Posts Tagged ‘atmosphere’

Trip to Dragalevski manastir (Dragalevci) and Bay Krystio Hut in National Park Vitosha Sofia Bulgaria

Saturday, May 28th, 2016
Vitosha-Dragalevtzi-Holy-Monastery

The spring and summer season in capital of Bulgaria Sofia gives unique possibilities for rest of the ordinary busy IT person like me because Sofia is situated in the ridge of Vitosha Mountain. Actually mountain tourism is really a great way to reduce pressure and clean up our heads of the overbusy daily office life consisting of non stop solving complex management, programming and other system administration tasks.

Dragalevci-Pyteka

Besides being a great place for lovers of Nature Sofia and nearby places gives a lot of entertainment mountain huts (the popular Hijas, delta planers, ski lifting, horse riding,  crystal clear air and mountain springs and perhaps the best a unique virgin nature situated just a 20 minutes with bus from the center of 1.5 million people.  One common route in Sofia for residents and also for tourist who come for a visit to Sofia is actually Dragalevci (a Sofia village like Suburb) and the route leading to the ancient and famous monastery of Dragalevci which is in honour of The Holy  Theotkos (Virgin Mary) Vitoshka.

Dragalevski-Manastir-entrance-icon-Holy-Virgin-Mary

From there there is ecological mountain footpath leading to a place called Bai Krystio who was a famous mountain tourist who helped a lot during 20 century for developing of mountain tourism in Bulgaria and Dragalevci and build a Hija (a mountain hut) which today is currently named in his honour.
Dragalevski-Manastitosha-Sofia-stenopis

For the lazy ones after 14:00 you can also go their with a car there is an asphaltous way leading to the Mountain Hut, even though it is much preferrable to go their walking the steep wild road going through the wood surrounded by beautiful springing waters. A walk in Dragalevci to the Hut could be successfully made for less than 2 hours with a small 5 minutes breaks the pathway leading to it is long and as a lot of tourists go their regularly there is no chance for you to lost yourself.  From Dragalevci there are a lift-station  chairs called "Goli Vryh" translationg as "Naked peak". Right the Dragalevci station their is a "plazza" which leads to the very famous near Sofia rest place called "Hija Aleko  / Hut Aleko".

Landscape-view-of-Hija-Aleko-Vitosha-Sofia-national-park

Walking through the wood once reaching the asphals, there is a sign showing the way  to Aleko hut (which is named after the famous Bulgarian author and publicist Aleko Konstantinov). Our trip started from Paradise Mall and to reach their we catched a bus number 93 the bus ticket is just like an ordinary city ticket and costs only 1 leva, the bus we travelled with was a bit archaic some old medel Mercedes but in my opinion there is also a charm in these too.
 

Going to Dragalevski monastery has 2 ways either the asphalt one or the wood footpath so we me (Billiana, Ilia and Svetlana) choose the footpath from which you see and hear the relaxing voice of Dragalevska river which is parallel the walk path. Dragalevski-manastery-monk-cells-Vitosha-mountain-Sofia
      Dragalevtzi view to the nuns cells and cemetery
 
Dragalevski Nun Monastery is a very peaceful and beatiful place  behind the beautiful church is the cemetery where about 7 nuns are peacefully laying waiting for the resurrection of the Dead that is to come in the Judgment day when the Lord Jesus Christ commands all the dead to Resurrect for judgement.

Dragalevski-manastir-Vitosha-Sofia-Bulgaria-alter-and-cemetery

Dragalevci Eastern Orthodox Church Holy Alters (actually belonging to 2 Churches the old and the new one)
Dragalevski-Monastery-Bells-Vitosha-Mountain

Dragalevtzi Monastery Bells Going through a stone stairs you reach a spring water (Holy Spring / Aiazmo) and a monastery wood pavillion where you can sit to have a picnic or have a peaceful rest looking through the beautiful garden downway.
Dragalevski-manastir-holy-spring

Holy Spring in Dragalevtci Monastery Virgin Mary (Vitoshka) Dragalevski-manastery-monk-cells-Vitosha-mountain-Sofia
Nuns livings cells

If you continue uplifting the mountain footpath after about 30 – 40 minutes you reach the mountain-lifts in the region of Bai Krystio and you see a lot of people lifting down the mountain, a great way to travel back if you're too tired from the walk.

