Posts Tagged ‘sofia bulgaria’

Saint Petka Paraskeva of Bulgaria of Epivates Thracia (famous as St. Petka of Tarnovo) feast day 14 October

Friday, October 16th, 2020


Sveta-Petka-Paraskeva-Bylgarska-Balkanska-Epivatska

The inhabitants of Thracia are of a great and royal origin and due to recent historical studies, Thracians have been one of the most developed nations for its time they're developments and achievements especially in crafts such as vessel creation even up to day are perhaps the most unique.
It is still unknown of the exact technology used to create such a elegant and precise vessels. A little is known of the Thracians society as they have reached their bloom in a high speed and the place of the later Roman Empire province Thracia has been in a place where it was destroyed to the ground and robbed at multiple times eradicating unique piece of one of the best created ever forms of art.
Territories of Thrakia has been geographically today located in Southeast Europe, now split among Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey, which is bounded by the Balkan Mountains to the north, the Aegean Sea to the south, and the Black Sea to the east.

Thrace_and_Thracians-present-day_state_borderlines-picture

Territy of Thracia shown on a contemporary European (Balkans Maps)

World-famous-Thracian-Treasury-picture-1

One of the most famous piece of such art is the World Famous Thracian's Treasuary.

World-famous-Thracian-Treasury-picture

The thrakians Empire and civillization has its bloom from 5th – 4th century before Christ era (B.C.). 
Saint Petka of Epivates region Thrakia was of a Bulgarian origin and lived much later in Xth – XI-th century A.D in Thracia. It is known she was of Bulgarian origin (her mother and father was of Bulgarian origin.) of the first generations who has received in 9-th century Baptism, in the times of the Baptism of Bulgaria conducted by the Apostle equal Saint King Boris I the Baptizer of Bulgaria in year 864 AD.  Thracians as an ancient and a blessed nation in craftship and arts was among the nations who received baptism on a good 'soil', as the seed of beauty and goodness has already been in their civillization.
 

The short Living of Saint Petka of Bulgaria (of Epivates)


Out of this Christian atmosphere has rised Saint Petka also known as (Parashkeva). Saint Petka name means literally translated Friday and due to being born in Thracia on today territory of Balkans she is been venerated highly not only in Bulgaria but across all Orthodox Christians nations on the Balkans – Bulgarians, Romanians, Serbs, Greeks, Macedonians. Due to that Saint Petka is also famous as "Saint Petka of The Bulkans".
Saint Petka could be therefore heard to be called often Petka of Serbs (of Belgrade), Saint Petka of Moldova (of Iași), Mother Paraskeva / ParashkevaParascheva the New, Parascheva the Young, Ancient Greek: Ὁσία Παρασκευὴ ἡ Ἐπιβατινή, Greek: Οσία Παρασκευή η Επιβατινή ή Νέα, Romanian: Cuvioasa Parascheva, Bulgarian / Serbian : Света Петка / Sveta Petka or Петка Параскева / Petka Paraskeva, Paraskeva Pyatnitsa, Parascheva of Tirnovo).

The first information about her living is found in a local educated person (writter) which as of the time were too little and writter  in Greek in short. It did not follow the Church cannons and due to that by an order of Patriarch of Constantinople Nikolas IV Musalon of Constantinople deacon Vaslik has described in a more well systemized way her living, the Greek original unfortunately is now lost. At the time of writting her biography, she has been mostly popular in the realms of Byzantine Empire Thracia.

Bulgarian-Empire-under-King-Ivan-Asen-II-map-1917

The Bulgarian Empire during the reign of Ivan Asen II. Atlas of Dimitar Rizov year 1917

Since the time of King Ivan Asen II a new biogprahy of saint has been written in Bulgarian which included narration of the transfer of her holy relics to Medieval Capital of Bulgaria Tarnovo. However peak and the key towards the immerse veneration to St. Petka that is evident to this very date has played the biography written by last Bulgarian Patriarch also a saint – st. Euthymius of Tarnovo. in year 1385 AD short before the fall under Turkish Slavery of Bulgaria in y. 1393.

Saint Patriarch Eutymious was the last person who in 1393 has actively parcipated in the protection of the fortified Tarnovo and see with his eyes the fall down of the city (by treachery).

When asked by the terrified people 'To whom do you leave us holy father, when the Turkish were taking him away?' He replied heart tearingly 'To the Holy Trinity The Father, The Son and The Holy Trinity our God I leave you and to the most Blessed Mother of God Theotokos now and For Eternity !!!'

