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Travel to: Bulgaria

World  (tags: Bulgaria, customs, journey, people photos )

- 1725 days ago -
Bulgaria is a beautiful country located on the Black Sea with a rich and long history. A people called the Bulgur's inhabited the region now known as Bulgaria in 650 AD giving the modern name to the country.

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Kit B (276)
Wednesday July 31, 2013, 6:32 am
Map of Bulgaria: Lonely Planet -

Bulgaria is a beautiful country located on the Black Sea with a rich and long history. A people called the Bulgur's inhabited the region now known as Bulgaria in 650 AD giving the modern name to the country. Bulgaria joined the European Union in 2007 after meeting the strict requirements for membership. Tourism has become increasingly popular in part to the diverse interests between majestic skiing slopes in the mountains and sunbathing beaches on the Black Sea. Here are five things you might not know about Bulgaria.

5 Facts You Might Not Know

1 97% of Bulgarians own their own home. This is the highest private home ownership rate in the word. Interestingly, 97,9 % of privately owned homes have at least one television set; while only 93 % possess a refrigerator.

2 Earliest prehistoric man lived in what is now Bulgaria. Cave paintings from 44,000 BC exist in Bacho Kiro cave. The oldest recovered artifacts made from gold have also been located in Bulgaria. Coins, jewelry and weapons dated from 4,600 BC were found in excavated burial sites in 1972.

3 The earliest organized culture in Bulgaria was the Thracian's. Spartacus was a Thracian born in Bulgaria. As a Roman sympathizer turned gladiator slave, he led a revolt defeating the much larger Roman armies on several occasions.

4 The Rila Cross is a stature carved over twelve years by a Bulgarian Monk named Rafail until 1802 when he became blind. On the wooden cross, that stands less than 32 inches in height and 17 inches in width, are 104 scenes from the bible, as well as 650 figures.

5 The first electronic digital computer was invented by the Bulgarian John Atanassoff during the years 1937-1942. Today, there is an annual John Vincent Atanassoff award given by the Bulgarian president to honor achievement in computer engineering.

**Ten Interesting Facts about Bulgaria

1. Bulgaria was once regarded as the Silicon Valley of Eastern Europe because of its huge computer technology exports to communist countries. In 2002, the country ranked 8th in terms of number of IT experts in the world.

2. The inventor of the first electronic computer, Professor John Vincent Atanassoff of the Iowa State University, had Bulgarian origins.

3. The first digital watch in the world was also invented by a Bulgarian. His name was Peter Petrov.

4. Bulgaria is one of the countries in the world suffering from negative population growth. From having 9 million inhabitants in 1988, Bulgaria has just around 7 million people today.

5. The Bulgarian government, with the backing of the Orthodox Church, was one of the only two countries that saved their Jewish population from being sent to Nazi concentration camps during the holocaust. (The other country was Denmark.)

6. The Bulgarians were the first to use Cyrillic script, which is also the alphabet currently used in Russia. The Cyrillic alphabet was adopted by the first Bulgarian Empire in 681 AD.

7. The Bulgarian folksong “Izel ye Delyo Haydutin (Delyo the Outlaw Has to Go Outside)” is one of the songs recorded and sent into space for the Voyager space program, which aimed to make contact with extraterrestrial intelligence.

8. Bulgarians generally shake their heads when they mean yes and nod their heads when they mean no – but sometimes, especially in resorts and cities, they do it the other way around to complete the confusion of the tourist talking to them.

9. The world’s oldest gold treasure, dating back more than 6,000 years, was discovered in Bulgaria.

10. Bulgarian yogurt has a unique taste because the bacteria used to make it, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, is only found naturally in Bulgarian air. (Other countries import it, though, so that they can make their own yogurt.)

**Classic Foods of Bulgaria

Shopska salad (Shopska salata) is the salad that defines Bulgaria. Not only is it the most popular Bulgarian salad but is also named after a big group of very frugal people called shopi who live in the capital of Bulgaria, Sofia. Shopska salad is made from chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and peppers sprinkled with Bulgarian white cheese. Eat it with a chilled double rakia on the rocks.

Shkembe Chorba -

You probably don't want to know exactly what this typically Bulgarian soup is made of. We suggest you first try it and see that it is actually pleasant to the taste. The literal English translation is tripe soup - tripe is the thick lining of the stomach of cattle... Seasoned with garlic, vinegar, and hot red pepper, it will surprise you with its unique aroma and taste - good surprise that is. It is scientifically proven that Shkembe chorba helps alleviate a hangover when consumed after waking up with one. Eat it with as much rakia or beer as you want.

Tarator -
Tarator is a cold soup made of yoghurt, cucumbers, and garlic. It is best enjoyed in the summertime when the blazing sun scorches your head. You can eat it any other time too but you will appreciate its icy chill more when the temperatures around you increase. We have discovered that you can have a rakia or beer with it with no negative side effects but stay away from combining it with wine.

