I haven’t been here but thought you’d like to see what they’re writing about Bulgaria in the UK national media.

They are very obsessed with orphanages.

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March 4, 2010

Macedonia

January 30, 2010

Pleasant surprise today was to read the Guardian’s travel pages where Kapka Kassabova has written a lively piece about visiting the lakeside town of Ohrid in Macedonia. Her grandmother came from there. It’s so close to Bulgaria for a short break. She describes the strolling in the market place browsing the shops for Ohrid lake pearls, fine silver filigree, painted icons, roasted chickpeas, Neopolitan waffles and cherry liqueur chocolates.

Kapka wrote the book called Street Without A Name (Childhood and Other Misadventures in Bulgaria) which is well worth reading if you want to find out more about Bulgaria. She lived in New Zealand and now lives in Scotland.

Solo by Rana Dasgupta

January 23, 2010

I’ve just started reading this novel about the life and daydreams of Ulrich, a one hundred-year old man from Bulgaria.

Described on the book jacket as “set in a country that has belonged sometimes to Asia and sometimes to Europe, Solo is a book about lost roots, broken traditions and wasted ambitions – and the ways human beings overcome these failures”.

I’m hoping it will not be too sad.

The author’s website is very intriguing though and I don’t know why or how he chose to write about Bulgaria.

I’m back!

January 23, 2010

Things changed a lot in 2009. I came back to work and slaved away as an editor of magazines in Birmingham.

I’m now feeling like writing about Bulgaria again and catching up with you all. This is the view from our bedroom window in Kipilovo. It was taken in 2008 though and I haven’t had a chance to get back to Bulgaria. I miss the dogs, the food, the people and the music.

Head for the slopes

November 23, 2008

The snow has started to fall.

Benji Lanyado has written a good article in The Guardian on Saturday : ‘Where the pound is still sound’.

With sterling collapsing, he asks if anywhere is still affordable. Bulgaria remains the cheapest destination in Europe according to the most recent Post Office holiday costs barmometer survey. Benji recommends Bulgaria for ski slope bargains and I can well believe it.

You can ski at a slope near Sliven (the town next to us) but we’re in the mountains so plenty of opportunity to ski everywhere here.

We went skiing near Pamporovo a few years ago for New Year with a large group of 15 people (including children) and I really loved it. We stayed in a cosy family run hotel in Chepelare. I had a lovely English-speaking teacher and I managed to ski. I wasn’t looking forward to it and was hoping to slope off to the little bistros for hot wine.

Benji’s article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2008/nov/22/foreign-currency-consumer-affairs-travel

Comparisons with Italy

November 2, 2008

Comparisons with Italy
Comparisons with Italy
I’ve been reading a fascinating story about the harsh peasant life of Italy’s wild Abruzzo hill country in the village of Santo Stefano do Sessanio. A wealthy millionaire came across the deserted village in 1998 and decided to save it. Daniele Kihlgren has created a beautiful hotel there and is continuing to develop other abandoned villages with a local architect. I don’t really know this region of Italy but I would now love to go there and see what they’ve done. It sounds so eerily familiar with what our plans and dreams are for the hamlets around Kipilovo. One small problem. We’re not millionaires. I also think the Bulgarian villages are still ‘living’ compared to the Italian villages in Abruzzo. Italians were forced to leave the villages to work abroad due to poverty over a century ago.