COLOURFUL TEAM DANIEL
DEYAN YUKITO LUCAS
SIMON LINDA KING
GETTING THINGS STARTED
After some pleasant days without worries, a lot of fun with the interns of another project in Bulgaria and the birthday of Simon, the project is starting to get serious. Yesterday, we were for 3 hours on our own walking on the boulevard in Varna’s sea garden. Our next stop was the big mall, where we ﬁrst had to stop for poor Yuki’s foot which was hurt by an aggressive busdoor on our way there. He stood the pain with a smile. Afterwards everyone went to check out the stores, more or less successful. When we met again for doing groceries together, a discussion about the rented apartment came up, unfortunately without any sustainable results. The atmosphere was a bit tensed, but during the Global Drinking Village in the rented apartment everyone calmed down and we were testing the diﬀerent tastes of alcohol of the world. In the end the day turned again to the better and everyone went peacefully to sleep eager to spend the next day by visiting historical places in Varna. Maxie ‘taxi’.
Varna is the third largest city after Soﬁa and Plovdiv in Bulgaria and the city is famous for the major tourist destination as well as its business and university centre. Varna is at the Black Sea and with its port, train station and airport it’s easy to visit. With the beautiful Sea Garden and the Beaches Varna was fast a likely place for all of us.
We enjoyed the hot weather at the Beaches around the centre of Varna to get more tint and to cool down in the Black Sea. We also tried several restaurants at the Sea but also in the centre of Varna. Besides that Varna oﬀers two big shopping malls which we visited several times. Other interesting places and sights are the Cathedral, the Architectural Museum where they have the oldest gold in the world, the Dolphinarium, the Euxinograd Palace, the Roman Baths and of course Golden Sands the main tourist destination. In the evenings we often went out for some drinks in bars or clubs which is quite cheap if you compare it to other European coutries. Furthermore we liked to go bowling, singing in karaoke bars and we tried to earn money in the Casino with more or less success depends on the person you ask. All in all Varna is our hometown in Bulgaria and although there are more beautiful cities in Bulgaria we like the city and will remember this place our whole life! Simon.
VA R NA CATHEDRAL
The Cathedral of Varna is one of the landmarks and symbols of the city. The building is very pompous and with its golden roof an eyecatcher for every tourist! At the entrance you can buy some candles which you can light insight at diﬀerent places to pray either for dead people or for someone else’s health.
A priest is waiting at the entrance of the altar room to bless you before you enter the orthodox Cathedral. The walls of the Cathedral are robed with lots of colourful paintings! Moreover, the windows show some colourful pictures showing stories of the bible and of christian believings. It´s really impressive to see these beautiful paintings and it´s worth to learn more about the traditions of the orthodox christians! Furthermore, you should take a look at night when the Cathedral is highlighted by lots of lights! Simon.
SANDS At ﬁrst, the name Golden Sands came from an old legend when Pirates hid a huge golden treasure in the seaside close to Varna. The land took revenge on the bandits and transformed the gold into wonderful sand. The seaside resort is famous for the purest sand on the Black Sea coast, long beaches and also abounds of trees and bushes. It is situated at 18 kilometres from the city of Varna and in addition it´s the largest resort along the Northern Black Sea coast.
Visitors can enjoy sparkling clean sea where children catch huge waves and build sandy castles on the 3,5 km beach stripe. At ﬁrst sight plenty of shops tempt and entrap tourists very well even though prices are higher. This touristic paradise has wonderful conditions for recreation, entertainment, adrenalin sport, spa treatment and last but not least night life which is widely varied. After sunset Golden Sands are coming alive with bars, discotheques and become full of lights. The 1:10 replica of the Eiﬀel Tower is generally fascinating, however cheesy for someone. At night we wanted to get to know the dazzling face of Golden Sands and we did it in a club Arrogance. We were dancing in four rooms with diﬀerent styles of music almost until the sunrise :). Kisses from Linda!
