Travel is not only about the places you visit and souvenirs you accumulate. It's also a pursuit of a bigger purpose and meaning. Very often one travels to seek an answer to an important question, to find ''The truth'' or to re-gain ''the appetite for life'' as Elizabeth Gilbert says in her best-selling novel ''Eat, pry, love''.
The spring is the best season in Bulgaria (at least for me) and there are many public holidays at this period of the year. That why, me and my husband, we decided to visit the region where he grew up and to see his former house, the woods he played with his friends back at the days and to immerse ourselves in his childhood for a weekend. We combined the trip with a stay in the mountains at a country house with relatives of ours.
Koprivshtitsa is an emblematic place for the Bulgarian people because the town was the center of the Bulgarian Revival and the Liberation of the country from the Ottoman empire started there. The town is located in 1.5 hours drive from Sofia and as locals say ''The summer lasts only 3 days there; if you get drunk you might miss it''.
I realized that when I am traveling, I am looking for experiences to collect, not only sights to see, local food to taste and drinks to celebrate my travel. I haven't travel as much as I would love to in Bulgaria, but I selected 10 typical Bulgarian experiences to try in the country of Kukeri and Roses.
I never check what to visit in a place I am about to travel, but I always know what I am going to bring as a souvenir from there. Magnets, postcards, and other little souvenirs are dust-collectors for me, that why I always check out typical local products like shirts or T-shirts with traditional embroidery, for example, skin products or cookbooks. I bought a shirt with typical Belarusian embroidery when I visited Minsk and babouches from Dubai - things that I can use in my daily life.
When I booked my trip to Jordan and Israel I DID NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THESE TWO COUNTRIES! The only thing I heard about was PETRA. THAT'S ALL! I was sure it's going to be a horrible and boring trip and I would be disappointed about signing up for an organized trip. Guess what? None of the above. The trip was amazingly rich in experiences, new acquaintances, places, tastes, and great fun.
As you can read in my blog, I LOVE ACCESSORIES! I think they can transform any boring outfit into something like ''Ouau'' reaction around you. In the first part of My necklace collection, I showed you my favorite necklaces that I wear very often and that attire all the regards around. In the second part of My necklace collection, I would like to highlight the different materials used in the accessories craftsmanship.
Martenitsa (мартеница in Bulgarian) is a piece of adornment (bracelet, brooch), made of white and red yarn and traditionally in the form of two dolls, a boy Pizho (Пижо in Bulgarian) made of white yarn and a girl Penda (Пенда in Bulgarian) made of red yarn. The day celebrating Martenitsa is called Baba Marta Day (Grandma March) and on this day people offer each other marthenitsi for health, prosperity and new beginning starting with the spring. Martenitsa is worn on the first day of March until one sees a stork. Once you see the stork, tie the Martenitsa on a blooming tree as a symbol of fertility. This tradition is related to welcoming the spring, the new life that wakes up after the cold winter, health, and joy.
When I travel I always book accommodation with breakfast included in order not to waste time in the morning. I would recommend you to do so but not in Bulgaria. Why? Because if you book a hotel in Bulgaria with a continental breakfast included you will miss out a big and an important part of discovering the country - the Bulgarian breakfast. If you book a guesthouse in the mountains or the villages you will be offered a homemade breakfast/ and food every day, but this is only valid in the small family owned guesthouses. However, if you prefer to book a room in a luxurious hotel, don't ask for breakfast, otherwise, your experience won't be authentic and you won't have the chance to taste Bulgarian pastries. If you visit Bulgaria for the first time (and not only!!!) have a breakfast from the local bakeries (закусвални). In order to introduce you to the Bulgarian breakfast, I've chosen five different Bulgarian typical pastries full of calories and easy to find almost everywhere that you absolutely should try.
I am not a fashion victim and I don't follow the trends but the accessories, especially the necklaces, are my secret weapon to embellish every boring outfit. I am fond of the Scandinavian style - white shirts and T-shirts, black turtlenecks, unicolor outfits, and my ''signature spice'' that I add to this ''basic color dish'' are the necklaces. When I am traveling I enjoy checking small design shops and local handmade markets and buy unique necklaces to bring as a souvenir from my trip.