Dragalevski-lift Sofia Vitosha mountain tourism

In the Bai Krystio hut you'll find a kind of mixture of a mountain restaurant and caffeteria where you can have a great lunch / dinner of meatballs with french fries / kachamak / bob a cabbage salat with carrots, shopska salata with beer or hot tea. We had the chance to have a quick interaction with the selling old granny and the helper kitchen lady which was too kind calling everyone my child and having the mothers like behaviour. The hygene and the overall atmosphere of the  Hija was okay though don't expect a 5 stars restaurant. Also it is notable that everyone we saw on the wood path leading to the Hija was greeting us so the atmosphere was much warmer than the cold and lonely cities we live in nowdays. If you continue from Bai krystio you can reach the marked pathway leading to Goli Vryh and from their you will reach to Aleko Hut, Cherni Vryh (Black Peak) or Momina Skala (The Maiden Rock).

Kraj_Momina_skala-view-to-mountain

We enjoyed a lot and I'm thankful to God for the great day we had today, if you happen to live in Sofia and looking for enjoyment for the weekend or you are on a holiday i recommend you go Dragelvtzi you'll not regret it.

Geki2 and Geki3 a Xenon 2 Megablast like games for GNU / Linux and FreeBSD

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Do you remember the old arcade spaceship shooter Xenon 2 Megablast? I do 😉 For all those who are too young to remember, here are two screenshots:

Xenon2 Main game Screen PC DOS ver

Xenon 2 megablast PC DOS level screenshot

Even though Xenon 2 Megablast original can now be played using dosbox DOS emulator. Its interesting to mention I've found two Linux games that more or less can be qualitified to resemble Xenon 2.
The games are Native Free Software games and existing in package repositories of most Linux distributions and *BSD port trees.

Geki 2 and Geki 3 are of a less quality to Xenon but still, the game experience is nice and is among the Arcade shooter games to bring you fun in the boring days if you're on GNU / Linux or FreeBSD Free OS platforms.

Installing Geki2 and Geki3 on Debian and Ubuntu Linux is standard with apt:

debian:~# apt-get install geki2 geki3
...

On Debian GNU / Linux , after installed the games would not create GNOME Applications -> Games -> game startup shortcuts, however the game startups will get added in GNOME Applications Menu under:

Applications -> Debian -> Games -> Action -> Geki 2
and
Applications -> Debian -> Games -> Action -> Geki 3

The games can be launched also manually with commands:

geki2

Geki 2 Linux Xenon 2 like game Main Menu

or

geki3
Geki3 gameplay screenshot Debian Linux

Geki 2 is a way closer to Xenon 2 as it has similar look and feel and the same vertical direction the spaceship is navigated.
In Geki 3 still the shoot 'em' up spaceship like arcade is present, however instead of penguin you have to fly a flying penguin, as well as the spaceship move direction is horizontal.

 Both the games have the same sound and music effects. The game music and effects are not of top quality but are not bad. In general  the games surely gives some of the arcade atmosphere.

Geki 2 GNU Linux Xenon 2 like vertical shooter arcade
Geki 2 Xenon 2 Megablast like on Debian Linux

In the tradition of the arcade games at the end of each level in both games you face the Level Boss Enemy, you should destroy.

Geki3 Level boss Debian Linux Screenshot
As you can see in below's screenshot the overall graphics of GEKI 3 is poorer while compared to GEKI 2

still GEKI 2 gampley is fun and addictive and I would say not less enjoyable than GEKI 2.
 At times I even think that Geki 3 is more fun because it is more dynamic.