- VARNA -
GLOBAL VI L L A G E Global Village, what´s that? It´s the best way to show what makes our countries special! Every intern presented his or her country with its traditions like food, drinks, music, clothes, pictures and lots of other stuﬀ. In order to reach as much people as possible, we chose the entrance of the seagarden in Varna where lots of people were enjoying the evening! This year the Colourful Way project was represented by eight diﬀerent countries! Brazil, Romania, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Japan, Hong Kong and the UK. Soon there were lots of Bulgarians around our tables and looking at our pictures or wanted to talk with us about almost everything like history, politics, economy, holidays, sports etc. It was very interesting to see the diﬀerences between Bulgaria and our countries! We really enjoyed talking to the local inhabitants and we were happy to speak with someone in our own language. All in all we had lots of fun and everyone was proud to be representant of his country and his culture! Simon.
- VARNA -
TRADITIONAL BULGARIAN EVENING? After a walk through an idillic forest when we entered the restaurant which is close to Golden Sands, we expected that this place will serve traditional food and will provide traditional dances. The atmosphere around the restaurant was pleasant with a ﬁreplace, small waterfall and woody equipment. Bursting from excitement, we were looking for our reserved table which was not prepared at all, but they quickly found out a solution for our problem and prepared our table outside. Concerning food we received a starter was composed of several kinds of salads which weren´t traditional and neither tasty. On the other hand unlimited amount of wine tempted to make a good impression. The whole programme was so varied that attracted a huge number of audiences. Nevertheless I am not sure which dances and music were really typical for Bulgaria. Actually I was fascinated by wonderful opening dances named “Horo” with old-time traditional costumes. I estimated it was the real tradition. When we ﬁnished a huge main course, a half of chicken with rice, an opportunity presented itself to try the basic steps of the traditional Bulgarian dance which is called “Pravo horo”. All of us enjoyed it very much and developed our dancing experience. Gradually the evening programme was changing to achieve an enormous clap of audience through a range of performances from gipsy dancing, an international singer, a DJ who played a wide variety of international songs to a clown´s show. Last of all we relished a refreshing dessert empowered by watermelons and are tired as we left the place. Kisses from Linda!
- VARNA -
a place of peaceful joy What could possibly be a better plan for a sunny Sunday in Bulgaria than visiting a medieval monastery? It may seem ironic, however relaxing in the shadow of the giant memorial of unpleasant history is really enriching especially for those who are looking for some spiritual light. And what is so special about this place? It is no ordinary monastery, but a cave complex from approximately 11th or 12th century, surrounded by beautiful protected forest in Golden Sands Nature Park near
Varna, a place where Christian monks used to hide, where they have lived and died in tiny cells, and they were buried into the rock, full of hidden sadness and never ending grieve. Sounds depressive? But that is only ﬁrst impression. When you walk along the narrow corridor and think about how stressful it had to be for them to be haunted, you realize that this place was really the safest you could imagine. The peace and silence were surely the best company for them and they had plenty of time to meditate about
the world´s deepest secrets. And when you enter the room with thousands of pieces of paper with written wishes from tourists that visited this place before you, you´ll most probably smile – if you imagine what could have been the wishes of the monks that lived here, you´ll ﬁnd your own desire irrelevant and realize that you are quite happy with your own life. Love, Martina w
RIVER KAMCHIA & KALIMANSKI HAN When I look back and recall memories from our boat trip on Kamchia, I always laugh. It´s probably because I knew I am going to write this article, so I tried to grab some inspiration from anything I saw, but despite that, nothing came to my mind. Busy by this eﬀort, I couldn´t see all the beauty, that was passing in front of my eyes. Only now I realize how important is to be attentive to everything around me and not to look at nature selﬁshly and superﬁcially. The morning was just like any other, we got up and our hosts drove us to the small resort few miles outside Varna, where we boarded on a small motor boat with sympathetic captain. The sailing took approximately half an hour, during which we could experience some surprising moments, water snake with dangerous look, couple of very funny courting cormorants, ﬁshermen trying to relax, and lots of curious tourists, turning heads to see everything.
