Моята красива България ... my beautiful Bulgaria.

Please do clicking on the green 'Desperately Seeking ...' links below to open the picture galleries.

 

And when you've clicked and you've opened a gallery, you can start a smooth running slide show by clicking again on the wee icon in the top right hand corner that looks a lot like this ... Slideshow Icon    

Stefan Stambolovo

Desperately  Seeking Stefan Stambolovo

I found these old photographs in a derelict house in the village of Stefan Stambolovo, just a few kilometres north of Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria.

It made me sad to think that these pictures of a lifestyle and a community from a bygone era had just been abandoned in that house but it made me happy to think that I had rescued them.

I really hope that at least a few of these people are still alive and well. I wish I could meet them to thank them but I suspect I never will.

Благодаря ви приятели.

Stefan Stambolovo

 

Peace at Last

Desperately  Seeking Peace at Last

October was the first cool month since my arrival in Bulgaria and the first month in which my lovely new home wasn't overrun by tradesmen.

This gave me the time and energy to finish unpacking my belongings and to put the first serious effort into sorting out my unbelievably large and unbelievably overgrown garden, together with the almost derelict barn that stands within it. I also gave a bit of attention to my grape vines and planted a couple of new ones.

So it was a very busy month without me actually going anywhere. Though I did find the time to keep nipping inside for tea, coffee, siestas and rakia.

The highlight of the month was feeling that the peace that I had yearned for had at last come into my life and I really fell in love with that old house in Malki Chiflik.

And I stood with my mouth open as I stared at the clear night skies ...

The Malki Chiflik Moon.

 

Here, There and Everywhere

Desperately  Seeking Freedom from the Ottoman Yoke

This month I've been taking pictures of ...

Veliko Tarnovo with its Independence Day celebrations.

Elena with its sports stadium and monastery.

Sofia with its Russian monuments, its Russian Church and its Quality Streetesque soldiers.

Dryanovo with its monastery and its cliffs full of bat caves.

Gabrovo with its Socialist era buildings, brutalist statues, a lovely old church and a river a bit short of water because we were right at the ned of a long hot summer.

The Emen Gorge with its frog, its lake and its waterfall.

The Troyan Monastery with its monastery type things, its frescoes (not Tesco's), its monks' graves and its monks's skulls.

Red Peppers at the red pepper market in Gabrovo.

 

Heading North

Desperately  Seeking A Rock Hewn Church

Starting off with a walk up the limestone gorge near the village of Elena. I went with my good friend Galena, her daughter and two of her friends. We planned to walk to the waterfall but it was a bit hot so we only made it half way which enabled us to spend a bit more time than planned on our picnic.

Moving on to Ruse, a beautiful old city on the southern bank of the Danube ... Romania being on the opposite shore. This was a place with gorgeous old buildings (plus some very impressive Socialist era monstrosities), public squares and fountains and sculptures formed from mud dredged from the river bed ... on the hottest day I have ever known in Europe.

On my way home I couldn't resist a wander round the 13th Century rock hewn church in a gorge near Ivanovo because isn't that what holidays are all about?

Me and a wistful lady in Ruse.

 

Resident Or Tourist?

Desperately  Seeking Tsar Simeon Veliki I

Most of these photographs were taken at the site of the ruined city of Veliki Preslav, which had been the captital of Bulgaria between 893 and 972 AD.

The remainder are from the modern part of Veliki Preslav, Veliko Tarnovo and the village of Vetrintsi, the latter two straddling the beautiful Yantra River.

And some were taken in the town of Elena. If you want to know which are which you'll have to just ask me.

I loved the sunflowers by the way.

Veliki Preslav ... the tradesmen's entrance.

 

Моята нова къща

Desperately  Seeking a Balkan Homestead

A house, a very big house in the country of Bulgaria ...

My new home before I made my own mark on it.

My new house ... in its raw state.