gastronomical wealth of the region and help you maximize your time there. We will offer advice and ideas that will spark your imagination and have you crafting your next adventure in no time. Without further ado, let’s travel to the Balkans!

First up is Turkey! This South-Eastern neighbor of Bulgaria has always had a healthy dose of charm, but lately it has become a total hotspot with its colorful mix of culture and sites, beaches and bazaars. It is no wonder that returning travelers are raving about their experiences from hot air ballooning in Cappadocia to sailing past Istanbul on the Bosphorus, to completely disconnecting from the world beyond the sunny beaches of Antalya. Turkey offers value and First Choice can fly you out to this enticing land any day of the year, so here are just a few reasons why you should get yourself booked on a plane pronto.

The history

For the history buffs out there, Turkey with its rich and diverse history is a total wonderland. For the rest of us, it is an awesomely cool place to explore and learn! From the Romans, to the Greeks, Ottomans and Mongols, so many major empires have risen and fallen in this country, all of which led to the culturally rich landscape that the country enjoys. The Ruins of Ephesus are a great example of richness of the historical heritage that Turkey enjoys. When the Romans settled there, it was one of the largest cities in their empire, with a population of over 250,000 people. Today the ruins of theatres to bathhouses still stand, all impeccably preserved. Ephesus is also home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Temple of Artemis! Still, the biggest draw for visitors today is the Library of Celsus, a magnificent edifice built in honor of the Roman senator that shares its name. It truly is a spectacle to behold.

The culture

As a result of its rich history and unique location (on the corner connecting Europe and Asia), Turkey is a wonderfully strange stew of different cultures. Take a walk through Istanbul and experience for yourself the gentle meeting of the eastern and western influences that have shaped the character of the city. Wander around and you will find an ancient mosque standing next to a Greek Orthodox Church that sits next to a modern bazaar. Follow your nose through the windy, narrow streets and discover the more personal and delicious side of the Turkish culture.

The people

Whether it is because of the influx of different cultures, or just something in the air, the people of Turkey are warm and generous. Unlike other places, that may be less than thrilled to have a constant stream of visitors, Turkish people welcome tourists with open arms and treat them like family. The pride that they have for their culture and heritage is quite visible and they make it a point to introduce you to their culture and sights.

The food

With such a diverse population, it’s no surprise that the food in Turkey is delicious and eclectic. The most famous of foods are kebabs and gyros, but the offerings do not end there. Tastes from Asia, Greece, the Mediterranean, and the rest of the Balkans are all fused together in unique and delicious dishes that taste like something both familiar, and completely different, all at the same time. The criminally inexpensive prices, are even more of an incentive to dig in and explore as much of Turkey’s cuisine as possible.

Whether you’re a foodie, a collector of cultures, or just want to see some awesome sites, Turkey has something for everyone. It’s a place meant to be experienced, so don’t wait! Go explore!

~WithLoveFromBG~

P.S. Crave more? Our Resources on Bulgaria page is updated regularly & features lots of interesting & useful reads. Check it out! ;)

Contributed by: First Choice

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Gift Corner – FOR ALL

THIS IS BULGARIA– National Video Catalog (2013) from Globus Media Group Inc

$168.00

This is Bulgaria Click on the picture in this post to see a sample video

 

Spotted!-All About Bulgaria: Ancient Treasures Edition

Calling all explorers!!!

After a brief break, the Spotted!-All About Bulgaria series is back with a special treat for all of the explorers out there, who are itching to discover new and exciting places in Bulgaria.

Thracian Temple at Starosel
Thracian Temple at Starosel, Bulgaria
Photo credit: Andrey Andreev & Gerry Botchoukova-Farkova

This week we are highlighting just a handful of ancient cultural sights and treasures scattered throughout the country and most certainly worth a visit. Bulgaria is a 1,300 plus years old country and with that kind of longevity, it is no wonder that hidden beneath its fruitful fields and deep inside its thick green forests, there are layers up on layers of still to be discovered ancient history. From the Thracians to the Romans, to thousands of years before them both, Bulgaria’s rich and lengthy history is quickly catapulting the country to the top of the cultural and in particular the archeological niche of tourism. If we have awaken the “explorer”, “thrill-seeker” or “history-lover” in you, then don’t delay and check out the 3 articles we have selected for you this week. 🙂