After that we enjoyed a slow walk on the beach again, and although it wasn´t very exhausting, we ended up in a restaurant Kalimanski Han, that was a perfect surprise for me. The interior was arranged with typical Bulgarian items, tools for hunting, farming, crafting and so on. Outside, however, the atmosphere was even more seductive. Little gardens with free animals, black swan wisely blinking on strangers, a few shy rabbits hiding in the higher grass and ﬂowerbeds, cute pony with a small girl on his back, everything just like from a fairytale. Horses in the stables neigh, little birds singing, kids larking on swings, everybody smiles and enjoys a moment full of peace and happiness. So if you want to drop down you problems, for me this was the perfect way how to escape the real world and be a child again. Love, Martina w
C A P E
If you are looking for a spot that will expel the air from your lungs, you should deﬁnitely visit Kaliakra Cape. After a one hour ride by car from Varna to Northern Coast, non-expected almost-thunder and an extraordinary view of snow white wind mills on dark grey background of clouds, we ﬁnally caught sight of our destination our hosts were romanticizing with such passion.
We arrived exactly at the right time – the sky on the west side was clear, the dolphins were jumping out of the water with their typical innocent rapture and the sun was enlightening the area with all its strength, so the reﬂections from the water were absolutely dazzling, forcing me to look on the other side. Surprisingly – on the left I could see the waves crashing on the rocks that were either too old or too strong to be defeated without resistance with gloomy clouds above the roaring sea completing the inconsistent feeling I had right there. When somebody tells me: “Go there and you will enjoy a wonderful view!” I usually go to that particular place and enjoy a wonderful view. For a while, at least. The most shocking
thing for me was that there was not just only one spot with a spectacular view, there were dozens. And I received this shiver every single time I looked upon the sea and saw the coast serpentine. After that our drivers led us to a bay beach close to the cape, with warm and clear water and very calm and peaceful surroundings. Here, between the red rocks and high grass, everybody will feel like on his private beach. And although the sun already had set, we decided to visit a place with several caves, where I felt as if I was in a movie – with roaring wind that was blowing with intimidating speed some of us started dancing and awakening the spirits of nature. On the way back to Varna I was thinking about the Legend of Kaliakra –40 Bulgarian girls that jumped from the cliﬀs, because they didn´t want to convert to Islam. And now I understand their feelings. Because if I had to choose a place I want to see before my death the last time, Kaliakra Cape would be probably very high on my list. Love, Martina w
WEEKEND IN SOFIA
After our little cleaning, birthday and ﬂat-reopening party, we woke up on Friday late to get our tickets for our trip to Soﬁa eager to get ideas from the closing event of another Colourful way project. Luckily, we managed to catch our bus last minute. 8 hours bus ride and ﬁghting boredom followed. After our arrival we learned that no one will pick us up and searched in despair 2 hours for the right bus. After giving a foot print in wet concrete near Soﬁa’s railway station, we ﬁnally managed to ﬁnd a local to help us out and drove following his instructions to our destination, the student’s town. There we did not get to our dorms straight ahead, but were invited to attend a goodbye-party for the other interns. The gentile people we met there from AIESEC made us forget about all our problems we had on our trip, and the atmosphere turned way better. Eventually, we managed to ﬁnd a dorm for all of us at 4 am, but did not get to sleep before 5.30 due to the interesting discussions we had with the other interns about their project and Bulgaria itself.
The next day we went to the railway station to say goodbye to the other interns and grabbed lunch near the lions bridge in a cosy Turkish restaurant. On our way to the station we got to know the rough style of driving a car in a capital. Our Turkish guide we met the evening before provided a safe ride and we enjoyed the best Kebab of the Turkish cuisine, an Adana Kebab. A short promenade over one of the multiple fairs of Soﬁa followed and gave insights of ordinary life in Soﬁa.
went to sleep at 7 am, astonished about the huge oﬀer of bars and clubs in Soﬁa’s student’s town.
After refreshing at our dorm, we started our sightseeing tour led by our Turkish guide through Soﬁa at the NDK (National Palace of Culture), which highlighted the beautiful city centre with it’s neat side roads, dozens of handsome cafés, idyllic parks and impressive monuments and buildings. Most interesting was for me, that the Headquarter of the Bulgarian Special Forces is neighboured by two normal coﬀee shops where one would never expect them to be. We ﬁnished after 3 hours of walking at Nezavisimost square and went back home to change for a party again. Finally, we
In the end, we left Soﬁa with mixed feelings, because we did not fulﬁl our task to analyze the product of the other group, but received an impression of Bulgaria’s ﬁne capital. At least on the bus trip back, the wiﬁ worked and the driver played American movies without sound, but Bulgarian subtitles.