 Maybe other reason, why I enjoyed more Geki 3 is also the fact that Geki 2 is a way harder to play. Dying only 3 times in the game you get  GAME OVER  and the next game you're started from the beginning of the same level you died in …

Geki2 Linux different shooting Screenshot

 Something really annoying that affects both the games; there is no option to play them in Fullscreen mode! ARGH!

Game controls for Geki2 and Geki3 are identical as follows:

Up - Arrow up key
Down - Down arrow key
Right - Right arrow key
left - Left arrow key
Shoot - z or Space
Pause - s

Geki2 and Geki3 are fun and can kill some time, but definitely aren't that (professional) as other spaceship shoot'em'up arcades for Linux and BSD. Games like Starfighter , Critical Mass or  powermanga .
 Lest that they are two worthy to install and play on your Free Software OS.

Abe’s Amazing Adventure, A Dangerous Dave 2 like GNU Linux / FreeBSD Arcade Game substitute

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Abe's Amazing Adventure Game menu screenshot, A Dangerous Dave like Linux arcade game
While looking over the installable packages in System -> Administration -> Software Center on my my Debian powered notebook, I’ve accidently rolled over a game called Abe’s Amazing Adventure , as a big oldschool arcade game fan, I’ve immediately clicked on Install being impatient to see the overall game atmosphere and gameplay as well as storyline.

Abe’s Amazing Adventure is available under the debian package name abe and can be installed by issuing:

debian:~# apt-get install abe I was pleasently surprised to find out the gameplay and the overall game feels like the golden classical arcade game Dangerous Dave

For youngsters who never played the amazing absolute killing arcade ! as well as for people who feel nostalgic about Dangerous Dave 2 here is a nice gameplay screenshot:

Dangerous Dave 2 screenshot

Here is also a screenshot of Abe’s Amazing Adventure gameplay:

Abes Amazing Adventure Dangerous Dave like Linux / BSD Arcade Game like screenshot

You can see the great resemblense between the two games even by the screenshot; In both games you have to collect keys to open doors and diamonds which gives you points. Of course there are some differences as you can see Abe’s Amazing Adventure ‘s graphics has some additional items like Baloons with which your main character can fly over distances (for a limited time). There is also more diversity in the enemy types you face on the road to unlock the different doors. The game has also a red stars which while taken saves the game so if you quit the game on next game load up starting the game automatically starts you from the last save point.

Abes Amazing Adventure Star gameplay Screenshot on Debian

The ( 6 ) baloons seen in the screenshot on the left upper corner can be used occasionally to fly some distance by pressing Enter .
There are health recovery kits one can take to recover, some health damaged by hitting obstacles on the way.
The game story is short but entertaining, just like the general game feel:

Abes amazing adventure game storyThe game music is relaxing and more or less in the spirit of arcade games, the keyboard interactivety is pretty good as well.One thing I see can be improved to make the game better are the graphics, they’re a bit childish and too cubical, where sometimes some more general characters and obstacles animation will give the game a better look. Anyways for the year 2003 and for a free software arcade the game is not bad. For children and growing kids the game is just perfect, even for big kids like me its good to spend an hour of jump and run fun 😉

Arizona Dream (1993) – Movie Review

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

Just completed Arizona Dream by the famous Serbian director Emil Kosturica. The movie is starring Johny Depp an movie actor I’m not too big fan of.

The movie’s plot is too cracky. It all starts and ends with scenes of some Eskimos, where it progresses and depicts later on an ordinary life of an american fisher.
As movie progresses parts of the life of a successful car sells man comes in place. Axel (Johny Depp) is the main actor. The movie revolves around the sexist element.

