this is perhaps my fifth visit to a place that has become on of my most treasured places to travel to in this part of the world. as soon as you cross the borders into bulgaria you get this feeling that you are in a place truly unique and distinguishable from the rest of eastern europe. bulgaria borders its long past imperial-turkey and to this day bears some resemblance and disdain of its ancient occupier.
bulgarian people are friendly and their style is a fashion that can easily be recognized. food is cheap and beer is less expensive than water in some places and if you are a fan of ancient history you cannot help but become overwhelmed in the antiquity of places like Plovdiv, which are among the oldest surviving cities in the world.
These pictures are from an ancient Roman amphitheater built around 140 AD. The theater is still used today for concerts and art shows.
Places like this are difficult to miss in Plovdiv as they seem to litter the streets with an underworld of history. Plovdiv, in modern times, has simply been built above ancient Roman ruins and excavation continues today revealing a glimpse of life in old times.
One of my favorite things in all of Bulgaria is the very specific style of art used on the murals of old buildings. This style seems to be replicated all over the country and is displayed in full effect in places like Veliko Tarnovo up in the mountains, a place i've visited perhaps four times now.
Josh, a traveler I met in Plovdiv - a man heading in the opposite direction; a good source of information about my travels to come.
I love this country. Although i've never before been to Plovdiv, Bulgaria was a great choice of places to begin this journey. I'm in love with the sights and surroundings as well as the smiles from black leather jacket-wearing eastern Europeans who can tell with one glance that you are not from here yet your interest in this country does not go unappreciated.