The tables are filling with people as we walk from the museum and church into the village’s central square. We learn that our group of nine is invited to eat with the secretary of the cultural house and her family! Long tables are set up along the edges of the street and in front of the buildings. The September day is delightful with blue sky and white clouds, clean valley air, 70 degrees and laughter filling the air. More
Tag Archives: travel
Grapes are an integral part of life in Bulgaria, from ancient times to the present, as we shall see in the rural life of Goranovtsi Village, Part II.
In Part I our small tour group explores the Hristo Botev Cultural House, Goranovtsi, Bulgaria, enjoying a warm and friendly welcome from its secretary, president and others. Iva, our translator, is kept busy relaying information about the weaving, folk costumes and daily living items. Alex, our guide, distributes hand-woven shoulder bags as gifts from the cultural house people. More
Driving through Bulgaria’s hilly countryside in our small tour bus, one fine September morning, Alex (our tour guide) says to us (via Iva our translator), “We have a special treat for you today. The village we are going to is celebrating its name day with a feast and dancing. We are invited as guests of the Hristo Botev Cultural House!” More
Liquid gold spills across the calm lake as the sun rises. Yesterday the wind was shaking trees, pelting the deck with beech nuts, breaking their bristly shells and scattering nuts. The driveway and lanes are covered with rich brown acorns, rolling and crunching as we walk on them. It is October and fall is here. I find it a time to reflect, to enjoy the harvest of apples and grapes and to walk in the woods whether they be calm or in windy turmoil. More
and soaking up the last bits of summer has been my goal the last few weeks. I’m storing up inside me images of sunflowers, summer harvest, green shaded paths, birds on crystal clear lakes, deep blue skies; the smells of sun-dried grasses and warm pine wood; the sounds of grass hoppers, crickets and cicadas. Through the summer the roadsides have been graced with white daises that are replaced by Queen Anne’s lace, dainty yellow, star-shaped flowers are replaced by golden rod; fresh green and brown cattails now have the green turning ochre. The purple has faded from the meadows, maples in swampy areas are turning red, the sun is riding lower in the sky and shadows are lengthening —September has arrived. (Click on the pictures to enlarge them.) More
There’s a lion hanging by its tail from our refrigerator! It was caught in a clothes pin magnet and placed there by our 3-year-old grandson. Discovering the world through the open mind and eyes of a curious 3-year-old is a wonderful process. They are masters of living in the present, of trying new activities, of asking questions and using their imaginations. They are full of love. If we, as adults, can keep these attributes throughout our lives, we will indeed be rich in many ways. More
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
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