Some of the scenes and movie delopment looks quite unexpected. Axel starts living in a place with two beautiful woman (a mother in law and a daguther in law).
The mother in law is famous for her passion to attract and sleep with new young man. Axel fells in love and together they follow a dream of building an airplane which is supposed to be used later on as a mean to kill themselves together and according to Eskimos belief bind together their souls for eternity.
The spiritual concepts of the movie are completely messed up and clearly the movie contains references to multitude of anti-christian ideas.
The movie is generally a bit depressing as the atmosphere one can feel is a jail like. Initially Axel fells in love with the mother in law Ellaine, later on near the movie denouement, he losts his passion for Ellain which is a bit older for his age and fells in love with Grace (which is a way younger and even more attractive).

Grace has a severe problems with feeling of unvalueness and suffers with chronic depression and thus things constantly to kill her self.

Near the end of the movie Axel explains himself in love with Grace (which seems to also be in love with him).
However the ending scenes are too sad as Grace decides finally to kill herself and commits suicide with a gun …

Honestly I expected a way more from the movie and I wouldn’t recommend it as a piece of classics or a movie with some significant value.
The rest of the movies directed by Emil Kosturica seems to be a far more superior and positive than this one.
If you want to save yourself from some insanity just stay away from this cranky movie!

24th May Day of Slavonic Writting and Culture

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

st. Cyril and Methodius Zahari Zograf painted icon from Trojan Monastery from the year 1848

On 24-th of May as an old tradition we in Bulgaria celebrate the Day of Slavonic/Slavic Writting and Culture.

It’s quite of feast, the streets are full of people and everybody wents out to celebrate or have a walk as the whole day atmosphere is extremely cheerful.
Until some years during communism on 24th of may was also a Church feast day of st. Cyril and Methodius, however since some years the Bulgarian Orthodox Church decided to commemorate the two saints on a different date.

However the secular educational tradition of remembering the two saints memory on today’s date next to considering the holiday as the official feast of triumph of educational enlightenment and science is still alive in the primary and secondary schools.
24th of May is also considered as the official day of Bulgarian and Slavonic Writting and Culture.
The two saints Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius are considered to be patron saints protector of all Schools, universities and educational institutions in Bulgaria.
On this date it’s common that a bit of secular icon images of the two saints to be holded in a public schools manifestation, where specially dressed pupils play music with trombones and drums and all teachers and students does a manifestation lined in a column in the streets (this tradition is a hermitage from communistic times as manifestation on major celebrations were a common thing during the communism years, when Bulgaria was part of the USSR).

24th of May public school pupil Manifestation

24th of May is considered maybe the brightest public feast in Bulgaria, even the secular atheist and unbelievers connect the day of 24th May celebrations with St. St. Cyril and Methodius who historically are the founders/inventors of the Slavonic writting letter and thus highly respected among all Orthodox Christian slavonic nations and as far as I know even are being known and venerated in some countries in the Roman Catholic western world (I’ll be glad to hear if some western people who are subscribed to my blog, give some reports if they know the two patron saints of Slavonic Culture.

Many cities in Bulgaria has an official local city feast on 24th of May. Dobrich my home city also marks off it’s public holiday on 24th of May.

Many small and middle sized villages also does celebrate heavily on this date, as the so called (people gatherings / (sbor as we call them in Bulgaria)) are occuring on this date.
On this assemblies, where people goes out to buy stuff, we have a lot of gipsies who sell a various hand-made food as well some gipsies home-made children toys 🙂

It’s very pity I have no picture to show you what kind of bulk stuff the gipsies are selling via an improvised made kiosks especially for the fesat.
The gipsies sales all kind of weird food especially for the holiday like, (pink ice-cream, all colors sugar-cotton and pink cream, pink sugar sticks (shiker as we call it) and a tons of other weird foods you cannot see anywhere else)).
I’m quite convinced that every foreigner will truly enjoy this feast of ours and I recommend, if you’re about to come to Bulgaria to try to be in our country on this feast, it’s truly wild and natural as it is and always was in the bolkans ! 🙂
It’s also traditional on this date of triumph of culture that many cultural events around the country occurs, as well as the traditional folklore performers and dancers perform on the cities centres.

