Tag Archives: Bulgaria

Trip to Koprivshtitsa history preserved city, Kalofer and Kalofer Nun Monastery – “Birth of The Holy Virgin Mary”

Koprivstiza-ethnic-house
A bit outdated but I found it necessery to put here my travelogue from last week with Mitko my wife Svetlana and Margarita we went for a small trip to Kalofer. We wanted to have some rest with Mitko from the very static life we live as system administrators in HP and Interoute. The initial plan was to visit Kalofer however on our way to there Margarita suggested we have a few hours visit to Koprivshtitsa is a mountain city situated nearby Klisura, Panagiurishte, Pirdop, Klisura and Strelcha. It is one of the most famous tourist hotposts in Bulgaria.

koprivschica-oslekova-kyshta-bulgaria-museum

What makes Koprivshtitsa so famous is its huge connection with the Bulgarian liberation war against Turkish enslaving that wasted from 1840 until liberation of Bulgaria in 1878. Our liberation come true thanks  to the Russo-Turkish War, however 1877-1878, however Bulgaria made a lot of steps until we were supported by our Russian brothers in Christ to liberate. Koprivshtitsa was a birth place of a number of notable Bulgarians like Luben Karavelov, a home of yearly Bulgarian school enlightenment. Koprivshtitsa is probably most famous with the April revort attempt to liberate Bulgaria from 5 centuries of Turkish slavery. In the small town inhabited by approximately 2300 constantly living inhabitans, one can see the Bulgarian ethnic life from the XIX century, the whole city is preserved like it used to look 150 years ago, the houses architecture is from the revival Bulgarian period and is quite unique and interesting to see.
koprivschica-house-museum-room

The town used to be also a major trade center in the past and had a strong tradition of carpet weavening. Also over the centuries local inhabitants were famous for their stock breeding where historically inhabitants had the record count of about 12000.

koprivschica-house-museum-in-very-beautiful-architecture-bulgaria

The most interesting fact in Koprivshtitsa history is the creation of the Bulgarian revolutionary commutee – created by greatest revolutionary of Bulgaria of all times (the apostle of freedom) Vasil Levsky.

koprivschica-cyrkva-uspenie-bogorodichno

In 1876 a revolt fires up and the Turkish Commander (Bashibozluk) with the Turkish “police” slaughtered most of the citizens and the city was plundered, soon after another Turkish pasha came and robbed all unraked in the city.

izgled-koprivschica
Koprivshcica is a home place of the famous Bulgarian poet and author who died during the First World War. Each year in Koprvschica Balkan (Old Mounta Stara Planina), there is a Koprivschica openair folklore songs and dance festival and we were lucky to see this nice event too.  It is interesting fact that according to legislation if new buildings are built in the town they have to be the architecture style of the 19th century just like the rest of the town. As the town is a mountain one there is outstanding nature all around and a river flowing nearbly …

After leaving Koprivschica we continued our trip to Kalofer another revolutionary city that played key role in liberation of Bulgaria from Turkish.

kashta-ekskurzii-muzei

Kalofer‘s most famous thing is the museum (born House) of another of the great Bulgarian liberation revolutionaries – Hristo Botev is one of the Bulgarian most important – 100 national museums (tourists sites) of Bulgaria.

born-house-museum-of-Hristo-Botev

Botev is important for his overtake of the German ship Radetsky and entering in Bulgaria to rise up a Bulgarian revolt against Turkish empire.

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There is not much to say about Kalofer except it is really, really cheap place for resort and it is generally beautiful city as well however it is a place if you want to have a rest from the noisy life. There is really nothing in that city to see except a 2 old Churches on the city center, few old houses in the same style as Koprivschica and a beatiful mountain nature nearby. There is just few places where you can go to buy some food and few resturants and that’s all.  We found a room costing only 5 euro per person / night, and the price is outstanding. The city is divided by a river like most of the Bulgarian mountain cities. Also Kalofer is probably great place for people who like mountain hiking journeys. About 6 / 7 km from Kalofer deep in the mountain is situated a nun Kalofer monasteryThe Birth of The Mother of God. Kalofer has two monasteries but I didn’t hae the time to visit the othermale monastery.

kaloferski-nun-monastery

Kalofer Nun monastery is small sister-hood and the Abbotess is around 80 year old! Nun Kalofer monastery is very blessed place to go and very hard to go by car as the road to it is steep and hard to drive in.

kaloferski-manastir-the-birth-of-the-mother-of-God-Holy-Virgin-Mary

I’ve learned that nearby Kalofer monastery there is another small Skete, where alone only one lady lives almost like a hermit.

