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Balabanova All Over

Monthly Archives: September 2014

[London, United Kingdom] I woke up on Sunday fully expecting the cooler, cloudy, misty weather that had been forecast for that day. Instead, I saw rays of sunshine peeking through the blinds. I was very excited – that meant warmer temps, and awesome photos of London from the London Eye, which I planned on riding that day. Before that though, I had a few other London must-sees on my list. I started… Read More

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[London, United Kingdom] Saturday was the first of only 2 full days I had in London, so my plan was to tackle as much of the basics as I can on that day, and have a more relaxed Sunday. My parents had been to London so I used their knowledge and maps to build an itinerary, which I then re-arranged a bit once I checked the opening times of some of the… Read More

[Sofia, Bulgaria] Once we returned from Kazanluk, my days in Sofia turned into a leisurely affair I could very easily get used to. My friends and family were all at work, so I’d sleep in, then have breakfast and coffee with mom and dad, then go run errands with mom – she’d always go out in the morning to pick up the newspaper and other odds and ends. I’d read the paper… Read More

[Kazanluk, Bulgaria] We woke up on Sunday morning feeling refreshed but ready to get home after 3 days of sight seeing. There was only one thing left to see in Kazanluk – the Ethnographic Museum Kulata. This was very much similar to the Revival-style houses in Arbanassi and Veliko Tarnovo as well as the ethnographic complex Etar near Gabrovo. There were two Revival-style houses in this complex – one that had been… Read More

[Kazanluk, Bulgaria] We left the medieval capital of the Bulgarian rulers on Saturday morning. We were headed to Kazanluk, about 90 km (60 mi) South. In the process, we had to cross the Balkan mountains and planned on visiting a magnificent monument at Shipka pass, which commemorates a battle that turned the Russo-Turkish war of 1877. On the other side of the Balkans, Kazanluk valley awaited us. Now known as the place… Read More

[Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria] We spent our day today in the town of Veliko Tarnovo. We visited most if not all of the city’s most famous landmarks, most of them preserved from the Bulgarian National Revival period in the 19th century. Our first top but was just a few feet away – the old Turkish Konak. Konak is one of many Turkish words still remaining in the Bulgarian language, and generally means a… Read More

[Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria] The river Yantra begins high up on the slopes of the Balkans, and winds its way down to the Danube. On the way, Yantra carves up gorges around the hills of present-day Veliko Tarnovo where the medieval Bulgarian Khans decided to build the stronghold of the Second Bulgarian Empire. Named Tsarevets, after one of the three hills in the area, the stronghold became the most important political, economic, religious… Read More

[Sofia, Bulgaria] Mom is always in-the-know of what is going on in the city from a cultural perspective, and she told me that the National Art Gallery is hosting a unique exhibit showcasing some of the most famous sculptures of Frenchman Auguste Rodin (1840-1917). In addition, just last week a new museum had been opened below the St. Sofia Basilica. Off we went on Tuesday to check out those two things. The… Read More

[Sofia, Bulgaria] One “danger” of spending one’s time sweeping the streets of Sofia is over-caffeination. It’s really not that hard to do. You meet up with a friend. You sit at a cafe to catch up. It’s too early for alcohol, so you order a coffee. You run a few errands. You sit at a cafe to rest up. It’s probably still too early for a beer, so you order another coffee…. Read More

[Sofia, Bulgaria] My mom’s nickname for me is “The Broom”. She started calling me this in high school because in my free time, I was always all over town meeting with friends. When I left for the US, it was even worse when I’d come back home. I’d stagger dates with friends for a full day and when I’d come home, my mom would ask “Did you sweep up the town?” Over… Read More