As always, if you would like us to include a great find of yours in our weekly roundups, please contact us via the Contact Me page. We will be more than happy to add it to our weekly lists. 🙂

Weekly Picks:

1) Starosel: For Explorers and Wine Lovers on My Destination Bulgaria – The February feature travel article of My Destination Bulgaria is a guest post from our editor and features the Thracian Cult Complex near Starosel in South-central Bulgaria. It is an excellent starting point or you to learn more about the region, its archeological and natural endowments, and perhaps even lay the ground work for a day or weekend get away trip to the Bulgarian countryside.

2) Fourth-century CE magistrate statue uncovered in Bulgaria’s Plovdiv on The Sofia Globe – Another great artifact makes its way to the surface, when archeologists working at the Roman-era forum site in Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s second largest city, had the pleasure of discovering it. Guests of Plovdiv have the opportunity to visit a number of Roman sites, among which are the Roman Theater (the Amphitheater), the Roman Stadium, and the Ancient Forum.

3) Europe’s Oldest Town Found in Bulgaria on CNN.com (reporter: Ralitsa Vassileva)- A CNN video report on an excavation site near the town of Provadia in Bulgaria, that tells bits and pieces of the story of the oldest European town discovered to date.

~WithLoveFromBG~

P.S. Crave more? Our Resources on Bulgaria page is updated regularly & features lots of interesting & useful reads. Check it out! ;)

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Gift Corner – FOR ALL

Valley of Thracians: A Novel of Bulgaria by Ellis Shuman

$13.46

Valley of Thracians book cover

In Bulgaria for the Holidays

Pre-holiday Sofia
Pre-holiday Sofia by Alexander Sandev
https://www.facebook.com/alexander.sandev.photography

It’s Monday and this is “Spotted!- All About Bulgaria”, our series in which we highlight interesting articles and tidbits about Bulgaria and share them with you. This week we are dedicating our post to the fast approaching holidays. If you have not already gotten into the holiday spirit, we hope that after reading what we have hand-selected for you, you will! 🙂 Bulgaria is a real treat during this time of year and although nothing really comes close to personally experiencing it, we will do our best to help you get your fair share of the Christmas-cultural-feast that Bulgaria has to offer. 🙂

As always, if you would like us to include a great find of yours in our weekly roundups, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the Contact Me page of this blog. We will be happy to include it in a future post. 🙂

Without further ado, welcome to the Christmas season in Bulgaria!

1) In search of Christmas: Spending the holidays in Bulgaria on Euro Travelogue (Chronicles of wondrous European journeys.) – If you are someone, who has a very low familiarity with Bulgarian culture and traditions and has never spent Christmas in Bulgaria, this is where you would want to start. This article offers a comprehensive overview of how Bulgarians used to and are currently celebrating the winter holidays. To create an accurate and full account of all of the festivities, the author relies on an interview with a local. If you are curious to know what kukeri and koledari are? What was Santa Clause’s name in Bulgaria before 1989? And what it is that Bulgarians eat during the 40 days leading up to Christmas and on Christmas Eve? This is your chance to find out! 🙂

2) 3 Golden Rules for Traveling to Bulgaria on Wandering Educators – If this holiday season you are headed to Bulgaria, be WARNED: Don’t go before you have read these 3 Golden Rules!!! The article is written by our very own editor and offers general advice on how to approach your time there so that you can get the most out of it and enjoy it. Bulgaria is a country with a context-rich culture which makes it an unbelievable experience, BUT only if you are able to crack her code correctly. The right mindset will make all the difference, so before you board that plane make sure you have at least skim through these three. Trust us, you will be glad you did!

