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Location - Eastern Europe; Capital - Sofia; Population - 7.1 million; Currency - Lev MORE BULGARIA

Several daily buses do the 7hr journey from Istanbul to cute Plovdiv, usually carrying on to Sofia less than 2hrs away - April 2019.


bulgarianoteThe 10 Lev note










bulgaria2The quiet Sunday morning streets of Plovdiv, 2019 European Capital of Culture


bulgaria3There's so much street art in the city and this was my first glimpse - Plovdiv


bulgaria1Pedestrianised Knyaz Aleksandar is the heart of the shopping district - Plovdiv














bulgaria6A statue of Milyo 'the idiot' on Knyaz Aleksandar - Plovdiv















bulgaria4This looks like a Soviet era mural, above a bar on Pl Stambolov - Plovdiv


bulgaria9The 2nd century Stadium of Philippopolis is a Roman ruin much like a small amphitheatre - Plovdiv


bulgaria10Near the Stadium is the Ottoman era 15th century Dzhumaya Mosque - Plovdiv














bulgaria14Hidden between Sahat Tepe hill and a back street are several excellent street murals - Plovdiv















bulgaria15There's art galleries aplenty in Plovdiv, so I guess it's just spillling outside


bulgaria16If you're into street art definitely seek these out - Plovdiv


bulgaria17Cupid about to fire an arrow - Plovdiv
















bulgaria18 Tsar Simeon Garden is an attractive park on the southern edge of the centre - Plovdiv














bulgaria24.. and the Maritsa River is on the northern edge - Plovdiv


bulgaria20A colourful and fun pub wall in the Kapana neighbourhood - Plovdiv


bulgaria27Not sure what this shop sells.. - Plovdiv














bulgaria29This one makes my eyes go funny - Plovdiv

















bulgaria44The views are great from the top of Nebet Tepe, a hill in the old town - Plovdiv


bulgaria42The minaret in the middle of the photo belongs to Dzhumaya Mosque - Plovdiv


bulgaria33Walking the pretty cobbled streets of the old town - Plovdiv















bulgaria35On the right is the entrance to the Church of Sveti Konstantin & Elena - Plovdiv
















bulgaria45The Ethnographic Museum is housed in a 19th century former merchant's house - Plovdiv


bulgaria47Through the frame - Plovdiv


bulgaria49 On the steps of the 2nd century AD Roman amphitheatre, which could host 6,000 spectators - Plovdiv













bulgaria55Another Soviet-era mural? - Plovdiv














bulgaria56Snow-capped mountains on the coach ride from Plovdiv to Sofia


bulgaria57 The Sofia Monument was erected in 2001, and replacing a statue of Stalin - Sofia














bulgaria67Bulgaria certainly likes its street art - Sofia















bulgaria65The cafe, bar and restaurant hub of Sofia is the pedestrian-only Vitosha


bulgaria60At the top of Vitosha is the 19th century Sveta Nedelya Cathedral - Sofia


bulgaria69 The ruins of the Roman city Serdica greet you when coming out of Serdika metro station, here with 16th century Banya Bashi Mosque in the background - Sofia














bulgaria71The Serdica ruins continue under a glass roof beneath the former Communist Party House - Sofia














bulgaria72Next to the Party House is the President's Building, for the president of course - Sofia


bulgaria74Also near the top of Vitosha is the Palace of Justice - Sofia


bulgaria79Mountains peak above the Volunteer's Monument - Sofia















bulgaria85In the same square, the church that Bulgaria's capital is named after, Sveta Sofia Church, is a bit of a let down, an unremarkable red-brick building - Sofia














bulgaria80Far more impressive is the late 19th/early 20th century Aleksander Nevski Cathedral, opposite the church - Sofia


bulgaria82The cathedral was built to honour the 200,000 Russian soldiers who died fighting for Bulgaria's independence during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877/78 - Sofia


bulgaria91 Next up was the beautifully situated town of Veliko Tarnovo, 3hrs east of Sofia














bulgaria100On a peninsula surrounded by the Yantra River is the State Art Museum and the equine Asen Dynasty Monument - Veliko Tarnovo















bulgaria111Street art on the walk down from Sammy's Bar to Ulitsa General Gurko - Veliko Tarnovo


bulgaria112Along the same road - Veliko Tarnovo


bulgaria121Ulitsa General Gurko is a lovely historic street beneath the main town - Veliko Tarnovo















bulgaria115Hotel Gurko lies on the street of the same name - Veliko Tarnovo














bulgaria117There's several guesthouses along Ulitsa General Gurko, including mine, which had a great view of the Yantra River and art museum - Veliko Tarnovo


bulgaria119Even though the street's a big draw it's usually quiet, with most Bulgarian day-trippers sticking to the high street and Tsarevets Fortress - Veliko Tarnovo


bulgaria122I did read of a city in Bulgaria wanting to brighten up utility boxes, and the idea has obviously spread to here - Veliko Tarnovo














bulgaria94Looking across the Yantra River to Tsarevets Fortress and its sturdy walls - Veliko Tarnovo















bulgaria130Tsarevets Fortress served as the primary seat of the medieval tsars from the 12th to 14th century - Veliko Tarnovo


bulgaria136Take the lift to the top of Baldwin's Tower within the fortress complex for a bird's eye view - Veliko Tarnovo


bulgaria133The panorama highlights how lush green and hilly the area is - Veliko Tarnovo















bulgaria139The interior of the Ascension Cathedral contains very dark images. I guess all churches do but the use of black, white and grey feels slightly unsettling. Fair play, it's different! - Veliko Tarnovo













bulgaria137The Yantra River and the centre of town - Veliko Tarnovo


bulgaria138The best thing about the fortress for me were the superb 360° views - Veliko Tarnovo



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LINKS - official Bulgarian tourism - Bulgarian trains website - and the buses site


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