Saint-Patriarch-Eutymious-the-last-Blessing-picture-sveti_Evtimij_seten_blagoslov

Saint Patriarch Eutymius (Evtimij) blessing the people in Medieval Bulgarian city Tarnovo for a last time before the Turkish took him away for imprisonment
Picture source Pravoslavieto.com

St Euthymius of Tarnovo work is one of the most unique bibliographies and a precious piece of medieval literature it is innovative for its time and spectacular, emotion rich creation, who become famous far before the borders of Bulgaria in the whole Slavonic world of that time, especially in todays territory of ex soviet countries Romania, Moldova, Ukraine and even far Russia.

Saint_Patriarch-Eutymius-last-bulgarian-patriarch-before-Turkish-Slavery

Saint Patriarch Eutymious of Bulgaria
Picture source Pravoslavieto.com

The veneration of Saint Petka of Bulgaria as a protector of family and a warm prayerer for all those who venerate her in this country has slowly spread in the coming centuries by pupils of St. Euthymius of Tarnovo who according to some historians whose works came to us in the form of the a bit more standardized Church Slavonic used in the Eastern Orthodox Churches as a fruit of the works of St. Euthymus.

The Living of Saint Petka Parashkeva

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Saint Petka Parashkeva Picture source Pravoslavieto.com

Tropion 4-th voice

 Desertous and silent living you loved after Christ your groom, diligently you ran to and his good yoke you took in your younghood,
with the Sign of the Cross against the thought enemies you have manly armed, with fasting feats and prayer and with tear drops the coals of passions extinguished oh highly famed Paraskevo. And now in the Heavenly halls with the wise virgins you stay in front of Christ, pray for us who venerate your holy remembrance.

Kontakion, voice 6

Let us piusly sung our reverend  mother Saint Petka, because by living the corruptable in live, received the imperishable in eternity, becoming holy intercessor for all in trouble and exhausting from the evils of life. For the reason she received from God imperishable fame, glory and grace to be a wonder worker.

Sveta-Petka-Zakrilnica-Bylgarska-Saint_Petka-Protectress-of-Bulgarian-lands

NB ! St. Petka of Epivates has not to be confused with Saint Petka (from Inokia who lived in 303 AD venerated on 28 of October) or  St Petka the Roman (feast day 26 July).

St. Petka's  has been born in city of Epivates in Byzantium (today city called Selim Pasha nearby Odrin's Aegian City) in 10-th Century from a famous and respectful family, her father Nikita has been very rich landowner.

She lived in the second part of X-th century. According to hear living by Patriarch Eutymious, her smaller brother Eutymious who become a monk has been a Metropolitan of Maditos for 40 years and in year (989 – 996) died aged 81 and is shortly after canonized as saint, his younger sister St. Paraskeva passed away after him in the new 11-th century and is aged at least 85 in the time of passing in the city of Kallikrateia. 

The living continues that near the age of 10 year old she heard in a Christian temple a voice by Jesus Christ himself in resemblance to Saint Apostle Paul and said the Evangelical New Testamental words:
"Whoever wants to walk after me, let him deny himself, to take his cross and follow me !".

The unexpected vision convinced the young Paraskeva to immediately exchange her new clothes to a beggers to leave all her belongings to the poor and live a silent living similarto begger for a time in work and prayer, though she did not leave her parents home. On a few occasions all she had worked for has been distributed to the poor.

Sveta-Petka-Bylgarska-Balkanska

Greek typical depiction of Saint Petka of Epivates

When her parents died, her brother as already a monk and Bishop. St. Petka leave her house and travelled to Constanople and received a nun tonsure and as a nun she lived for 5 years near the deserted Church of the "Protection of the Virgin Mary" in the capital suburb of Heraklia. She travelled to the Holy lands visiting Jerusalem and Church of Holy Sepulchre.
Following the example of the blessed famed Saint Mary of Egypt, she lived in Jordan's desert many years till eldership.

Feeling and foreseeing her death, she travelled back through Constantinople to city of Epivates. Settle near the Church "Holy Apostles", where after 2 years of living in deep prayer and fasting labours living in solitary in holiness passed away silently to Christ in heavenly life. Compassionate Christians immediately buried her body of the nun outside of the city walls as a foreigner. A shortly after numerous miracles started happening on her grave.