3) The Hobbit, Shopping, and a Visit to Sofia’s Christmas Market on Suitcase Sweethearts (American girl meets Bulgarian boy; adventures ensue.)- And to round-off today’s list, we have chosen a semi-local account of a lazy-Christmas-season Sunday written by an American gal who moved to Bulgaria for love. 🙂 The author’s photos of the Christmas market and decorated center of Sofia are magical and will easily transport you there! Through this article you will also see, that although Bulgaria could be quite “Bulgarian” and “strange” to visitors with its many traditions, it could also be very cosmopolitan and quite familiar with its malls, 3D cinemas and holiday market. It is up to you which one of the two (or perhaps both) sides of Bulgaria you will chose to experience, but either way you will be happy you did. 🙂

That’s all from us for today! Happy Monday and we hope you have a great start to your week! 🙂

~WithLoveFromBG~

P.S. Crave more? Our Resources on Bulgaria page is updated regularly & features lots of interesting & useful reads. Check it out! ;)

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Gift Corner – FOR HER

Beads “I Love You” Bulgarian Love Letter from Bulgaria – Pandora Charm & Bracelet Compatible

$18.99

ALL Expenses Paid Travel Opportunity with a Taste of Bulgarian Culture & Wine

Bulgarian Wine from Winery Complex Starosel
Photo credit: Winery Complex Starosel

Through the series Bulgaria: The Land of Opportunity we highlight interesting opportunities in Bulgaria that might not be so easy to spot with the naked eye.

Today, we are kicking the week off with a gem-of-an-opportunity for gastronomy and culture journalists. A friend of ours Bulgarian Wine Direct, a Bulgarian wine wholesaler based in the UK, is offering a fantastic opportunity for a tourism, culture, gourmet or wine journalist to undertake! The assignment starts on November 1st and includes visiting Bulgarian boutique wineries, tasting exceptional local wines, observing cultural wine-making traditions and techniques and of course writting about it all! And here is the best part: It is an ALL expenses paid week long tour of Bulgaria with a group of hand selected European journalists! Now that is what we call a once in a life-time opportunity and pretty AWESOME one!

Before you apply be aware of the criteria that you should meet. It is not too much to ask for when you think how absolutely fantastic this journalistic opportunity & Bulgaria trip is. Here it is:

  • Be a professional UK-based journalist from a digital, TV, radio, or written press
  • Who is looking to write/promote Bulgarian culture/food/drink
  • And writes professionally in English, but any additional languages are welcomed too!

If you said YES to all 3 and you want to contact the organizers with further questions or are ready to apply then click here.

Good luck to all and we can’t wait to read those delicious, culturally-flavorful and traditions-rich articles that will come as a result of this amazing week long wine adventure through beautiful Bulgaria!

Savor the experience and don’t forget to come back and tell us all about it!

~WithLoveFromBG~

P.S. Crave more? Our Resources on Bulgaria page is updated regularly & features lots of interesting & useful reads. Check it out! ;)

Related Articles from Bulgaria: The Land of Opportunity:

Study Abroad in Bulgaria: “Life Lessons.Friends.Wow!”

“Bulgaria Odyssey”: We Are Moving to Bulgaria and Starting a Business There

[NEW SERIES] Bulgaria: The Land of Opportunity

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Gift Corner – FOR HIM

“I Love You” Bulgarian Love Letter cufflinks for man
$29.90I love you in Bulgarian CufflinksBulgarian Coin Cufflinks
$138.75

Bulgarian Coin Cufflinks

Unity Day in Bulgaria

Happy Unity Day #Bulgaria!

Today Bulgaria celebrates 128 of unity and the motto “Unity makes us strong” (#СъединениетоПравиСилата) written on the facade of the Bulgarian parliament, is more prevalent than ever before.

The Bulgarian parliament  -"Unity makes us strong"
The Bulgarian parliament with the motto “Unity makes us strong” written across the facade and above the main entrance.

Hopes and wishes to stay together and by each other as one nation and one people are readily expressed throughout the day, even amongst strangers. We are all Bulgarian today despite any religious, ethnic or other diversities along which we identify ourselves. The air is charged with excitement and the feeling is nothing short of electrifying. To read the story of the Bulgarian unification —–> here.

As always head out to #Plovdiv to take part in the celebrations of the day!

~WithLoveFromBG~

P.S. Crave more? Our Resources on Bulgaria page is updated regularly & features lots of interesting & useful reads. Check it out! 😉