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Balabanova All Over

Monthly Archives: August 2016

uid[Potsdam, Germany] By Wednesday, I was ready to leave the history-heavy Berlin behind and head out of town to Potsdam, where Frederick the Great (1712 – 1786), King of Prussia, spent his summers. In Potsdam, Frederick had two places, at opposite ends of the grand Sanssouci park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The small, more intimate Sanssouci palace housed his quarters and apartments for guests. Normally, a kaiser’s residence would… Read More

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[Berlin, Germany] I got a hint of Germany’s tumultuous 20th century history yesterday at the German History Museum, but today I got hit in the face with it. I started with Dutch and German painters in the Gemaeldegallerie (“Painting Gallery” in German), but the day turned somber as I visited memorials dedicated to Hitler’s victims and the Berlin Wall. To get to the Gemaeldegallerie, I traveled to Potsdamer Platz. Previously a wasteland… Read More

[Berlin, Germany] In typical Nadya fashion, I spent the ENTIRE day walking around Berlin, save for a short break around dinner. I racked up 30,000 steps on my step counter, I went into four museums and I watched on amazing sunset from the dome of the Reichstag, to sum it up. I started my day with a coffee at the coffee spot just across from my AirBnB. I sat outisde and people… Read More

It has been a long day of travel, but I am finally in Berlin, settled into my AirBnB. I woke up super early this morning to catch a 4:20 am flight from Burgas Airport to Sofia. Vili, the hotel owner, was nice enough to drive me to the airport so my parents won’t have to. I was originally supposed to take a mid-afternoon flight to Sofia and connect to Berlin at 5… Read More

[Sveti Vlas, Bulgaria] Aside from the day trips to Nessebar and Burgas, I spent the rest of the week beaching with my parents in Sveti Vlas. I’d get up around 6:30 or 7 to for a run or do exercise a bit, then around 8:30 we’d get breakfast. Jana, wife of the couple how owns the hotel, makes dad these awesome open-faced sandwiches with ham, kashkaval (a type of Bulgarian yellow cheese) and… Read More

[Burgas, Bulgaria] When we woke up on Thursday, the weather was cloudy and dreary. so we decided to go to the nearby town of Burgas to check out the airport, where I will be flying out of on Sunday, as well as its famous seaside park. Burgas is the second largest city on the Bulgarian Black Sea (after Varna) and fourth largest in the country (after Sofia, Plovdiv and Varna). Its population… Read More

[Nessebar, Bulgaria] Bulgaria has nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites, all of them inscribed in the 1970s and 1980s. Among them are the Thracian tomb in Kazanluk, which I visited and wrote about in 2014; Rila Monastery, which I visited in 2009, and Boyana church, which I visited in early 2013. Coming to the Sveti Vlas with my parents gave me the opportunity to visit #4 – the ancient city of Nessebar, which is only about… Read More

[Sveti Vlas, Bulgaria] I was just six years old the last time I visited the Bulgarian seaside in 1987. I don’t remember much of that time, but my parents do. Going to the beach back then was not as easy. There wasn’t a highway connecting Sofia and the major coastal cities, so travel by car was slow and long. Back then, there weren’t many hotels, and the ones that were there were… Read More

[Sofia, Bulgaria] I love my hometown in the summer. The weather is warm, the parks are green, and the streets are lined with outdoor cafes. Many people leave the city to go to beach resorts in the Eastern part of the country, along the Black sea, and the city is not as crowded as it normally is. There is nothing better than strolling through the city center, then sitting down for a… Read More

Day 1 of my 2-week visit to Bulgaria and Germany in August 2016.