Máximapark is one of my best places on Earth! It's so nice to walk, relax, run, ride your bike and take pictures there! When I am happy, I go there, when I am sad, I go there, when I need my head cleaned up, I go there! This place is a panacea for all my moods! So, sit comfortably and enjoy the view!
This year we decided to go on a winter vacation to Bansko, Bulgaria. Bansko is one of the most famous ski resorts in Bulgaria located 150 km from Sofia and literally at the foot of the Pirin National Park. As we are not really into winter sports, my review will only cover things you can do, eat and see outside of the ski slopes ):
I haven't updated my blog for two weeks, but for a reason - we decided to move back to Bulgaria and we were busy selling stuff, packing stuff and moving stuff back to our place in Bulgaria. As we had to take our car with us, we decided to make a little European tour through Nurnberg, Vienna, Budapest, and Castelul de Lut in Valea Zanelor in Romania.
What do you think about when you hear ''Let's go to Germany!'' Berlin at the first place, Oktoberfest, Christmas markets, Heidelberg, Burg Eltz - all these places are great and are worth to be visited at least once in a lifetime, but as I live in the Netherlands and Germany is just around the corner, I would like to share with you some good ideas for weekend escapes.
It's winter time and it's the best time of the year to catch up with some nice movies. I've been thinking about writing a post about my favourite movies, but when I started drafting the movies' titles, I realized that all the movies are with my favourite actresses! So that how I decided to make a post about my favourite actresses and the movies that star them that I would recommend watching.
2018 was an amazing year and it's coming to an end. It's time to look at the whole year and to think about the top moments and things we've experienced, achieved and acquired. Here is my top 15 things/ experiences/ moments/ pictures of 2018! Enjoy! Movie: Bohemian Rhapsody That's the MOVIE of the year, definitely. [...]
I speak French and adore reading French books and books in French. I worked in Alliance française in Varna, Bulgaria in the past and there was a big library with plenty of classic and modern French and Francophone literature. As Alliance française organized a lot of cultural events, we also invited many famous writers and authors to be our guests and make workshops around their books. I met some of the people mentioned below like Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt and Frédéric Beigbeder in person and had copies of their books autographed specially for me! What an honour!
I love reading and I always have a book in my bag just in case. However, three books stand out of my list not because they are classics or bestsellers, they certainly are, but because there is so much wisdom, hidden answers and concentrated knowledge on some interesting (at least for me) topics like depression and happiness, leadership and business, peace of mind and good will.
The Christmas season is in his pick and end of the year is around the corner. It's time to relax, enjoy family time and think about our loved ones! Here is my selection of tips on how to make your Christmas holiday absolutely unforgettable! Christmas time Send as many postcards as you can to your [...]
I am extremely excited when I am writing such articles as they make me think about all the nice things, new experiences, great moments and the journey I've walked through 2018. I've done so many nice things from January to June and accomplished dreams and goals I've been chasing for a while. Now it's time [...]
The arrival of Sinterklaas! Winter season in Western Europe is celebrated with Christmas markets, ice skating, Gluhwein and Oliebollen. The best of the Christmas season in the Netherlands, however, is not the eve of 24th of December as this day is specially reserved for a traditional family dinner but the arrival of Sinterklaas before the [...]
1. Say cheese
Dutch cheese is an absolute must-try when you visit the country of the tulips, especially on the city food markets. There is a massive variety of young and old cheese; cheese with spices, lavender, weed and so on and so on. And wherever you go, you will be able to try for free the cheese of your choice before proceeding on the purchase. Cheese is also one of the best souvenirs you can bring back home from your trip! Give it a try!
How to escape reality in a Dutch rainy day? Host a book club! I am a big fan of all sort of ''Book challenges'', ''Read-the-world lists'' and ''Absolutely must-read lists'' and one day while listing different ''pins'' on Pinterest in the train, I got the idea to host a Book club at my place and [...]
Smart, funny profound book - the bestseller of Muriel Barbery The Elegance of the Hedgehog (L'élégance du hérisson) by Muriel Barbery is one of the most intellectual, funniest and brilliant books I've ever read! The book is a bestseller and it's translated into many languages for a reason! A movie based on the book has [...]
Hi there! Time just flies and when I think about what I've done this year, not much is coming straight to my mind...That why I decided to write down all the major milestones (or important events) from January to June 2018. Let's begin! January: the new year has begun with loads of new exciting resolutions [...]