We spent the rest of our Sunday looking for a restaurant and found ourselves in a traditional Bulgarian restaurant which served warm dishes without warming them up. HUGE MISTAKE!!! The Baclavar Cafe we visited directly after that turned our mood again to the better due to the huge oﬀer of diﬀerent sweets, cakes and banitsa.
Tired but safe, we arrived at our ﬂat burning to visit more interesting cities in Bulgaria. Maxie ‘taxi’.
NESSEBAR What can fascinate you in Nessebar most? For sure it´s the ancient part of the town which is situated on an island connected to the mainland by a narrow bridge. In addition it´s impossible to overlook the wooden windmill at the town’s entrance, there. Nesebar, often referred as the “Pearl of the Black Sea”, is a town rich in history.
After taking a nap in a minibus, someone was still sleepy :D but myself was really excited, our tour started near fortiﬁcations at the entrance of Nessebar. Enjoying this promenade, yet sometimes walking too fast, we moved in front of the Church of Christ Pantocrator whose design is really extraordinary. Moreover lovely atmosphere was ampliﬁed by the honey market. Thanks to the forty churches in the immediate vicinity of the town, wholly or partly, Nesebar takes pride in the fame of the highest number of churches per capita. Besides, getting to know the town more means
the “Pearl of the Black Sea” to go shopping so I had gone a lot and gained a nickname of Shopping Queen :D. We continued into a small park with intriguing models of boats and after that we had a walk along the charming seacoast to a little port. This world heritage also brings plentiful small restaurants with a wide choice of seafood. Nevertheless prices were too high for us so that we left the place with the tendency of getting hungry. On the other hand we could taste Czech traditional cuisine and it was so cool to read the Czech menu for me. :) But we didn´t take this opportunity. Unfortunately we didn´t also have any time to visit the biggest seaside resort Sunny Beach in Bulgaria which is immediately to the north of Nessebar. Most of all, I was enchanted by the picturesque narrow streets with wooden houses and/ the incredibly gorgeous views to the seaside. I wish we had spent more time in this striking town Nessebar. Kisses from Linda!
On September 4th we visited a castle in the middle of nowhere on our way to Kiten. When we stopped in front of the castle there was a surprise, 8 leva to get in. As such poor students we are, not everybody wanted couldn’t get in, so I felt compelled to write about it. I actually had another surprise when I entered the castle, but this time a nice one. Despite the construction scaﬀoldings, the castle’s front provides a charming view, which is a pleasure for everyone’s eyes. Since I’ve never been anywhere else in Europe and in Brazil we mostly have palaces, I was amazed by the castle’s grandiosity. Most of all, I was amazed by the tranquillity of the place. The garden with fountains, little lakes, beautiful trees and ﬂowers make the place rather magical. Walking around a little more I found a bigger lake with elegant looking swans, and I must say it was reaaaally hard to leave that spot! Hahaha The castle itself is still under construction, so not all areas are available for visitation. But the dark taverns are deﬁnitely the coolest part. There I could see some old paintings, gardening tools and armours. The towers of the castle were also available for visitation, and the view over the landscapes made me totally lose track of time! People were waiting for me for about 30 minutes, and I did not regret paying 8 leva to visit this awesome place! xo xo, Carolina.
SS OO ZZ OO PP OO LL After our little pyjama party in the dorm in Burgas, we continued our trip heading to Sozopol. The harbour town is a ﬁne destination for sailors. The city with it’s small harbour, the charming wooden renaissance buildings, the remainings of the medieval wall and it’s towers, the many interesting places that reveal a lot about the history and events in Bulgaria like a church, which had to be build as low as possible in order to avoid destruction and a lot of other eye catchers will spice up your visit. But most of all the beautiful view along the cliﬀs the Black Sea in the sunshine will make your day better and the calm alleyways will make you forget all the trouble and hectic in your life.
The numerous small restaurants present a wide oﬀer of traditional dishes. The sea food is all collected in the nearby sea and the taste is outrageous. The prices are a bit moderate due to the high amount of tourists, but the quality and taste of the meals are worth every stotinki. To sum up, Sozopol is the perfect spot for a short trip in order to let your soul relax after a hard week of work. Maxie ‘taxi’.
