3 weeks of Bulgarian culture.

Bulgaria Travel Blog

 › entry 1 of 1 › view all entries

Bulgaria rises from the grasslands of Turkey, 5kms from the border green, everywhere green pine trees and hills. I hitched of course from Istanbul. The last ride took me to  the Black Sea. I was fortunate to hitch in with a Bulgarian husband and wife. He works in America, she works making babies, 3 in three years of marriage. He is home 2 months a year. She still holds her figure well, they are happy. Across the border, he lights up a joint, people have their head on straight- taboos are more important stuff like dishonesty, judgemental, etc... Many people smoke here. Smoking is spiritual and has a bond that goes centuries back man-earth-spirits. The land is so untouched, hills and valleys roll over the land broken by small rivers that feed the peoples life.

At night you feel alittle closer to the moon and the air is cleaner. There are many natural hot springs cause there are two fault lines- all this slows down development and allows the people the sanity of peace.

The Ottoman Rule, 500 years of slavery (1400-1900ish). Then communism (1945-2000). Before that Bulgarians are known for their great cavalry and civilization. There is a strong sense of tradition here. People today don’t exactly believe in the spirit gods but everyone is well versed in their relevance.  There are many similarities between Bulgaria and Tibet. Western capitalism has yet to get a strong hold on the people nor land. The highways have all been started, yet none go across the whole country. It imay be a matter of time but for now Bulgaria is intelligent, happily separated from the W.

Europe yet in the EU. Horse wagons are a common site in all the villages.  With a population around 7 million people, there is one center- the capitol Sofia (300,000), maybe 5 smaller cities with a population over 70,000 and then villages. Villages are still the life blood, not the cities. Traditions are kept, much of the folk stories are passed on, farming/gardens and canning. People share in the chores and women share in their garden vegetables. Men share beers and tobacco, everything is cheap here which allows bonds to be strong. The sense of community is evident.  Crime is unheard of. Handicrafts are handed down and the family unit is the most important. All festivals/events are essentially family orientated. The lack of TV, movies, popular culture is striking, the people are more inclined to communicate and be social in this absense.
.. traditional folk music that sounds as sacred as Tibetan is heard walking down the street. I have had to ask maybe 4 times if it was Bulgarian or Tibetan I was hearing.

My favorite places could be anywhere. The route I went to Bourgas, Varna on the Black Sea, Veliko Taronovo (the old capital), Lovech, Koprivstitsa, Sofia, Rila Mts., Velingrad, Plovdiv, Shipka, Etar, V.T., Small Village near Stara Zagora for wedding, V.T. and Rousse (out to Romania).  The people are so beautiful and open. Vegetables and fruit are sold on the street side of every town. Everything is locally grown. That said, I am so full of feta cheese, sausage, tomato and cucu mber!!! I have taken to cooking for the house in V.T. cause I can't fathom the sight/taste of tomatoes (which in a month I am sure to love again) Hitchhiking I was able to spend time with a hostel owner in a Varna Black Sea resort town (so westernized and bikini'd on show I didn't take a photo one to show- sorry-alittle "white trash western beach resort town" in my estimate), a family going to a handicraft fest, which was my destination, a horse fest and to sleep 2 days in Rila Monastery deep in Rila Mountains, enjoy the natural springs with a truck driver, 100kms of 200+kph of absolutely crazy driving and everywhere, some of the best scenery out the window.

Hopefully the pics do better justice than words.

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Sponsored Links