kalofer-nun-monastery-nearby-skete

A night in a hospitable citizen of Shabla a near sea town (village) in Bulgaria

Shabla centara muzei - Krasotata na Shabla - he Beauty of Shabla village great and cheap resort in north-east Bulgaria - one of best wild beaches in bg
This friday night we travelled from Sofia to Shalba with my best friend Dimitar Paskalev (a.k.a. Nomen).  We started the trip from Mladost 3, bl. 351B, we took a taxi with Svetlana from Mladost to Mitko’s address Citi Jarden gen. Georgi Raichev 21. From there we had to wait for a while Mitko because he had to go for some shopping with his girlfriend Margarita. Because of that we started the trip quite late about 21:40.

We had to take two other friends Kliment from Goce Delchev and Samuil (Samuel) from Sofia University. We left Sofia about 10:20 and had to travel to Shabla until early morning about 06:00 morning. We had a nice useful talks on topic of Christian faith and philosophy.

We stopped about 4 times on oil stations to put some gas and have a rest and had safely arrived Shabla passing by near Balchik’s villa zone and seeing the beatifulness of sun rise and beatiful hills nearon Balchik. Travelling in this region of Bulgaria, just like my birth place Dobrich one sees a lot of planes and planted land with sunflowers, corn and weed.

It is my second coming to Shabla,the first time in Shabla was about 8 years ago when we were in cave place nearby Shabla called Rusalka and into Shabla camping and it was just for less than hour so I don’t have much of memories.

Now I have a good chance to refresh my memories on Shabla. From my impressions so far Shabla, is a tiny beatiful and cheap place to live nearby the sea (the sea coast) is just 7 km from Shabla. On the city center there is a beatiful church st. Haralampios (who by the way is a saint who helps to people who have demonic attacks).

Around 06:00 we were in Mitko and, following their old ways tradition the friends had a morning beer. We went to bed for some hours just to wake up about 13:30. We prepared dinner the bulgarian infamous “djidji-papa” which is simply torrefyed bread walloed in eggs.

Djidji papa the traditional bulgarian breakfast french toast
After having the quick break-lunch. Around 05:30 we went to beach on Mitko’s car. The water temperature was awesome about 22 / 23 degrees celsium. The beach is located 8 km from the village and is probably one of the last left “wild-beaches” not seriously filled with buildings.

Shabla’s beach is nice the only unpleasent think is when you enter the sea, there are sea shells which might cut your toes, apart from that the beach is quite nice and there are not many, so if you want to have without stress in solitude it is a great place to go.  Shabla’s beach is the perfect beach for Christians with children who want to enjoy some swimming without the ruling vanity which is ruling on most beaches.

Nearby Shabla is a healing salty water and a healing mud, just like in many of the sea resorts in Bulgaria. Something unique about Shabla is richness of south birds to which the small village and nearby Shabla lake gives shelter during summer and spring.

Shabla is a “city of birds”, just walking the village streets you can see tons of swallows flying all around.

After the beach we were invited to have a our dinner in hospital neighbor, who always seem to invite Mitko when he is in shabla. As he lives here he produces always for himself the traditional bulgarian alcohol Rakia, his own vegetables (potatoes, tomatoes) etc. and all the food we were offered tasted much better than the usual food we ate from the supermarket. Shabla is a very quite and peaceful place, there is good developed infrastructure and most people here like typical villagers grow their food and a lot grow animals for meat (rabbits, chickens, pigs) etc. etc.

Actually I started realizing Bulgaria is very unique country with immersibly beatiful nature and very hospital people. Bulgarian hospitaliy is notorious. Tell me in how many countries someone will invite you to a dinner in his house if he doesn’t know you at all?

Mitko’s neighbor did that and I think this is worthy for respect.

This morning as it was Sunday, I went as usual to Church to Holy Liturgy to thank God for all the sent great mercies, pray for the world and well-being of the Church, my wife, my parents family, friends and enemies and all the world as we do always in the Orthodox Church. Unfortunately there was not to be a Holy Liturgy in the Church and we took Mitko’s car and went for the Church service to father Vasilij in Kavarna in the Church the Dormition of the Holy Theotokos. As always it is a blessing to be on a service led by fr. Vasilios, by Christ’s mercy, I confessed and took the holy sacraments – by the way today is an important feast within the Church we mark the memory of Saint Panteleimon (who is a healer a doctor and prays and helps with his fire prayers to all sick in the world).