I was thinking about what can be said about this tiny town with one thousand of inhabitants that would catch your attention. Maybe the fact that this seaside resort is mostly presented as a calm place to spend your holiday, with loads of possibilities how to spend your time and money. However, this lovely village turns into a very popular resort during the summer. Tourists from all over the world come here to enjoy the silence, peace and absence of metropolitan noise. Long walk on the beach, night life in many clubs that are opened for the summer
season, a lot of attractions and traditional food, and to my surprise a little bit of home on every corner, that´s what is waiting for you in this town called after beauty. Our goal was simple: fulﬁl the demands of all ﬁve senses. And I am proud that I can say that we achieved it. At ﬁrst, the street musicians that put their souls into every single tone of their symphony, made our smiles a little wider. Then, when we reached the cape, where some of us climbed up on the rocks and absorbed feeling of the salty tears of screaming sea, ﬂying to our faces. The nearby restaurant provided a place to relax and enjoy the amazing view of upcoming sunset, so we stayed here for a while and found time for
a deeper conversation, little bit of larking or just had a moment with ourselves. After that, starving and tired from striding we were led to a restaurant, which our kind host recommended us. Somehow the taste of the meals here was more intense and the smell of salt and sea on our skin was just recalling the hunger. After some time spent hanging in the streets we decided that it´s the perfect time for a party. So we ended up in a beach club. And if I say that it´s a beach club, I mean it :). Dancing barefoot in the sand, sitting on the underwater chair and drinking made us so tired, that we were just dreaming about our soft and comfortable beds. Love, Martina w
BURGAS After our stop at the beautiful city of Nessebar we travelled southern to the second biggest city at the Black Sea called Burgas. We were already expected by the MC of AIESEC Bulgaria who welcomes us friendly. Being very hungry we visited a Happy restaurant and enjoyed the lunch together. In order to see the city without our big backpacks we went to our dorm rooms which we booked for one night and were surprised that they were very nice. Everyone of us has seen much more dirty rooms in Bulgaria, so we were satisﬁed with that. The city itself has a really nice shopping street where we enjoyed drifting and seeing the shops. However, there is one place which everyone should visit if he stays in Burgas. It is the awesome Sea Garden! Many palms and huge colourful ﬂowerbeds make this garden something special. We used the small train in order to see the whole garden. Eventually we stopped at a small open air gym where everyone had fun and tried the gadgets. Moreover, we walked to an exhibition of Disney ﬁgures which were made of sand. Almost everyone was remembering his childhood and his favourite ﬁgure. It was impressive to see the small details which they made with loads of sensitivity. Having dinner at the beach we went to our dorms and celebrated Linda`s nameday which is common to be celebrated in Eastern Europe. Simon.
SHIPKA SHIPKA Mixed emotions, that is what Shipka means for me. This monument of Russo-Turkish war witnessed carnage so extensive, that it caused me goose bumps. The monument built on the top of picturesque hill evokes a feeling of immortal guardian, watching everything around him and choosing who can pass and who is going to die. At the beginning we were told that on the way up we have to climb about 200 stairs. I said to myself: “Well, it´s gonna be okay, two hundred is not that bad.” The funny part was when we found out that it is actually more than one thousand. If you know this information in advance, you either give up immediately, or it makes you even more motivated. So after all we managed to get on the top of the hill
safely, and ﬁnally we enjoyed the exquisite view of surrounding nature. Breathtaking, to be honest. The museum inside the memorial highlights all moments of Battle of Shipka Pass, the ﬁght for freedom, desperate desire to defeat Turkish invaders and defend Bulgarian independence. Faces of old and wise generals reﬂect resolution that led Bulgarian army to victory, enormous lion in the front of monument shows will to ﬁght until the last breath. So if you are planning to visit this place, prepare yourself on rush of emotions, because Shipka won´t let any heart untouched. Love, Martina w
TECTURAL AND ETHNOGRAPHICAL
On 12th of September we visited the Architectural and Ethnographical complex which is next to Gabrovo in central Bulgaria. It shows the architecture, the lifestyle and the economic history of the region during the Revival period which was from 1750-1900. But that’s not all! The visitors can also take part in Workshops to learn about crafts like woodcarving or weaving. There are also people working and using the old techniques. It’s very interesting to see the diﬀerent crafts and if you want, you can buy artwork in the small shops. You can also ﬁnd very famous pictures which represent the ﬁve seasons of life. They are very colourful and with lots of details but unfortunately too expensive for some students!