St_Petka-Parashkeva-Epivatska-Klisura_Monastery_Holy_Icon

Saint Petka Parashkeva Bulgarian Icon from Klisura Monastery located nearby Sofia Bulgaria

In 1230 King Ivan Asen II the most powerful South-eastern European ruler demanded from the the Knights of the Crusaders to submit him her holy relics who are found still in Tracian city Kaliakratea ruled at that time by the Holy Latin Empire. King Ivan Asen II together with the patriach Joachim the first receives her holy relics with honor and settles her incorruptabilities into the newly creates Church in honour of herself St. Petka behind Tsarevets Fortress. Saint Petka became from that point considered as a protectress of the city, the throne and the country.
Her holy relics arrived from Kallikrateia in Tarnovo, the Capital of Second Bulgarian Empire in year 1230 AD, she has been thus called Paraskeva of Tarnovo and has been venerated as a protectress of the Tarnovo city the Bulgarian nation and the country. The attitude towards Saint Petka Tarnovska as a protectress of Bulgarian nation and contry is been clearly seen by the mention in the Bulgarian and International acts (documents) and manuscripts of that XII – XII century.

Saint_Petka-Epivatska-Bylgarska-Romanian-in-Iashi-Romania-veneration-of-romanian-monks

Romanian Monks and Priests venerate the holy relics of Saint Petka of Epivates in Iashi Romania

In subsequent years, St. Petka Paraskevi’s holy relics were transferred to various churches in the region.

In 1393 due to the fall of Bulgarian capital to save them her holy relics were transferred to fortress of Bdin today city of Vidin Bulgaria, but 3 years later 1396 Vidin's fortress also fall under the ungodly yatagan of  the muslim enslaver and to protect the relics they were again transferred to Belgrade, specifically the Ružica Church. When Belgrade fell to Ottoman forces in 1521, the relics were transferred to Constantinople. In 1641, the relics were transferred to Trei Ierarhi Monastery, in Iaşi, Moldavia (nowadays, eastern part of Romania). In 1888, they were transferred to the Metropolitan Cathedral of Iaşi.

Since 1888 they are kept in Romanian city of Iaşi and are a target of pilgrims from all around Romania, Bulgaria and other Orthodox Christian countries of the Balkans. For the day her memory is remembered in the Romanian Church usually about 200 000 people mostly from Romania and others travel to Iaşi's Cathedral in the Trei Ierarhi Monastery (Three Hierarchs – saint John Crysostom, St. Basilius the Great and St. Gregory the Great) of the  for a blessing and to beg the saint for her families, personal issues, curings especially of eye diseases

A severe drought in 1946-47 affected Moldavia, adding to the misery left by the war. Metropolitan Justinian Marina permitted the first procession featuring the coffin containing the relics of Saint Paraskevi, kept at Iaşi since then. The relics wended their way through the drought-deserted villages of Iaşi, Vaslui, Roman, Bacău, Putna, Neamţ, Baia and Botoşani Counties. The offerings collected on this occasion were distributed, based on Metropolitan Justinian's decisions, to orphans, widows, invalids, school cafeterias, churches under construction, and to monasteries in order to feed the sick, and old or feeble monks.

In the historical document with Venezia as of (year 1347), King Ivan Alexander of Bulgaria swears in the name of most holy considered matters, the document says – quote "in the name of God, The Most Holy Theotokos, The Holy Cross and The Most Holy Paraskeva of Tarnovo".

 
Since Second Bulgarian Kingdom, St. Petka has been venerated as a main patroness and protector of Bulgarian nation and country, protectress of countries of Moldova, Romania and Bulgarian cities of Veliko Tarnovo, Gabrovo and Troyan.

In Bulgaria it is an old tradition to name our childs in favour of Saint Petka, my grand-grand mother God Forgive us has also been called Parashkeva in favor of Saint Petka.

Holy Mother Petka Paraskeva (Parashkevo) Pray the Lord Jesus Christ to have mercy on All us the sinners !

Trip from Sofia Bulgaria to Minsk Belarus through Warsaw and how to issue VISA for Belarus

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

 

I had to travel from Sofia to Minsk to be a guest to my beloved girlfriend Svetlana, thus I needed as cheap ticket as possible to reach there. Sofia Minsk is not very common destination especially in Winter, Spring and Summer, because Summer Tourist season is not still opened. I checked for all possibilities to reach the capital of Belarus. Since Bulgaria is in European Union and Belarus is in alliance with Russia and Ukraine. Bulgarian and rest of EU citizens need to issue VISA for Belarus, just like Belarusian citizens needs to have VISA for their summer holidays in Bulgaria.

