The magic of Zheravna

The magic of Zheravna

Whoever you ask about their impressions of the Zheravna Festival of the National Costume, will tell you ''Zheravna is magic''. Zheravna is magic because there is a very strict dress code and a code of conduct everyone must respect. Everybody is dressed in traditional Bulgarian ''nosia'' and usage of contemporary objects like plastic bottles and electronic devices are strictly forbidden on the territory of the festival. Everything is authentic - the costumes, the music, the dances, the food and the joy of gathering together.

Hidden gems in Amsterdam

Hidden gems in Amsterdam

Every time I visited Amsterdam, I fell in love with this vibrant city over and over again. I couldn't get enough of it. Every time I went there, I visited a new museum, cafe, park, different place, discovered a new part of this magnet for wanderlusts like me. I already wrote about the traditional touristic path ''WHO DOESN’T WANT TO GO TO AMSTERDAM?'', but now I would like to share with you my favourite spots in Amsterdam.

Five influential women of our time – Whitney Huston, Lady Gaga, Lady Di and Maya Angelou

Five influential women of our time – Whitney Huston, Lady Gaga, Lady Di and Maya Angelou

I started to watch autobiographical documentaries on Netflix after I saw the movie about the iconic singer of our time - Whitney Houston ''Whitney: Can I Be Me (2017)''. I love her voice and was curious to see the person behind that monumental voice. I decided to continue and watched the movies ''The Story of Diana'', ''Gaga: Five foot two'' and, ''Maya Angelou and Still I Rise (2016)'' and was inspired to smile, to work hard, to listen carefully, to love deeply and to use words as these women did.

Three great movies about three rap superstars of the 90s

Three great movies about three rap superstars of the 90s

When I was in high school it was a trend to listen to rap music, especially Cypress Hill, 2PAC, Notorious B.I.G, Dr DRE and and you name it. My favourite one was 2PAC and I still have some of his albums on cassette records. I am not going to reveal that my husband has a collection of his albums. This era has gone, but these rap superstars are a legend and their music is timeless. For those who miss this time, I would like to recommend you the movies that trace the life of 2PAC, Notorious BIG and Dr DRE.

Bulgarian Summer Refreshing Dishes

Bulgarian Summer Refreshing Dishes

The best season to visit Bulgaria is with no doubts the summer - abundance of fruit and vegetables, endless beaches, bars, festivals, good vibes and the blue sky. Food is one of the must-try things I would recommend to anyone who visits Bulgaria to not miss out - Bulgarian food is seasonal, traditional, local and super delicious. Here is my selection of summerish refreshing dishes absolutely not to miss out to try in Bulgaria.

Wanna explore the world differently and head to a life-changing journey? – these movies will boost you up

Wanna explore the world differently and head to a life-changing journey? – these movies will boost you up

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''.

Do you remember your childhood?

Do you remember your childhood?

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.

Discover Koprivshtitsa – travel back in time and explore Bulgarian Revival, have a horse ride and try traditional crafts.

Discover Koprivshtitsa – travel back in time and explore Bulgarian Revival, have a horse ride and try traditional crafts.

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''.

5 souvenirs to bring from your first trip to Bulgaria

5 souvenirs to bring from your first trip to Bulgaria

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.

Mind-blowing canyon of Petra, unforgettable baptism in Jordan river and Terrae Sanctae.

Mind-blowing canyon of Petra, unforgettable baptism in Jordan river and Terrae Sanctae.

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.

My necklace collection – part II

My necklace collection – part II

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.

Happy Baba Marta Day! Честита Баба Марта!

Happy Baba Marta Day! Честита Баба Марта!

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.

Bulgarian breakfast – a real feast for the eyes and the palate

Bulgarian breakfast – a real feast for the eyes and the palate

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.

My necklace collection

My necklace collection

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.

