Bulgaria- on the beach and the oldest city in Europe

As promised- next trip to discuss is my trip to Bulgaria!

Now, I arrived in Sofia after a day and a half of travels. I had been in Edmonton, Canada for a friend’s wedding, and then flown to Vancouver to visit with my sister during my 4 hour layover. I then flew to London for a 10 hour layover, before continuing on my flight to Sofia, Bulgaria. As such, I arrived having no sense of the time or day of where I was.

My trip to Bulgaria was a bit different as well, as my boyfriend is Bulgarian, and therefore I was hanging out with a local who knew the customs and the areas to go. Almost immediately upon arriving in Sofia, after sleeping for too short of a period, we drove for 4 hours to the seaside, Sozopol.

We spent our first 3 days at the seaside, spending the days on beautiful sunny beaches

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The evenings were spent eating delicious meals, and going out to various different clubs. The one night we went out to “chalga” club, which is a bar which plays chalga music, a type of music specific to Eastern Europe. An example of this type of music is here.

It was very interesting to be out in Bulgarian clubs, as Bulgaria is very concerned about image. The country was communist until 1989, and now has a wide disparity between the “have’s” and the “have not’s”. Therefore, things you can do to show others that you have wealth are very predominat. VIP seating is very important, driving nice cars and being well dressed is more of a necessity. The biggest example I saw of this was while out at the chalga club. There, waitresses came around with packets of napkins. You could purchase a packet (containing around 500 napkins), for about the price of 3 drinks (so about $12). Once you purchased the napkins, you throw them around on to the ground. So essentially, you are throwing your money away, to show everyone in the club that you have so much, you can waste it.

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The napkins on the ground.

On another night we went out exploring some of the sites,

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As a Canadian, which country was officially established in 1867, I found Bulgaria to be a very interesting place to visit. It is a very old place. There were civilizations there back from 5000 BC, and in 632, the country became an independent state.

The history the country has was very obvious both when we went to a museum (which I’ll cover in my next post), as well as when we went through the city Plovdiv. The city’s history spans 6,000 years, making it one of the world’s oldest cities. When you visit it, there are two ancient theaters, traditional Bulgarian homes from the medieval period, cobblestone roads, as well as many historic sites from when the Ottoman empire was ruling Bulgaria. The ancient theater that you see in Plovidv is the world’s oldest theater.

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The theater was very interesting to see, as the condition its in is amazing. I’ve been to Greece (I promise there is a recap coming of that trip soon), and this is an older theater than what you see there but still seemed practically brand new. The theater itself was built in about 98 CE. I later researched it, and some of the fun facts about the theater include that some of the damage was caused in the 5th Century by Attila the Hun. Also, part of the reason it is in such good condition is that it was only discovered in the early 1970’s, as it had been covered by a landslide and has since been excavated so you can see it as it is today.

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It was such a fun day to spend wandering around this old theater. And, since it’s not nearly as popular of a tourist spot, you actually can wander all around the theater.

Next up on the blog is the second part of my trip to Bulgaria, including Sofia, the Rila Monastery, as well as a couple of days spent in the mountains.

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Has anyone else been to Bulgaria? How did you like it?

Also- is anyone else wishing it was summertime with these photos? Or just me?

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