In order to reach Belarus, I first needed Приглашение / Priglashenie (Invitation) from Belarusian citizen. My beloved girlfriend Svetlana issued one for me and sent it via Belarusian Post Services. In order for VISA to come over post it took about 12 working days. Once I had the Invitation in my hands I had to go to Belarusian Embassy, bring invitation, fill up some documents and pay VISA taxes which as of time of writing this post costs 60 EUR for issuing one person private VISA.

Application of Priglashenie I received over post looks like in picture below:

To have the VISA issued I had to bring my "Red" International (Foreign) Passport to Belarusian Embassy together with Recent Photos of mine. In Russian Embassy in Bulgaria photo is made and paid directly in Embassy with Belarusian Embassy this is not so, so I had to manually take new photo and bring those photo to embassy, I learned that first time I was in Embassy.

Photos had to be in special format (size) a bit different from the standard for accepted for most International VISA photos – at least this is what I was told in Studio where I went to make Photos. A note to make here is Belarus has only one embassy in Bulgaria located in Sofia and as far as I researched though Russia and Belarus are in union it is not possible to issue Belarusian VISA in Russian Embassy in city of Varna or Plovdiv.

Once photos were ready I bring them together with my Passport and had to leave them in Embassy. My visa was issued to be maximum of 90 days but unfortunately I could make it only for 45 days, because my International Passport is expiring in August and there is a rule that you cannot have the VISA issued for date longer than 3 months until Foreign Passport Expires. You can find website of Belarusian Embassy in Bulgaria here. Application form to print and fill in and hand in Belarusian Embassy for request of VISA is here.

Contact information of Belarusian Embassy in Bulgaria is:
 

 

Postal Address of the Embassy:

1505, Sofia, area «Reduta», «Nikola Karadjov» str. Building 3

Phone: (+359 2) 971 95 28, 971 71 31

Phone/Fax: (+359 2) 973 31 00

e-mail: bulgaria@mfa.gov.by

To issue me VISA I had to leave my Foreign Passport in Embassy and took it back after about 1 week and half (10 days or so). Issued VISA is not on a separate Application like VISAs for Dubai for Example but is directly sticked inside Passport;

Issued Belarusian Visa for Bulgarian citizen specimen I had my VISA issued for 45 days starting from 1 of April (as filled in app. form), ending in 15 of May.

Once having the VISA, the next question come what will be best way to travel from Bulgaria to Belarus. I did quite a research on this topic until decide with what to travel. There are 3 variants (bus, train or airplane). Distance between Belarus capital Minsk and my hometown Dobrich is only 1508 KM. Sofia is a bit far so distance Between two capitals is 1870 KM.
I call to check for bus price as I saw on the Internet some offers to travel with bus and though it seemed to be most cheap about 250 euro (two way ticket) after calling the agency contact found on the net, they told me this bus line is closed (probably working only in Summer because of the bigger number of Belarusian tourists travelling to BG). Option with train was also impossible for the reason Train line
Black Sea Coast -> Minsk operates only in Summer for months . (June – August).
Hence the only way to ravel left was by plain. I checked on Plain tickets and some recommendations on cheap ways to travel to from European Union to Belarus.
My first idea was to fly from Sofia to Lithuania Capital Vilnius and from there to take bus to Minsk as bus goes to Minsk for 3 hours or so. I checked low cost flights from Wizzair as I always try to fly with them for their cheap prices but unfortunately they don't have destination Sofia -> Vilnius. I checked other companies for same destination and found only tickets from LuftHansa, the ticket however was too expensive and I had to change two airplanes something I very much wanted to avoid, cause I hate so much the airport Laggage checks / Scanning moment. Two way ticket to Vilnius costed about 400 EUR with taxes and included a flight trhrough Vienna airport or through Germany and included few hours waiting on airports which doesn't sound well at all. I checked then the variant to fly to Kiev but again it was very expensive plus Ukraine is not in EU and thus I didn't wanted to risk. Though officially as I've red Bulgarians are permitted to travel and stay in Ukraine without VISA for 90 days period I didn't wanted to try my luck. Other option was to fly from Sofia to Minsk using 1 airplane change in Vienna or Moscow. I contacted airport in Moscow to ask whether I can fly Sofia -> Moscow -> Minsk with my Belarusian Visa but unfortunately to fly through Moscow Scheremetyevo I need a transit VISA which costs some money and moreover Scheremetyevo is enormous airport and I guessed it will be hard for me to orientate there and will bring me too much stress. Third variant which I liked best was to Fly from Sofia -> Warsaw and from there travel by bus to Bus Station Dworec Zahodnyi (West Warsaw Bus Station) and travel with Bus international line Warsaw -> Minsk. I decided to stop on this option and reserved fly ticket Sofia -> Warsaw. Flight date was 20th of Apr 14:40, ticket reserved with Polish Airlines (LOT).