Besides, we tried some traditional Bulgarian food like sweets and bread! It is really nice to see this all but I think we are all happy to live in the 21st century where we don’t have to do everything with handwork and can enjoy helpful and entertaining stuﬀ like our lovely Internet!! :) Simon.
LITTLE Tryavna, a small spot in central Bulgaria, is famous all around Bulgaria mainly because of strong traditions and costumes which even exist up to the presence. Especially the inhabitants can be proud of old spectacular crafts and ancient Bulgarian ceramics which I fell in love with :). The town is separated into two main parts, an old town and a modern town which are only few steps far from each other. Tourists mustn´t miss St. Archangel Michael Church, which had to be built as low as possible and under the soil in order to avoid destruction and to be protected against the Turkish. It´s fascinating the church was built in 1187 and even was destroyed three times during the period of the Turkish slavery. As well it´s worthy to see the Clock Tower with a museum in a town square of authentical revival architecture, Captain Diado Nikola Square.
TRYAVNA After taking pictures of little Old Bridge, each of us found enjoyment of shopping in a long quiet alleyway called P.R.Slaveykov Street. Some of the most famous houses from the time of Bulgarian renaissance are located in this Architectural and Historical Complex since 1979. With the huge amount of special traditional shops we spent most of our time buying unique presents for Yuki and King. To celebrate their birthdays we had a pretentious barbecue party. :) Although the modern square lacks old-time atmosphere, it´s the best place to ﬁnish your day taking coﬀee at a terrace of café and relaxing in a view of ﬂying pigeons or playing children in a small park. What can I add more? Tryavna, such a cute small town!!
Kisses from Linda!
BOZHENTSI How did we get to a village? By path in a wood :). It wasn´t like any other ways where we had to overcome plenty of obstacles or traps and even climbed over trees :D. And Yukito, alias “Kung fu panda”, was the best of us :D. During the two-hour way seeing nice views of hills we survived all insect attacks fortunately. What did I expect from our trip? Like being Alice in Wonderland, I expected a rural village at a very mysterious corner of the world :D. It seemed that only I made a mistake. Bozhentsi, the beautiful picturesque village, waited for us!! Enjoying a promenade we were fond of traditional village food, especially “Buﬀalo milk yogurt” being delicious. To do shopping in one ceramics shop was worthwhile because I got a lot of information about Bozhentsi from a nice shopping assistant.
According to him, in 1412 a woman, Bozana, came to this place where the current village lies, amidst the woods. Most of all, she loved the fact that it was hidden against the Turkish people who were everywhere around Bulgaria. Regardless of bad roads towards Bozhentsi she built plenty of houses. And a peaceful village, called after this brave woman, was set up. It is claimed six hundred years anniversary was celebrated this month on 16 September in addition to the celebration of ﬁve hundred years without Turkish slavery. I appreciate all picturesque houses preserved in the old style with stone roofs. It´s only allowed to build new houses in accordance with the old style. “Grandma ruins” is the oldest house in Bozhentsi where there is a museum at present. We passed around three schools as well, whereas the huge one is used as a gallery now. Moreover you can ﬁnd there a small library with interesting books in old Bulgarian language. It couldn’t have been a real village without God place so a church is situated on a hill, which is a charming and quiet place for gorgeous weddings. I was interested in knowing the number of inhabitants which according to all expectations is very low - only 10 people in the winter because it´s almost impossible to get there. On the other hand there are about 30 to 40 people in the summer thanks to cottagers from a town Gabrovo but still it depends! It is indeed safe to say that the village Bozhentsi is the most wonderful and calm village in Bulgaria! :) Go to visit it to fulﬁl your lives through the village’s soul and calm down from everyday stress! Kisses from Linda!
VELIKO TARNOVO Waking up a bit confused after our BBQ and birthday party for Yuki and King, we left at 11 am for Veliko Tarnovo from Tryavna. We arrived at 14 and brought our luggage to our dorms being surprised about having for the ﬁrst time single chambers for all of us. The dorms were modern and in very good condition, no one had anything to complain about them. We changed clothes and walked on foot to the city center enjoying the beautiful view on Tsarevets appearing and disappearing at the horizon due to walking up and down the hills plus the landscape of the city.