When I was little I had a correspondent from Copenhagen, Denmark with whom we've been in touch for a while and he was telling me a lot about Copenhagen in his letters. That's how Copenhagen popped up on my bucket list ): I also heard that Malmo, Sweden, is in 30-minutes by train from Denmark's [...]
As challenge 57 from the book ''203 challenges - Travel the World. Explore your Inner Self'' says ''Go for a gondola ride in Venice or for a boat trip in little France - Strasburg, in Giethoorn - the Netherlands or in Saint Petersburg - Russia'', I decided to accept the challenge and took the road [...]
Depression - my life through and after Some people would think '' well, quite pretentious to write about depression and explain it to others'', others would say '' I experienced exactly the same''. First, I would like to say that I am not a doctor, I am not a scientist, I am not a psychotherapist, [...]
Exploring Kazanlak and Stara Zagora region One of the things I wanted to tick in my Bucket list was to visit the Rose Valley (in Kazanlak, Bulgaria) and to participate in all the festivities around the Rose Festival. This year the time has come to take the road....I was targeting the Rose Valley, but the [...]
Bliss for the soul and the eye: Ancient city of Nessebar All in one: history, small streets in typical 19th-century Bulgarian style, cultural heritage, amazing beaches, seafood, tasty wine and all you need for a perfect summer escape is concentrated in Nessebar!!! Nesebar is included in the Unesco World Heritage Sites list in 1983. There [...]
Great ideas for souvenirs for the eyes and the soul! Do you bring souvenirs from your travels or you make pictures and prefer to capture the moments in your mind? Magnets were very popular at some point, but the problem is that they are almost ''useless''....That's why if I find something nice and original while [...]
''Oranges. One girl's honest story about how to grow up'' (Апельсинки. Честная история одного взросления) by Olga Savelieva and ''The last plumber'' (Последний сантехник) by Slava Se Reading is vital for me. I read while commuting to and from work, in the evenings and whenever and wherever I can. But sometimes I want to read [...]
Bulgarian classic Potato Cutlets It's time for one Bulgarian classic - delicious and suitable for lunch or dinner like a side dish with meat and green salad - Potato cutlets with Bulgarian white cheese. If you cannot find Bulgarian cheese, just use Feta. Ingredients: 4 medium potatoes 1 egg 150gr of white Bulgarian cheese/ feta [...]
Colorful Tulip Fields Since I live in the Netherlands I was always wondering if the Tulip Fields really exist and if they are reachable by car or public transport or you can only admire them on the beautiful pictures on social media. This year my social media feed exploded with beautiful pictures of all kind [...]
The future of the connected society Have you ever thought what's going to happen if our world becomes more connected and more transparent than right now? With the web, social media, drones and all kind of rating questionnaires our lives, preferences and family can be exposed and shown every single minute and every single step [...]
Spring is in the air...Nice wheater, sunshine and flowers....and it's time to visit Keukenhof, the most famous garden in the world. Keukenhof is one of the most visited attractions in the Netherlands and for a reason. You will see and admire there all kind and colors of tulips (over 800 varieties!!!) and many other flowers [...]
Legend of the first Kuker Warrior Recently I read the article ''22 Ambassadors Recommend the One Book to Read Before Visiting Their Country'', the list being very interesting and offering interesting books from countries like Azerbaijan and Bhutan among others. So I was thinking ''Which book would I recommend to somebody planning to visit Bulgaria?''. [...]
How to make khachapuri Khachapuri is a Georgian bread made of dough and filled in with cheese. It's a dish Georgians are very proud of and it's a symbol of their culinary traditions. Tne word khachapuri (хачапури) is composed of two separate words ''khacho'' - means cheese and ''puri'' - bread. If you are up [...]
The Medieval Fort of Ovech in Provadia, Bulgaria I've never heard of the Fort of Ovech until I started seeing great pictures on social media and was wondering if the place looks really great or the pictures were just ''intagramarly'' great? So, why I decided to pay it a visit and was literally amazed. It [...]
Have you ever heard of Afghan cuisine? Do you know what is pilaw or mantu? Eating at a Chinese or Indian restaurant is no longer considered as being exotic as it's affordable and you can easily find Chinese or Indian food wherever you go. But trying afghan cuisine without going to Afghanistan is something different! [...]
''Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes'' Have anybody ever thought that life in a Gulag in Siberia could be much better than in your own home with your own family? Sounds unimaginable, but that's Zuleikha's reality when she is brought far far away from her homeland the Tatar village of Ulbash. Zuleikha, a young Tatar, Muslim, illiterate [...]
Five things to do in Rotterdam The time has come to write about my favorite city in the Netherlands: Rotterdam! Spacious, modern, exciting, hosting the biggest port in Europe, Rotterdam is often compared to Dubai because of its modern architecture and skyscrapers. The second biggest city in the Netherlands has a lot to offer in [...]
Last summer I was looking for books to buy at the bookstore and my eyes crossed an interesting title ''203 challenges - Travel the World. Explore Your Inner Self''. I opened the book and started to turn the pages. I was intrigued straight away and in 2 minutes was seating at the coffee corner of [...]
How to bake the best French macarons ever? French macarons are my favourite dessert ever. I tried many different brands and was always amazed by their variety and texture. That why I decided to try and make them at home. I knew it won't be easy and undertook a meticulous research on Google. And here [...]
Have you ever heard about Zeeland? Do you have an idea where it is on the map? It looks like Zeeland is a well-known region located between The Netherlands and Belgium where people go on vacation during the summer period ??? Even though it's in the middle of nowhere and nobody knows about that, but [...]
Wanna be on ''The Beach''? After the movie ''The Beach'' with Leonardo DiCaprio tourism in Thailand and its emerald beaches just exploded. I just came back from my trip to Thailand and can't wait to offer you my selection of great, once in a lifetime experiences absolutely not to miss out there! Keep reading.... Eating [...]
End of 2017 This short review (cannot promise it will be short?!) is a continuation of ''Accomplish a goal every month?? C'est pas possible!'' article and this is the perfect opportunity for me to share what have I done/visited/listened and read so far from October to December... So, dear Orpheeway fan, you will be quite [...]
Dickens Festival One of the things I absolutely wanted to do this year was to visit the Dickens Festival, organized every year in Deventer, the Netherlands. The Festival takes place in the picturesque Bergkwartier where the 19th-century lifestyle, atmosphere, and all the famous Dickens' characters revive and welcome the visitors. The festivities are a mixture of [...]
Read a quote every day.... Quote are powerful messages and very often they cross our eyes or our eyes cross them at the very right moment. That happened to me while I was procrastinating to start my blog. One day I just read the following quote: “Start now. Start where you are. Start with fear. [...]
The time has come to write a review of my trip to Romania...I wanted to go on a trip with my mother and an organized trip to Romania sounded like the perfect option. So, in May 2017, we headed from Bulgaria to Romania.... First stop: Bucharest and the massive The Palace of the Parliament (Romanian: [...]
Watch these movies and pack! In the first part of Movies that will urge you to travel, I wrote about movies and places I already visited. In this part II, I am going to write about places that are still on my bucket list. Eat, pray, love (2010): the journey to find yourself Elizabeth Gilbert's [...]
Walking down Amsterdam's streets It's time to write about Amsterdam and to give you, dear reader, ideas where to go, what to see and what to eat in this place that amazes millions of tourists every year. So, beautiful Amsterdam, here we come! Amsterdam is easily reachable by train from every big city in the [...]
After you visited Varna, it's time to explore the region. I am going to start with my favorite places. The number one place is for Pobiti Kamani (Bulgarian: Побити камъни, "Planted stones"). It is a rock phenomenon and looks like the Bulgarian Stonehenge, located at 18 km north-west of Varna. The place consists of sand [...]
There are loads of brilliant movies about inspiring and strong women. However, I would like to share with you, dear reader, five of the best movies with main female characters that marked me profoundly and showed me how strong women around the globe can be. Ma ma with Penélope Cruz. It's about a Spanish woman, [...]
Are you wondering what to do on a Sunday afternoon? Check my adventurous movie selection and get inspired to head to your next destination! 1. Paris je t'aime...There are loads of movies about Paris....but this one tells the stories of people living in different Parisian arrondissements. My favorite excerpt is "Bastille" and the quote of [...]