Departure was from Sofia Terminal 2 – in Sofia we have two terminals (The Old one Terminal 1 and new one Terminal 2). All times I flight so far from Sofia airport was from Terminal 1 so this time it was my first time from the bigger and much newer and modern Terminal 2.

Sofia International airport Bulgaria newer Terminal2

My dear friend Mitko (Nomen), leave me by his car to airport and then I checked-in.

Sofia airport SA logo and building Terminal 2

I could bring up to 20 KG with me, ticket costed 326 EUR because I reserved it a bit late (8 days before flight), moreover Sofia -> Warsaw is not very common flight destination from Bulgaria, as not much of Bulgarian citizens live in Poland.

Sofia airport courtesy Terminal 1

The ticket included also a meal and cold-drinks so this also added a bit to high ticket price. Flight was on a very little airplane and though scheduled for 14:40, flight was late and we were in plain about 14:50 and airplane take off around 15:00. By the way the airplane was the smallest one I ever traveled with so far with, very very small one. I think the pilot  was quite professional or the reason was the small plane size but anyways the landing was amazingly smooth. In Warsaw the airport is maybe a bit bigger than Terminal 2 but in general it was easy to orientate take luggage and go out very quickly. The luggage come quite quickly I had to wait for it only few minutes. Then I went directly to bus station and rided on BUS number 175 (there is second possibility to take bus 188) both go to Dworec Centralni Avtogara (Central Bus Station). According to prior instructions I red on the internet it was said to go to bus station Pomnik Lotnika. I tried with this but unfortunately the information to go down on Pomnik Lotnika and took bus 523 is obsolete now. And in order to reach Dw. Zahodny you need to go directly to Dw. Centralni with bus nr. 188 or 175 and then go through a subway on left side and wait on bus station for bus nr. 123 or 125 (not sure the exact nr.). Then Dw. Zahodnyi is only 6 / 7 stops away, I asked some people in English and thanksfully some Polish speak English or at least I can partially understand what they say because their language is close to Russian and Bulgarian. BTW it is very interesting for me as I can understand plenty of what is written on small shops in bus etc. On Dworec Zahodniy Avtogara stop after going down from bus I had to take left direction and in 2 minutes walk it is the West bus Station. There I asked on information if they can give me information whether there is bus Warsaw -> Minsk. The man in kiosk was not speaking English but fortunately he speaks Russian, so I was able to understand I should go out of bus station and stay on the left Pilon waiting for Bus Warsaw -> Minsk. Bus came in 18:30 just like written on the Internet the Bus company was called "ВизитТурс / VisitTurs". I had 1 hr and half to wait for it cause was little earlier on Bus Station. The Platform Nr. Bus stopped is Platform 10.
Just for info for otheres who like to catch such bus on the Internet I read there are bus-es traveling to Minsk  every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday in times varying from 18:30 / 19:00 / and 21:00. While waiting for the bus I meet two ppl from Kazakhstan waiting for another bus for Vilnius and had a good chat with them about situation in Kazakhstan  and Bulgaria. I took also a quick meal – from bus station on price even cheaper than Bulgaria (about 2.5 leva – 1.25 euro). In bus all was fine, they took my luggage I placed myself and waited to issue me ticket. I didn't have Zloty (The Polish currency) in me and only euro and at first the bus driver was not happy with that but then he agreed I pay in euro so all went fine. The bus had 2 or 3 quick 15 minutes Rests. Overall travel with Bus from Warsaw Minsk took about 10 hrs, because of some delay and while checking documents on Belarusian Border. As it is normal with crossing Borders by Bus they checked our documents twice once on Polish Border and then on Belarusian one. After crossing Belarusian Border, right after entering the Border Control Police man give me a tiny application form to fill in with information about my stay in Belarus. As well as I had to go to one small kiosk to create Insurance for me (Insurance for month costs 12 EURO). Making the policy took only few minutes, then we had to go down from Bus with our laggage and we waited on a queue with rest of Belarusians to check our documents. This took about 40-50 minutes. Thanksfully all went normal we were back in bus around 3:00 and arrived in Minsk about 07:00. I didn't have Belarusian Rubles (RBL) so I had to change to take a taxi. I asked one person with my bad Belarusian, where from there is a Change Bureau and on my way to it met another Belarusian who was calling for people looking for transportation to some street in Minsk. I spoke a bit with me and offered to change my EURO, changed me 20 euro for 200 000 B. RBL. He was kind enough to call for me a Taxi. He said I should wait for his friend who will bring me to the address I was looking for. I went to a car which was not officially a taxi but just a guy who will bring me to the destionation. In 25 minutes time was to address ul. Kalinovskogo, Dom (block) 93, apr. 43. Here in Belarus all was new for me. My first impressions were Traffic Lights which were unusually thin if compared to ones we have in Bulgaria and rest of EU.

