Sunday, December 28, 2014

Surva surva year! Happy new year!

     With the approaching of the New Year's Eve I started to think of all the things that I used to do in this period of the year when I was a child. Here is one that I really like.

     Have you heard of "survakane"? It is an old Bulgarian custom, still preserved today. It is taking place on 1st of January or as we call this day of the year - "Vasilov den".

     The ritual consists in rhythmically tapping someone's back with specially prepared for this purpose "survachka" - a decorated cornel twig. In return "survakaria"- the person performing the ritual, who usually is a young boy between 8 and 15 years-old, is receiving traditional gifts like bread, wine, dried fruits, nuts, bacon, etc. While performing the ritual there are also magical words that the "survakaryat" have to say - wishes for happiness, health, fruitful year and wealth.

  To make "survachka" you simply need a cornel twig. You can find it in almost every Bulgarian local market. Then decorate it with woolen threads, popcorns, dried fruits, small buns, dried peppers etc. And here is your own survachka!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas ArTBoX 2014 - Are you ready for Christmas?

Are you ready for Christmas? 

If  you still haven't found Christmas presents for your friend and you are still looking for ideas.. and if you happen to be in Sofia this weekend... you are more than welcome to visit this year's Christmas ArtBox bazaar. 

Time and place:

20 December 2014 from 11:00 to 20:00 ch.- Language school Iberica (gr. Sofia,. "Bratya Miladinovi" 10)
21 December 2014 from 12:00 to 20:00. - Art Club Sofia (gr. Sofia, ul. "Tsar Ivan Asen II" 6)

Here are some of the many surprises waiting for you! You can find more information on the Christmas ArTBoX 2014 facebook page.

On our workshop, which will take place on 20 December between 11:30 and 12:30 we will show you how to make a beautiful snow globe from recycle jars! 

     I would like to say thank you to my sister Neli Tsonova, for the fantastic photos and for her help! She is not only a photographer but she is also an artist. 

     Here are some of her art pieces that you can see as well on the Christmas ArtBox this weekend:

Friday, September 12, 2014

Welcome to my kitchen - traditional bulgarian recipes from Botevo village

       For the lovers of the traditional meals here are two local dishes from Botevo village that you have to try: fried beans with eggs and chicken with peppers and garlic.

     Fried Beans with eggs : First you need to boil the beans in salty water. It's recommendable to change the water once or twice before you continue. You can add all kind of vegetables like peppers, onion, tomatoes, even carrots. Take a large pan, put some oil and when it's hot add one or two spoons of flour and paprika, keep siring and at the same time start adding from the beans' soup until you it's well mixed. Then you add all of the rest of the boiled beans. Finally when it's almost ready if you want add 3 or 4 eggs and leave it without stirring on low heat until they are cooked.

     Chicken with peppers and garlic: For the second dish you will need chicken. Cut the meat into small pieces and fry it in a pan. You can prepare the the red peppers in advance. Put them in the oven until they are well baked. Then you can can easily remove the peelings and the seeds. Cut them too into small pieces. At the end put together the fried chicken and the peppers together, add some chopped garlic and parsley, some oil and sаlt and stir. I am also adding tomato salsa and Bulgarian cheese :). Bon Appétit!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Camping in Greece

      For me one of the best places to go camping is Greece. It's not so far away from Bulgaria and there are many places where you can spend your vacation.

      Camping Kouyoni is a very nice place in the hart of Halkidiki. It's located 75 km southeast of Thessaloniki on the beach of Gerakini. You can take advantage of it's perfect location to visit some other nice places around.

      Here are some photos capturing the incredible view from the road just after the city of Nikiti.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

In the garden

      Have you ever tasted something more delicious than the fruits and the vegetables from your own garden? This is the biggest advantage of having a house in the countryside! It is time-consuming, it requires hard work and a lot of care but at the end it rewards you. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Welcome to Botevo

     Botevo is a small village in Northern Bulgaria, located near a small river called Burzina. It is situated at 24 km south from Oryahovo, between the villages Lipnitsa, Altimir, Hayredin and Sofronievo.  

     There is a beautiful forest just by the river and a warm mineral spring. A small bridge, situated at the exit of the village, will lead you to the forest on the other side of the river. 
     If you happen to be in Botevo during the spring you should take a walk in the forest. The meadows between the trees are covered with the golden yellow colors of the flower "Adonis". It is named after the mythic character Adonis - lover of the goddess Aphrodite (or Venus). The surrounding nature is truly amazing.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Flowers - some interesting facts :)

     Here are some interesting fact for one of my favourite flowers that you can find in everyone's gardens here in Bulgaria. :)

     Peony: Did you know that it is a traditional floral symbol of China and it's also known as "flower of riches and honour" or as "king of the flowers".

     Calendula. Here is something interesting that I didn't know about this flower: It has been used in cooking for centuries and the Calendula tea provides health benefits and is also delicious!

     Perunika (Iris): It takes its name from the Greek word for a rainbow. The yellow iris has been used for water purification: its roots improve the water quality by consuming nutrient pollutants.

     Tulips: Did you know that the cultivation of the tulip began in Persia?

     Periwinkle (Vinca minor): It is commonly grown as a groundcover in temperate gardens for its evergreen foliage and its spring and summer flowers.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Welcome To My Kitchen: Traditional Bulgarian Easter bread

Traditional Bulgarian Easter bread: "Kozunak"


42 gr. yeast;
300 ml. milk;
300 gr. sugar;
1 kg. flour;
1 tsp salt;
6 eggs;
200 gr. butter;
1 yolk;
raisins and sugared orange peels or chocolate.

Happy Easter!

Monday, February 24, 2014

My favorite travel destinations - Desenzano del Garda, Italy

Desenzano del Garda: It was love at first sight!

The port and the old lighthouse:

The lake Garda - It's the largest lake in Italy and it's a perfect destination for a holiday. It's now one of my favourite destinations in Italy and I will definitely going back there soon :)

To visit:

The old Castle situated in the old town of Desenzano del Garda.

The mosaics in Villa Romana:

Where to stay:

B&B The Tower of the old King. It's a very nice place with a perfect location right in the historic centre of the town. It offers very nice and cozy rooms with lake view, home made breakfast and a lot of hospitality.

Where to eat:

La Cambusa:

It's a unique place with its own character offering great selection of wine, beer and food!

Verona, Italy

A lovely sunny day in Verona:

Start your day with a cup of cappuccino:

If you are coming from the train station probably the first thing you are going to see is the Arena:

It will be hard to miss the house of Juliet. Even if it's normally very crowded it's worth visiting it.

Enjoy the lovely view from The Lamberti Tower, It's the best way to see all the city from above.

Don't try to see everything, it's hardly possible. Instead leave something for the next time, so there will be a reason to come back again :)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Nestinari - Village of Bulgari

     Happy new year! 

     It's just the right time to start planning where to spend our holidays.

     Have you heard of Nestinari? It's one of the Bulgarian's most magical rituals which unfortunately I still haven't got the chance to see for myself.

     It's a fire ritual which involves a barefoot dance on smouldering embers. The performers are called nestinari. Nowadays the only village in Bulgaria that is keeping the tradition alive is the village of Bulgari in Strandzha Mountains, close to the Black sea.

     If you want to witness the authentic ritual this is where you should go! It is taking place each year on the evening of St. Constantine and Helen day - 3th of June.

     You definitely shouldn't miss it if you happen to near to the Black sea in June. ;)

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