Soak in a hot spring, eat the biggest ”mekitza” in the world and had a ride in the Rhodope Narrow Gauge – Winter Fairy Tale in Bansko region

Soak in a hot spring, eat the biggest ”mekitza” in the world and had a ride in the Rhodope Narrow Gauge – Winter Fairy Tale in Bansko region

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 ):

European road trip – Nurnberg, Vienna, Budapest, Castelul de Lut in Valea Zanelor

European road trip – Nurnberg, Vienna, Budapest, Castelul de Lut in Valea Zanelor

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.

Weekend destination: cities to visit in Germany

Weekend destination: cities to visit in Germany

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.

Cosy movies nights with Marion Cotillard, Audrey Tautou, Diane Keaton and Kate Winslet

Cosy movies nights with Marion Cotillard, Audrey Tautou, Diane Keaton and Kate Winslet

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.

My top 15 of 2018!

My top 15 of 2018!

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. [...]

When the Frenchie in me is reading…

When the Frenchie in me is reading…

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!

How did the second part of my 2018 go? Detailed review from July to December.

How did the second part of my 2018 go? Detailed review from July to December.

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 [...]

Squirrels in Hyde Park, afternoon tea and how to escape the rainy weather in London

Squirrels in Hyde Park, afternoon tea and how to escape the rainy weather in  London

London through my eyes This is not my first time in London, but this time I saw it from a different perspective. A colleague of mine had the idea to spend a few days in London sort of ''cultural escape'' meaning visiting musea, galleries, the Tower of London and enjoy English tea. I am not [...]

Let’s talk about Dutch food

Let’s talk about Dutch food

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!

10 breathtaking absolutely-must-try Dutch experiences in the Netherlands

10 breathtaking absolutely-must-try Dutch experiences in the Netherlands

1. Embark on a canal boat tour in Amsterdam Needless to say, this is an absolutely mandatory thing to do at least once in Amsterdam. Yes, it's a top touristic attraction and people waiting to get in a boat are everywhere,  but this is the only and the best way to admire the great architecture [...]

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery – book review

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery – book review

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 [...]

Rose Festival, Valley of the Thracian kings and endless list of reasons to visit this region

Rose Festival, Valley of the Thracian kings and endless list of reasons to visit this region

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 [...]

Summer breeze in Messembria: 5 reasons to visit Nessebar this summer

Summer breeze in Messembria: 5 reasons to visit Nessebar this summer

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 [...]

Funny readings

Funny readings

''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 [...]

Potato cutlets with Bulgarian white cheese (or feta)/ Картофени кюфтета

Potato cutlets with Bulgarian white cheese (or feta)/ Картофени кюфтета

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 [...]

The Tulip Road

The Tulip Road

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 [...]

Legend of the first Kuker Warrior – Studio Zmei production

Legend of the first Kuker Warrior –  Studio Zmei production

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?''. [...]

”Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes” by Guzel Yakhina – could the life in a Gulag be better than the life with your own family?

”Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes” by Guzel Yakhina – could the life in a Gulag be better than the life with your own family?

''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 [...]

Destination Rotterdam, the most modern city in the Netherlands

Destination Rotterdam, the most modern city in the Netherlands

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 [...]

203 Challenges: buy the book, call your friends and embrace the challenges

203 Challenges: buy the book, call your friends and embrace the challenges

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 [...]

5 things to do in Zeeland when it’s cold and you end up there out of the season

5 things to do in Zeeland when it’s cold and you end up there out of the season

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 [...]

10 increadible experiences to absolutely not miss out in Thailand!

10 increadible experiences to absolutely not miss out in Thailand!

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 [...]

How did the end of the year go? October to December detailed review…

How did the end of the year go? October to December detailed review…

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 [...]

While everybody is rushing to German Christmas markets, visit Dickens Festival in Deventer, the Netherlands

While everybody is rushing to German Christmas markets, visit Dickens Festival in Deventer, the Netherlands

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 [...]