Ancient history first drew us to explore Bulgaria and then we found much more. Thracian kings once ruled this land of mountains, valleys, rivers and the western Black Sea shore where archaeologists say European civilization began! The oldest man-made gold object in the world, dated about 4,500 B.C., was found near Varna on the Black Sea. Inland, Stara Zagora has a museum built over the clay remains of a duplex house dated 5,500 B.C. In the Valley of the Kings and Roses are tombs, some with exquisite paintings, made of rock and covered in dirt. Nearby museums display beautiful gold and silver objects from the tombs. More
Author Archives: Evelyn Weliver
Driving in beautiful Sicily is a challenge. The scenery is distracting — temples on top of hills, wild flowers everywhere, trees bright with lemons and oranges and roads along the Mediterranean. But directional signs? Well, that is a story! There are five choices: right, wrong, ambiguous, missing or can’t pick them out from the other twenty on the same post as you go past. “I can’t stop,” says Del, “there is traffic.” “Well I can’t see it.” So we go on, turn around and try it again. We did a lot of that. More
Snowmobiles are zipping past our house on the frozen lake, icicles are hanging from the roof, the barometer says “sunny,” but it’s not! It is the first week of March when a cold snap usually hits. This year it is just continuing. I am sure the skiers are happy.
Wildlife is moving about. A mostly black skunk, fur fluffed out, hurried across our snowy yard at 7 a.m. this week. Later in the day we drove into Traverse City. Cresting a hill we had to stop for 30 big, brown wild turkeys sauntering across the road. They were leaving a patch of scraggly sunflowers for a field of weeds and seeds. This is the level of our excitement these days. More
Useful little donkeys, wildflowers beneath olive orchards, roses at the end of vineyard rows, these are snapped through the bus or car window with our cameras set to “action” or “sport” mode. The picture quality is not always sharp, but it helps capture the flavor of what we see. Other images remain in our mind’s eye, influencing our total picture of the country.
At the end of the day we pass a man walking home with his donkey loaded with sticks for the fire that heats his home. (Please click on the pictures to enlarge them.) More
It is snowing and blowing this afternoon. Christmas music is playing while I wrap presents on the ironing board. I found an apple pie in the freezer and popped it in the oven so the house is filled with the aroma of apple pie baking. The oven has warmed the kitchen, normally cold when winter’s east wind blows. My world is cozy and peaceful this afternoon. More
My husband I will give the travelogue “Bulgaria: Ancient Culture, Beautiful Land” as part of the Benzonia Academy Lecture Series at 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8. This will be at the Benzie Area Historical Museum (the old church) 6941 Traverse Ave, Benzonia. Call 882-5538 for information.
We have been traveling this fall, collecting pictures and stories to share in articles and in this blog from Bulgaria, northern Greece and Turkey. There will be more blog writing, I haven’t forgotten this, but there is much to sort through and organize.
In the meantime we would love to meet you on Thursday and share stories and pictures from Bulgaria! More
These pictures of northern Michigan are a salute to our beautiful world in late August. Fathers are hooking up trailers to leave the state parks, cars from North Dakota, Ohio, Maine and Ontario are heading home. Parents and children are shopping for back-to-school clothes, evening comes earlier, the nights are crisp and sunrise is later. Yes, summer is coming to an end. Hopefully, there are many good memories to help students write essays titled, “What I Did This summer.” (Click on photos to enlarge them.) More
Hot mineral springs in Bulgaria have attracted people for thousands of years. The Thracians (the early people of Bulgaria), Romans and Ottomans have enjoyed their healing and relaxing properties for millennia. We think that people called them holy springs because of their curative aspects.
Many people find spa and balneology treatments beneficial and they are available in Bulgaria from Sofia to the Black Sea where there are special health centers. There are over 1,600 springs, hot and cold, with various minerals. Some spas work with curative mud. Aroma therapy using mountain herbs and flowers is very relaxing in a mountain setting. More
Travel connects people and countries in many different ways. Recently we have been picking Michigan blueberries with friends and that got me to thinking about the many places we have picked or eaten blueberries, a plant that can be tame and tall or wild and small.
It grows five feet tall, pampered and irrigated in a sunny patch surrounded by woods near us where I took my small children to pick 40 years ago. In the cool, early morning the dew glistened on the violet berries and the birds sang from the woods. My two year old son liked to pick just the ones as big as the end of his thumb, which he promptly ate. He found these by walking under the arching branches. My 4-year-old daughter, hair in pigtails, diligently tried to fill her plastic milk jug tied about her waist, but she and I popped quite a few berries into our mouths, too. I baked the remaining berries into pies. More
Emphasizing a different word each time you read the title will help you understand what I felt when I looked at my plate of spaghetti. Were those little eyeballs? And tendrils of what? “How am I going to eat this?” I was hungry, too, well, not so much after I looked at the plate. Across the table, Del had a robust plate of spaghetti with meat sauce.