Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Exploring Bulgaria

By David Francis

Bulgaria is among the most beautiful countries in Europe. It is located on Balkan Peninsula and boasts with its great nature that contains high mountain ranges, vast beautiful lowlands, Black Sea coast with great beaches and summer resorts, balneo and spa centers, ski resorts as well as many other interesting places and attractions.

Probably the main Bulgarian sight that attracts thousands of tourists each summer is the Black Sea coast. There are two main sandy beach resorts that are preferred by both locals and foreigners called Sunny Beach, near to the city of Bourgas and Golden Sands, near to Varna, known as a Sea capital of Bulgaria. These resorts can compete with famous Greece and Spain resorts and are preferred by tourists who can spend their holiday here at more affordable prices. There are many night bars and restaurants that keep young people entertained over the night.

If you would like to plunge yourself in the past, you need to visit the small and beautiful ancient towns of Sozopol, Nesebar and Balchik that will reveal valuable relics of the past and other archaeological finds.

Apart from the coast, there are many other things that should be seen in the other parts of the country that reveal country's traditions and culture.

Rila Monastery is the most famous and reputable monastery in Bulgaria, visited by many locals and tourists throughout the year. It lies between the Rila Mountain's recesses opening a scenic panorama that tourists just cannot pass by. It is believed that the monastery is founded by the famous hermit St. John of Rila, who lived in a cave not too far away from the place where the monastery is built. He started its construction in the 10th century and the last reconstruction of the monastery is made in 19th century.

This is not the only attraction that the Rila Mountain can offer. Another popular attraction beloved by the nature lovers is called Seven Rila Lakes, which form a natural mountain cirque. All of these lakes have specific form and name. "The Tear" is the highest lake, found at 2535 meters in height, while "The Eye" is the deepest lake. As the name suggests "The Kidney" is in the form of kidney, while "The Twins" is the longest lake that is split into two parts. "Three-Lobed Lake" has a strange irregular form, "The Fish Lake" is the shallowest of all and "The Low Lake" is the lowest one located at 2095 meters in height.

A medieval stronghold Tsarevets is another amazing place to visit. It is located in the former Bulgarian capital Veliko Turnovo, in the area of its old town. The beauty of the city itself is unsurpassed being a natural fortress against enemies.

In the center of Bulgaria, in the gorgeous city of Gabrovo, there is an ancient ethnographic museum, called Etara. It is open and reveals authentic Bulgarian ethnography, architecture and folklore. The tourists can buy traditional dishes and other ancient handicrafts that can be excellent souvenirs to remind them about this beautiful country.

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