August 31, 2011

BG ambassador to the US visited Free Sofia Tour on her birthday

Можете да прочетете тази статия на български език в Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Bulgaria to the United States of America – Her Excellency Elena Poptodorova – paid a visit to the Free Sofia Tour today. Her Excellency joined the tour in the middle of it when the guests were in front of Bulgarian National Bank. She joined a group of 19 visitors from seven different countries, including USA, UK, Belgium, Spain, Czech Republic, Italy and Bulgaria. Since there were some friends of Ambassador Poptodorova among the group, we were quick to find out that she was born on the exact same day. Therefore the whole group of Free Sofia Tour’s guests sang “Happy Birthday” in her honour. Free Sofia Tour organizers would like to express their gratitude that Ambassador Poptodorova found time to join them on this special date for her. Ambassador Poptodorova listened carefully the stories of the Sofia free tour at the next couple of stops, including the presentation of one of the most cherished Bulgarian […]
August 31, 2011

Научи българската история за три дни

По случай честването на Съединението на България, НЧ Бъдеще сега 2006 с методическата подкрепа на Фондация „Професор доктор Георги Лозанов и професор доктор Евелина Гатева“, заедно с Free Sofia Tour организират първия сугестопедичен курс по българска история. English summary: Learn Bulgarian history in… 3 days. NC Future now 2006, supported by Dr. Georgi Lozanov and Prof. Dr. Evelina Gateva Foundation, organizes suggestopedia course, to teach Bulgarian history from antiquity to modern days in… three days. Part of the course would be a visit to the Free Sofia Tour. Потопете се в приказката наречена българска история и преживейте миналото ни по един магически начин. Всички участници ще бъдат предварително запознати с методите на работа, които ще им позволят да научат историята на България от основаването на държавата ни до демократичните промени в рамките на три незабравими учебни дни. Информация и записване: Записвания се приемат до 2 септември 2011 г. – 22.00 часа българско време на електронна поща: [email protected] След записване всички участници получават предварителните тестове и детайлна информация за програмата на курса. Начало […]
August 31, 2011

Interview with Niki

Прочетете интервюто във в. “Дума” с Ники от екипа на Free Sofia Tour. (English: Free Sofia Tour’s Niki was interviewed for the weekend edition of Duma daily, only in Bulgarian, see highlights in English from the article “If young people are successful in Bulgaria, they can also be successful abroad”). Highlights in English: Niki: “What brings our team together is the idea to present our history, culture and traditions in a real way. We want people to see the things the way they are.” Niki: “We want to present the information in an interesting way so that people could feel as part of the city.” Niki: “We wouldn’t hide anything. We would show every aspect of the city, sometimes even what is negative for us is considered ‘exotic’ and ‘interesting’.” Niki: “When something should be done and it’s for the benefit of everyone, despite the difficulties, things happen.” Niki: “I am convinced that young people have a future in Bulgaria. However, the truth is that nothing is done to stimulate young people to stay […]
August 30, 2011

Interview with Peter & Kristian

Прочетете интервюто във в. “Пари” с Петър и Кристиан от екипа на Free Sofia Tour. (English: Free Sofia Tour’s Peter & Kristian were interviewed for Pari daily, only in Bulgarian, see highlights from the article “Showing friends around” below). Highlights in English: Peter realized the importance of the Free Sofia Tour when people started telling him: “We read that there’s no reason to visit Sofia but actually it’s one of the nicest places we have visited.” Peter: “It’s a lot of fun, it’s not just a tour around Sofia.” Peter: “The only continent we haven’t had guests from is Antarctica – we expect a penguin to tag along very soon” Peter: “Other places like Budapest, Berlin and Prague use their socialist symbols as a tourist attraction. They are also a part of our history – dark but valuable. Instead, we have almost deleted 50 years of our history.” Peter: “We aim to show not only the clean, the beautiful and the shiny stuff in our city but also other things connected […]
August 29, 2011

Sofia is so much better!

Among my group that day in mid April I had two lively girls from Austria doing a Balkan trip. They came from Serbia and after Sofia they were planning to go through Istanbul to Kapadokia, where apart from historical adventure they wanted to do ballooning! Their final destination was Athens and the Greek islands. Nothing could escape from those two girls’ notice – they just saw everything, asked about everything and commented on everything – from cultural to religious to political matters. From the very first minute. Someone had recently died in a car crash close to our first crossing on the way to the church Sveta Nedelya. So – as the tradition in Bulgaria demands – there was an obituary on one of the trees (a memorial with a picture of the person who has passed away) with some flowers. “Welcome to Sofia” – one of the girls said, after I explained what’s this all about. Still, both girls admitted that people actually drive more carefully in Sofia than […]
August 24, 2011

Hitchhiking to Sofia

– “So, where do you go next?” – “Oh, we don’t know yet… it’s a destination anywhere.” – “And how did you decide to come to Sofia?” – “We didn’t really decide that. It’s complicated.” – “You took a blind booking?” – “Not quite. It’s a long story…” It’s not on purpose that I constantly write about how our guests decided to come to Sofia. I just happen to meet people with curious travel planning. End of December I had some guests from Cologne, Germany, who chose the “blind booking” option and Germanwings sent them to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Sofia. This is a similar story. A brother and sister from Hamburg, Germany (forget about all your prejudices – those Germans are sometimes much more spontaneous and unpredictable than you can imagine), decided to travel somewhere around Europe. But they wanted to leave the exact destination to destiny. So they packed their things, went to the highway and stretched their thumbs. The first driver that stopped was a Bulgarian, who had […]
August 23, 2011

Venezuelans about Sofia

Beginning of April I had a group of two ladies from Venezuela. The younger one lived in Sofia for almost two years, working as a Spanish teacher of very young children. She and her husband have visited many places across Bulgaria, but somehow she felt she didn’t know enough about the capital and its history. Her mum was visiting them, so they joined the tour together. The tour started with a passionate discussion about Geo Milev. It turned out that the younger lady knew his daughter – the children’s writer Leda Mileva. Geo Milev was a Bulgarian writer and poet, the main representative of expressionism in Bulgarian literature. His most famous poem “September”, published a year before the Sveta Nedelya Church assault (visit our tour to learn more), was one of the reasons for his murder in the reprisals after the terrorist act. At that time he just disappeared and the truth about his brutal death was only found out 30 years later. So, Communism became the main topic of discussion […]
August 23, 2011

Shocking obituaries

Back in March I had a very friendly couple from Hong Kong, visiting only Bulgaria and Romania. Went to Veliko Tarnovo before they came to Sofia and on the next day they wanted to do another short trip to somewhere in Bulgaria, maybe Rila monastery or Plovdiv. Initially, they wanted to go to the Rose valley (not so many people know in advance about Bulgaria being the world number one in rose oil production), but they were disappointed to find out that March was not the right season to visit it. Somehow they reminded me of my stay in Southeast Asia 2 years ago 🙂 When I asked about their hobbies, they answered “going to the cinema, playing badminton and… KARAOKE”. Many families in Asia have their own karaoke device where you can find many of the popular songs and the family often get together and make a karaoke session. I learnt to love food in Asia – where food is an important part of the everyday life and culture. […]
August 22, 2011

American Embassy bulletin

A couple of days ago we got a visit from several members of the Embassy of the United States community, including a representative of the Community Liaison Office. Our guests liked the tour so much that they decided to spread the word and write a review for the bulletin of the Embassy. We would like to thank them a lot because spreading the word through our happy guests is the best way to promote the Sofia free walking tour.