Bridget

Beautiful Bulgaria part 2.

In Uncategorized on May 29, 2012 at 7:01 am

We visited a couple of monasteries on our trip. This one near the town of Srem is home to a community of Nuns. The doors are open and people are welcome to look around, pray or just absorb the peaceful atmosphere.

I found the glass case full of skulls a bit odd…apparently they are the first followers of the founder of the monastery. Two hundred years old.

On my birthday, which was the 16th, we went to visit the ancient hill fortress near the village of Matochina.

As we climbed the steep hill to the fortress a thunder and lightning storm rolled in from Turkey. We did’nt let that stop us though. As we climbed the sky darkened and forks of lightning came in fairly quick succession. After one particularly loud clap of thunder and brilliant lightning an Imperial Eagle came soaring up from behind the hill. So beautiful and dramatic…it is an image that will stay with me forever. No pics as I was just in awe of the sight of this huge bird. Beautiful!

The storm passed as fairly quickly and the sunshine returned as we bade farewell to the Turkish hills visible in the distance.

We also visited these carved rocks near the village of Melnitsa. I wonder what their original purpose was? There are several of these in this area.

The Bulgarian custom of making posters when a person dies is a bit odd. These are placed on the person’s gate going into their house, on trees and in public places. I suppose it a way of letting people know the person has died. A picture of the deceased and a few personal details are carried on the poster. Similar to our newspaper death notices I suppose.

On a final lighter note these millet brooms are for sale everywhere and every house seems to have one. Sometimes with handles, sometimes without. These were for sale in the market in Elhove. Priced at 3 leva each…about 1.50 euros. Of course I brought one home with me.

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  1. A belated happy birthday to you:) I love those dark storm clouds in juxtaposition to those gently rolling hills.

  2. What a great trip– I appreciate your sharing. I love the little broom, the perfect souvenir. And really I could use a couple of them. Maybe there is an online Bulgarian broom shop…

  3. Great photos of the dramatic storm clouds.

  4. I would love to do psychometry on those skulls!!! Its like time-travelling!!! Looks like a really interesting place. Not some-place I ever thought to go but who knows now???
    How big were the carved rocks?

    • They were huge…and there were loads of them carved out like that. Some of the round stones were still attached, others completely detached.

  5. I have been away from the blog world due to ill health and an operation, but hopefully I am back. Ah! I have been missing all these blogs. It seems you were also away for three weeks to Bulgaria. Your articles on Bulgaria are really interesting. How is the health of Bulgarian people – must be very good if they eat everything so natural. That’s what I miss here in the US, try to grow in the garden during summer but not so easy during the winter. Fresh veggies and fruits have completely different taste.

    • Sorry to hear of your health problems…hopefully all will be well now for you. As to the health of the Bulgarian people…many old people are still living in their homes and working away into an old age. However…smoking is very common in Bulgaria…cigarettes are cheap…so many people get cancers.

  6. So interesting about the death notices. It looks beautiful there. On my bucket list.

  7. I have exactly the same broom, Bridget – bought in Greece. I do think that the skulls should be buried and laid to rest – rather than left in a cabinet. Imperial eagle? Wow – not surprised that image will live with you. D

  8. Wonderful trip Bridget! Alberto already mentioned it, but yes, posters of the deceased are common in the Genoa area of Italy, too. (I’ve never travelled outside the States, but I’m Italian and grew up in the Italian neighborhood of Boston.) I also noted how similar your Bulgarian millet brooms are to my Italian parlor broom!
    This series of posts was most enjoyable, all around. 🙂

  9. like you i would have been in awe of the eagle – those are the momments that always stand out for me. I ,too,would have brought home a broom. i love the pic of the storm clouds i am rambling.

  10. Visiting Bulgaria has never entered my mind. Honestly, Bulgaria never, ever comes to my mind. But your photos and narrative are beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

  11. How fascinating – what a wonderful trip! I can just taste the Bulgarian plums and tomatoes… I lived in Russia for a time and we got lots of wonderful canned goods and produce from Bulgaria. They are famous for their vegetables and fruits in Eastern Europe.

  12. Now I feel a little naive but we make posters of dead people in Italy as well! And yes, the meaning is to let other people that someone beloved has passed by. Based on the pictures they post (they look from the 60’s!) Bulgarians keep those posters up for much longer time we do! The poster also informs people when and where the funeral will be kept.
    We have those brooms too… hell, are we living so bad here? 🙂

  13. I find it fascinating to see parts of Europe that are still so untouched by modern life. Those millet brooms look great. Imagine they would sell for quite a bit in some chi chi shop in London or Dublin.

  14. A birthday you’ll never forget!
    Thanks for the answer to my last comment. Wealth and poverty are interchangable. Rich in one aspect poor in another.
    Jane x

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