Banitsa -
This traditional Bulgarian pastry is first prepared by stacking up layers of filo pastry dough, mixture of whisked eggs, and pieces of Bulgarian cheese and then baked until it gets a golden crust. Eat this with a glass of ayran or boza.

Lukanka --
Lukanka is the Bulgarian cousin of the Italian sopresatta. In essence it is a spicy sausage made of minced meat curried with a lot of flavorful spices and half-dried in a cold, windy place for at least two months. In fact it is a must have on every table where rakia is served. Eat it with wine, beer, rakia, whiskey or any other drink you enjoy.

Kebapche -
A meatball made of minced meat and spices and shaped like a sausage. Same as the kyufte, but does not contain onions. It has to be grilled otherwise you will get something different which probably will not be called kebapche (for comparison kyufte can also be fried). Eat it with Shopska salad and French fries with Bulgarian cheese.

Meshana Skara --
Another Bulgarian classic meal - meshana skara (or mixed grill in English) consists of one kebapche, one kyufte, one pork steak and one skewer of pork meat. All this comes with French fries, bean salad with chopped onions and lyutenitsa. Eat with at least three beers and follow up with a rakia.

Moussaka -
One of the several Bulgarian foods confused in the West for being Greek.
Moussaka is made with potatoes, ground meat, and tomatoes then it is topped with a white sauce and baked. Throw in some bay leaves too and you will not want to leave the table until you have finished up the entire baking pan. Eat this with some yoghurt on top.

Relax watch the travel video, imagine some delightful new foods and take a virtual tour of Bulgaria.


Nicole W (646)
Wednesday July 31, 2013, 7:21 am
enjoyed the escapade, thank you Kit, always a pleasure

Pat B (356)
Wednesday July 31, 2013, 10:32 am
Going to Bulgaria today has been a pleasant respite from the heat here in Texas. I enjoyed the video, I would have sat down and talked to the older ladies sitting on the bench there in Koprivshtitsa. Looked like a fun place to do some walking.Thanks, Kit for this great journey into a beautiful country.

JL A (281)
Wednesday July 31, 2013, 11:25 am
Thank you for this wonderful reminder that not all former Soviet bloc countries can be lumped together based on their own characteristics.

Sheryl G (363)
Wednesday July 31, 2013, 12:23 pm
Are the people short or was that man tall that had to bend his head to get into the underground (subway). Wow, I can see a few getting knocked out silly that might not be paying attention to that and unaware. See coke must of had a hand into the making of this travel video, along with a few wine makers.

Vallee R (280)
Wednesday July 31, 2013, 1:42 pm
Thanks for the vacation!

Marija M (32)
Thursday August 1, 2013, 3:54 am
thank you for sharing

Maria S (95)
Thursday August 1, 2013, 5:57 am
Thanks Kit for the wonderful virtual tour of Bulgaria.

Past Member (0)
Thursday August 1, 2013, 8:35 am
Thanks, maybe for a quick break I'll give it a try.

Apolonia Pl (392)
Thursday August 1, 2013, 9:50 am
BULGARIA is very beautiful country, very natural and picturesque. And yogurt, tarator and rakia are really worthy to taste...

MmAway M (505)
Thursday August 1, 2013, 12:08 pm
Thank you for another peek into a country I would of missed...Bulgaria! The information you posted was enlightening. Again thank you for the vacation, I did need one today! xx

Birgit W (160)
Thursday August 1, 2013, 1:56 pm
Thank you Kit, beautiful country.

Jonathan Harper (0)
Friday August 2, 2013, 4:35 am

John De Avalon (36)
Friday August 2, 2013, 7:40 am
Touring the world with Kit!

Good article. Thank you for posting.

Syd H (48)
Friday August 2, 2013, 11:23 am
I spent a week in Bulgaria last year. August in fact. I also had several vegan & gluten free Bulgarian meals, made for me by a lovely & sweet Bulgarian man including the Shopska Salata (sans the cheese). Have to admit I was shocked a couple times to get the head shake before my mind caught up to that meaning yes, not no. :D

Turns out the lead actress for Vampire Diaries is also from there. Hence why her alter-ego character speaks Bulgarian.

Winn Adams (179)
Friday August 2, 2013, 5:45 pm

Veselin Varbanov (23)
Friday August 2, 2013, 11:53 pm
Lovely post ..I particularly enjoyed the "5 Facts You Might Not Know" because I learne new things I didn't know about my home place : ) Thanks!

Sergio P (65)
Sunday August 4, 2013, 1:18 pm

Past Member (0)
Sunday August 4, 2013, 2:07 pm
Bulgaria looks lovely---and no passport needed either! Thanks Kit
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