After the Church service, we went for a coffee nearby the church and after that we went to eat from the delicios Bulgarian traditional “fast-food” Banitsa (which by the way is not so unhealthy like McDonalds / Burger King etc.).

We went back to Shabla with some pills to sober Mitko, Nomen and Samuel who drink heavily last night and needed way to fix their heavy headache 🙂

Also today the neigbor needed internet so I, Kliment and Mitko run a cable between mitko’s home with Internet and “Chicho (Uncle) Toshko” – the neigbor of Mitko.

Around 6 I went to see the small Shabla museum located in the city center. The place is very nice with a artificial lake with ducks and some rare plants. Also inside the big building there is small composition of photos a computer lab from which you can take a look to flora and birds nearby Shabla Lake as well as a small room with some found historic artifacts, most of which dating back 5 centuries (B.C.) Before Christ. I was played in the museum a short 20 minutes movie about remarkable things (birds, historical founding and way of wife) in and nearby Shabla and Dobrudja region.

Coming back I helped to the neibor of Mitko crimping few UTP cables and making their internet from Mitko’s house to Mitko work via a switch.

Here in Shabla you feel much more joy than in big stressed city like Sofia, you feel much free than in the big metropolitan cities and you feel God’s grace much abundant and the small village houses the greeny trees and everything set you in a true prayer mood.

Glory be to God and thanks for letting me one more day pass by!

How to enable MTel roaming when you’re out of Bulgaria (and out of European Union) – What to do when you forgot to enable MTEL Roaming – Alternative way to enable roaming via phone

mtel_old_logo-mtel-enable-roaming-when-youre-abroad-howto
mtel_old_logo-mtel-enable-roaming-when-youre-abroad-howto

I’m in  Serbia capital Beograd right now just arrived by Train.
Serbia is currently not in European Union and when in Bulgaria I forgot to enable MTEL Roaming, so suddenly my mobile didn’t even have a mobile network connectivity to any alternative of MTEL and I can’t call noone if there is urgency.
The only way to enable roaming in MTEL is either through sending SMS (by sending special crafted sms to number 1797 – for 3 for free world service. Or by sending  sms to number 1783 for standard euro tariff –  EUROTARIFF.

However problem is to send this SMS i should have network coverage on my mobile and now I didn’t. As a second variant Roaming can be enabled freely from Mtel website but for that unfurtunately you need account there and as I don’t have account in MTEL website, to create new account I need to confirm it via a special code sent to my mobile (a code which I can’t receive – since there is no network coverage on my mobile).

Finally after chatting with an MTel consultant, I’ve figured out Roaming can be enabled by a phone call outside of Bulgaria to a number: +359888 088 088. I call requested the service and after requiring to confirm myself by telling them my Unified citizen ID (EGN), they told me roaming will be enabled on my mobile in two hours.

Problem solved Cheers ! 🙂

Last Sunday Mountain Tourism in Jeleznica village near Sofia

Zheleznishka mountain near Zheleznica
Zheleznishka mountain

Last Sunday we went together with my wife Svetlana and brothers and sisters in Christ from the Sofia’s Orthodox Youth Movement in Bulgaria’s National Park situated near Zheleznica (Jeleznica) village.
Jeleznica is very near Sofia – if you drive by car in less than half an hour to reach there. Jeleznica. Nearby the village is Jeleznica river.

Jeleznica in Bulgarian means something like “Iron” and the name of village is derived because in earlier times near the village was an Iron mine.

Also for tourists interested in Christianity you can find nearby an functional Orthodox Monastery of Kolalyane (Kolayane Monastery).
Kokalyane monastery is situated on a very ascetic place only reachable by 30 minutes walk up the mountain.

10 Kilometers from the village are located the Ruins of another famous monastery,  The “Holy Spirit” monastery which existed from the 15th century and was destroyed by muslims during Bulgarian turkish slavery.
The Holy Spirit monastery is situated on the mountain Plana’s peak called “Monastirishte” – 1338 meters high. Under the monastery ruins is a remarkable three which is 500 years old!

Nearby the monastery is a natural spring with a RED COLORED WATER! which is considered to be healing. Nowadays on same place where monastery was is a Small Chapel.

In ancient times Jeleznica region was important Spiritual enlightenment region for Bulgaria. It was called the “Small Holy Athos” which was part of the monastery framework called Sofia Holy Athos .

We had a great time we walked from the path leading the mountain. It is usual for this parts of Bulgaria that people go for a mountain tourist – people who live in Sofia are very blessed for that. In hour mountain hike we saw plenty of people around for a barbecue and many who try to escape from the stressful daily life and job.  Nearby Jeleznica are two mountains.