24 May Horo Folklore Dance on a City centre
Horo (Bulgarian Traditional Folklore Dance on a city centre)

To generalize 24-th of May is our greatest and brightest holidays here in Bulgaria, there is some kind of established believe that on this date the weather is always nice. This year this national believe come true, as we have a wonderful sunny day here in Bulgaria :).

Kolya a Czech film drama (my first Czech movie)

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Kolya czech movie cover

Kolya is the first Czech movie, I see. The movie is really good and I would classify it as a really art movie.
It also bears the sad melancholic atmosphere that we hold on the Balkans. The movie might be a hard to grasp one for Western people but would definitely be easily understand by someone who lived in the realms of the USSR.
The movie is also a movie that presents realities of the decaying communism, the times before the year of the fall the Berlin Wall (1989).
What was really worthy and edifying for myself was the sad realities of a falling Union (a false idealistic empire built for more than half a century).

The movie starts with the main actor Louka, a middle-aged Czech man dedicated to music (a cellist funeral crematorium orchestra player and a self-employed cello instructor).
Louka has one major muse which helps him follow his music career, the pursuit of new love and sexual relations with woman.
As the situation with falling-communism is harsh and the economic in the Soviet Union is in downturn this kind of trend is even more seriously felt among people who are in art like Louka.
Most of the movie is happening in Golden Prague (One of the most beautiful cities in the world IMHO).

Louka is working a couple of part time jobs next to his music career in the orchestra in order to be able to pay his daily life and bills, one of his other ways to get extra cash is the gravestone inscriptions.

Even though Louka is trying hard to earn money to pay back his loans and get a normal living, he is unsuccessful in getting enough money to make a decent living.
Suddenly he gets into huge debts which he is not able to pay with his earned money. As Louka is single he is offered by one of his debtors to earn money by a small cheat (a false marriage) with a Russian woman who needs Czech citizenship in order to be able to later travel freely to the western part of Europe.
He is offered 30 000 of Czech crons which for that time is a really solid money, which will allow him to pay back his loans and even get a small car Trabant !

Even though Louka tries his best to resist the temptation to do the criminal marriage at certain point the offered money convince him to accept the offering and he merries the young Russian fictiously.
As marriages of this type are quite common in Czech in this days of communism decay, he lives with the promise by the Russian woman family that they will get divorced after 6 months time.

Louka gets married and gets his money, but just a 2 weeks later the Russian young lady emigrates in Germany to her German lover and leaves her young Russian boy Kolya behind under the care of her old mother.
The old mother being unable to accept the sudden escape of her young Russian daughter, gets insane and enters into a mental hospital.
Since Kolya (who speaks only Russian and has not even basic knowledge of Czech) does not a family to be placed in he is being brought to the apartment of his (father in law) Louka.

Louka enters into an unexpected hardships, where the policy could chase him for the illeagal fictious marriage and even worser with a foreign Russian child.
He has never before had any experience with children, so initially he faces the hell of taking care for a child.
To make things even worser the babushka (mentally unstable grandmother) of Kolya passes away after a heart attack in the Mental hospital.
Now Louka is the only “relative” who according to Czech law has to take care for the 5 year old kid Kolya !
The child suffers from suspected meningitis and has to be placed on a course of carefully monitored antibiotics. Louka is threatened with imprisonment for his suspect marriage …

The movie is a serious drama but is a really touching one as it presents the power of love and how love can change human lives as Louka’s gradual love for Kolya changes him for good.
Kolya is a wonderful piece of art movie and a real achievement for Czech cinema. Since it’s the first Czech movie I see I want to see a lot of more.
In the mean time just watch the movie as it’s a wonderful piece of all-time movie classic.