Due to our punishments from yesterday, me and Simon had to dress like “true” German tourist style and Ofe had to sell one pair of her underwear and tried to trick a 10-years old boy without success, but in the restaurant we had lunch agreed some Scottish tourists to release her from her embarrassing task and bought her underwear. We made an appointment to meet them in the evening. After Lunch the group split into two parts: the ﬁrst going home, the other one to go shopping. It was a bit strange, because only the boys went out for shopping :)
In the evening we went out again with the promise to have the best pizza of all Bulgaria which turned out to be true. We even arrived late for our appointment, but the taste was really worth to let someone else wait. In the end, we enjoyed the magical view down garnished by the soft city lights. After a short visit in a bar with some Scottish and American folks, we returned to the dorms and slept until the next morning. This day, we started our trip at the building which was the ﬁrst national parliament after the independence of Bulgaria in the end of the 19th century. A few years later the capital was moved to Soﬁa. Today the building is used as a museum and only some tables remind us about the former function of the building. After a short discussion about our ﬁnal event, we continued our way, ﬁnally, to the Tsarevets fortress.
The fortress was built in 1189 and withstood a lot of Ottoman attacks, until it ﬁnally fell in 17th of July 1389, after a 3-month siege due to treachery. It is connected to the rest of the city via three massive gates and is located on higher ground. The fortress was connected in earlier times by a bridge to another mountain, but only the remainings of the gate are reminding us of the former structure. The walls of the fortress are still remaining and in good condition, you can walk on almost all parts of them without any danger. On the highest point of the fortress is a church, which is not used for service anymore. The walls inside are painted with stories of the Bulgarian independence war. Outside of the church, overseeing the landscape, everyone might feel like king or a queen in his own realm. You also understand the comparison of former times that Veliko Tarnovo is of the same beauty as Rome and Constantinople. After grabbing lunch, we visited the cathedral, but only from the outside. A little playground was more attractive after an exhausting day. We returned to the dorms to rest again and went out one last time for dinner and went tired home again just to celebrate Carolina’s birthday. We just gave our presents and soon fell all asleep to make our way back to Varna, full of wonderful and funny memories from central Bulgaria. Maxie ‘taxi’.
BACHO KIRO MONASTERY
We arrived at our ﬁrst stop of our trip Bacho Kiro after a ride on the night train. We came in touch with the little problems in every compartment of the train and learned that you cannot always turn of the bright lights. In the end sunglasses and the soft shaking of the moving train brought us to sleep. The bus did not bring us directly to the monastery, but we still had to walk with our luggage through the monastery. The monastery itself was built in 1845 and a little shrine in 1876-1880 in remembrance of Vasil Levski. He was a priest, but dedicated his life later to ﬁght against the Ottoman Empire to free Bulgaria and was hanged in Soﬁa due to high treason. The little shrine is also dedicated to the defenders of the monastery, which were sieged by Ottoman troops, which lost the battle in the end. For me it was already hard to walk with the 7 kg of luggage on my back so I did not want to imagine, which hardships the soldiers on both sides had to suﬀer.
The Church does not oﬀer service, but the walls are painted with a lot of pictures of Jesus and the angels and the lighters create a mystic atmosphere. The way to Bacho Kiro Cave was very steep and slippery, so that not even all our members of our group arrived. The remainings of the ﬁrst Balkan people were found in this cave. The cave oﬀers to paths for visitors: On the one hand the short 4 km walk, on the other hand an 8.5 km walk. You should prepare warm clothes, because the temperature inside and outside might drift out a lot. We chose the short road. There is a path near the ﬁreplace where your sins will be forgiven, if you do not slip. Unfortunately, I slipped so no luck for me. The 2nd ﬂoor of the cave is called the Rain Hall where a lot of Stalagmites and Stalactites are situated. The green crystals on the ceiling and the coins sticking to the wall make you think you are in a fairytale. The 3rd ﬂoor is called the Music Hall. We sung our favourite song of our trip and everyone from our group performed in his mother tongue a short piece. Afterwards we left the cave again and took our bus to our accommodation where we tired, but content fell after a traditional Romanian meal with banitsa went to bed. Maxie ‘taxi’.
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