Minsk unusually thin Traffic Lights picture / Unique Traffic Lights

On my way to address I was impressed by a big magnificient Orthodox Church in construction.

orthodox church All saints cHRISTIAN church in construction Minsk Belarus and wooden orthodox church

I was also striked that everywhere all advertisements and everything was in cyrillic. Some in Russian and some in Belarusian Language. Something noticable was also the street was very clean, the construction of most of Buildings were in style of communist countries with (Panel Blocks) just like it used to be in BG when we had communism.

Minsk Panelnij dom panel block Minsk - typical construction for Minsk remains from Communism

Тhough newer constructions looked very modern and very much imitated constructions from Western Europe.

Minsk ZamyK Trade Center Korona one of most modern Minsk Buildings

Something else noticable is here they continued building using (Block Panels) many buildings as I can see some buildings still in construction. It was clear that the city has good infrastructure (transportation system), much better than one I expected as well the country has a functional economy. Bus-es seem like very much a copy of Bus-es in Holland, actually a lot of the things I saw in Minsk seem like copying Holland and Germany.

Minsk transportation by Bus Maz bus

On my way I saw plenty of University buildings, clear sign that education in Belarus meaning education here is on good high level. The most impressing building I saw so far is the building of Minsk National Library.

New National library awesome building Belarus Minsk

Unquestionably this is amazing construction, I had the opportunity on my first day when in Belarus go there and see the old books stored. Amazingly there are books ancient books starting from 10th century onwards. Most of the books were Church books, Ancient Gospels, Faith Codexes plenty of artifacts. There were of coursesome books remains from communism. Something noticable in Minsk is the amount of policy probably in number of times more than in countries in European Union. Since I'm few days already in Belarus I had the chance to see Minsk's Metro which is probably one of city's attractions. In general the Metro was quite cool, there are plenty of communist slogans and statues remains but it looks normal and almost modern.
The feeling in Metro Station is very industrial, as even from going inside the Metro Subway there is a thin smell of machine oil 🙂

Minsk Belarus Metro transportation Uruch

The metro is accessed by using electronic access card similar to old bank (tape cards). Using Metro and bus inside Minsk is very easy. The city is a strange combination of modern culture with communist spirit remains. Though the city is enormous (2 000 000 million population), all seems very relaxed compared to Bulgaria for instance. As far as I interacted with people, I can say people are kind and helpful and very hospitable. A lot of people in Minsk as far as I can see are religious and civilized. Though I've heard people talk about information eclipse in Belarus, I've seen plenty of people who dress very modern like in western countries. I've seen plenty using E-books, Pads and various tech gadgets so it seems technological development of Belarus is on a normal European level. In general what I see here seems much better than what I expected priorly. There is plenty of more things to write which I will probably do in coming days. So far I hope this little article will help someone who needs basic information on traveling from Sofia to Minsk.

