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Archive for bulgaria

Three Giants in Bulgaria

By Linda Tancs

The natural range of the giant sequoia is a narrow band along the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California. All the more astonishing, then, that three of these majestic trees should be thriving in a small village outside Kyustendil, Bulgaria. You can thank renowned forester Yordan Mitrev, who brought sequoia seeds to the region in the 19th century. It’s about four miles from Kyustendil to the tree site at Yuchbunar.

Capitals of Culture in 2019

By Linda Tancs

Happy New Year! And you know what that means—another set of European Capitals of Culture! This year’s honorees are Matera (Italy) and Plovdiv (Bulgaria). Plovdiv is one of the oldest cities in Europe, with a history dating back to 4,000 B.C. During Roman times, it was a thriving industrial center and remains so today. Its annual International Fair is an epicenter for international business, conducted on fairgrounds representing one of the largest exhibition venues in southeastern Europe. Matera is a city on a rocky outcrop in the region of Basilicata in southern Italy. It includes the Sassi area, a complex of cave dwellings carved into the mountainside. Many of the caves are now hotels, bars, restaurants and homes. Take the train from Bari to Matera and explore the area on foot.

The Cross Toss in Bulgaria

By Linda Tancs

Today marks the Feast of the Epiphany, popularly celebrated as the twelfth day following Christmas when the three kings visited with baby Jesus.  In Sofia, Bulgaria, the event is marked with a dive into an icy cold lake to retrieve a cross thrown by an Eastern Orthodox priest.  The winning recipient risks a little momentary hypothermia for the promise of a blessing of good health throughout the year.  The losers had better take their vitamins.



 The author has not received any compensation for writing this content and has no material connection to the brands, topics, products and/or services that are mentioned herein.

Spreading Wings in the Balkans

By Linda Tancs

Stara Zagora is more than just Bulgaria’s sixth largest city. Beyond the buzz and glare of cosmopolitan life lies a wildlife rehabilitation, rescue and breeding center unique in the Balkans. More than 600 injured animals find a temporary shelter at the facility every year, many of which are successfully treated and released back into the wild. For those that cannot be set free, a breeding program exists to increase their numbers. Many of the center’s inhabitants have faced or continue to face an uncertain future due to poaching and threatened extinction. There’s even a youth program for environmental education. Next time you’re east of Sofia, stop by for a little inspiration.

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Golfers Will Find Paradise in the Balkans

By Linda Tancs

In Bulgaria, golf remains a little-known sport played predominately by foreign investors, diplomats and locals, if the scene at Ravno Pole is any indication.  But it’s the foreign investment that may turn this land of almost 8 million inhabitants into a golf mecca.  Already 19 properties are under development, set to compete with the ski and Black Sea resorts for an influx of tourism that reached the 5 million mark last year.  If Black Sea Rama, a Gary Player signature course, is any indication, it’s the luxe traveler with 15.000 euros to spend on a membership who’s likely to find karma there.  However, this government-supported venture promises to make golf an every man’s (or woman’s) game.  Whatever the case, an uptick in Bulgaria’s tourism image seems assured.

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