It is curious that Bulgarian and Belarusian people have common root as Pre-historic Bulgarians used to be one nation with Pre-Historic Belarusian. Similarity is visible even to now as there are plenty of common words matching or very similar between Bulgarian and Belarusian. More over later from 9th to 12th century Bulgariaused to be Empire and spread near to territory of Belarus. Similarity between Bulgarians and Belarusians is also visible even in country flag colors and country names Bul-garia (ar) / Bel-arus (ar). Even on a country flag level we share the same colors (white / green / red) in different order.

bulgaria national flag similar to Belarusian (white, green, red)

Bulgaria National Flag

Bulgarian national flag similar to Belarusian (red, green, whtie)

Belarus National flag

As a conclusion I should say Belarus and Minsk looks like a lovely normal modern country no matter the bad rumors we hear on the news that they're communist or ruled by a (Dictator) President Lukashenko. Oh one last thing, if you're in Belarus try to avoid to speak bad things or jokes for Lukashenko. As far as I heard there is plenty of tab devices virtually everywhere. Speaking against Lukashenko or the government might lead you to problems with Militia (Police) or even send you in Jail 🙂
 

A flight from Eindhoven, Holland to Sofia, Bulgaria Terminal 1 – Few first impressions

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

Eindhoven Airport Netherlands Holland - Sofia wizzair flight picture

The day before yesterday I flight back from Eindhoven to Sofia Bulgaria. Thanks God I had a safe flight with a low cost ticket bought from Wizzair. I spend the last 4 months in Holland so I had some impressions still from Holland. There was no huge culture-shock after landing but of course there was new impressions as well as I haven't been in Bulgarian shops and among Bulgarians so I felt the culture difference.

In Bulgaria, even from the very beginning of landing and getting out from the Sofia Airport (SA), everything was very, very simple, an ATM few information and hire taxi kiosk desks, arriving passengers standing that's all. I had to wait for a friend (Mitko), to pick me up from airport cause he kindly accepted me to sleep in his apartment like always (for which I'm mostly thankful!). During waiting in Terminal 1 (Sofia Airport has Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 (old and new terminal – and terminal 1 is the old one), there was few things that impressed me. First it was the waiting-room. If compared to Eindhoven's airport Gateway waiting-room and lodge was dirty also it was funny noone take care for green decoration plants with started withering :).

Sofia Airport Terminal 1 passengers arrival
There was a coffee / tea vending machine with a bit of expensive prices for Bulgaria standards (2 lv – 1 euro) – for foreigners it is very cheap. however as the main people stream is Bulgarians I think 2 lv is a bit high, so in my view if they just make it 1 lv much more will buy and hence the company that placed the Vending machine will generate more revenues. In terminal 1, thanks God there was a Toilet, which of course was little dirtier than toilet in Eindhoven (in Bulgaria – it seems investments for hygiene are very cut due to the crisis). It seems a bit idea even though the crisis, that people managing Sofia airport decide to invest money in cleaning, hygiene is essential since it is the first impression for Bulgaria arrivels gets. If Bulgaria has to be a good tourist destination as it is often advertised in many European TVs it is good foreigners leave with good impression. I bring out my laptop in hope to use some internet, but though there was two open Networks one of which Vivacom, I couldn't connect to none of them. Well from one side it is good, because we don't allow open hole for Hackers or abusers to use the internet for bad. Also it is my presonal opinion that not encouraging excessive use of internet is not necessery and destructs real communication between people. I was asked on a few occasions if I need taxi or a cheap bus for 6 lv leading to bus center and I rejected cause I was about to be taken by my dear friend Mitko. The attitude of people in Bulgaria was also evident, not so smiling and happy like western europeans but this is normal, since the economy of Bulgaria is almost unworking and about 23% percent sadly in my home land are jobless and even the working are working for a money enough just for basic survival.

Sofia Bulgaria one of the Most Ancient cities in Central Europe – the History of Europe

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Many Bulgarians might be striken to find out, today's territory of Bulgaria and on the balkans is in practice one of the ancient inhabitant territories in Europe. Sofia or Serdika, Sredets as the old name of Sofia used to be part of Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire), then of pre-Christian Bulgaria, after Christianization of Bulgaria part of the Bulgarian Empire and then after the fall of Bulgaria under turkish yoke part of Ottoman's Turkish Empire. Maybe surprisingly for many Western Europeans the city of Sofia, happened to be one of the ancient cities important for Christianity as it had a Bishop standing and a strong Christian community since 3rd century A.D. Even until today Sofia has kept its city design which is made in a Roman fashion. Hope this little video unusually made by British will shed up some light to people interested in Ancient Christian history. Enjoy 🙂

 

Sofia Bulgaria, one of the most ancient cities in Europe – the History of Europe