January 24, 2012

Bulgaria: history, culture, wine and… much more

Bulgaria (and Sofia in particular) is becoming quite popular. Given it’s one of our goals, we are very excited about that. Next week we would welcome guests from EastWeek magazine in Hong Kong and currently in contact with Qatar’s leading magazine Qatar Happening. In the meantime here’s what travel writers say about the country: 10 Things to do in Bulgaria by Europe A La Carte: Bulgaria is a beautiful country in Eastern Europe full of art, culture, history, and fun. Some Ill-Informed Observations On Bulgaria by Travels with a nine-year old Bulgaria’s eclectic cuisine pleases. It’s a charming meld of heart-attack Slav dishes based on pork, lard, sausages, more pork and perhaps some pickled cabbage or veal, and those Eastern Mediterranean favourites such as stuffed aubergines and what everyone outside Bulgaria would call Greek salad. With feta. Which isn’t called that here. Bulgaria: history, culture…and wine! by TravelBite Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital, at first glance seems a gritty and no-frills city which doesn’t initially feel all that inviting. However, what you get in Sofia, is […]
January 16, 2012

Flowers of the Quran film festival

The fourth edition of “Flowers of the Quran” festival will present movies from the Middle East and South Africa. The focus of this year’s programme will be Turkish cinema. You can see the most popular Turkish film for 2011 “Love Likes Coincidences”, festival favourites “Toll Booth” and “10 to 11” and two documentaries about Istanbul – “Tales of Beyoglu” and “Istanbul – Meeting of Souls”. As usual you can see some of the best recent Iranian movies such as the 2011 Golden Bear winner “A Separation” by Asghar Farhadi and other awarded films from the region including Julian Schnabel’s “Miral”, Rashid Masharawi’s “Laila’s Birthday”, Barak Akram’s “Kabuli Kid” and Radu Mihaileanu’s “The Source”. All the movies in the programme have English and Bulgarian subtitles. Price of the regular ticket is 6 leva.
January 12, 2012

TEDxBG Workshop

С голямо удоволствие искаме да съобщим на всички привърженици и приятели на Free Sofia Tour, че на 15 януари от 10:30 в зала 73 на адрес ул. „Княз Борис I” 73, с любезното съдействие на конференция TEDxBG 2012 ще се състои първият семинар на нашето сдружение, отворен към всички вас! Местата са ограничени, затова ви молим да се регистрирате на страницата на Time Heroes. Регистрацията започва в петък, 9 сутринта. Целта на семинара е да се разработят 5 маршрута по зададените теми, които след това да бъдат реализирани. Участниците ще бъдат разделени на 5 работни групи и в рамките на семинара ще разработят примерен маршрут за туристически обиколки на София с различни акценти – Culture, Art, Communist, Hidden gems & Games. Участниците ще могат да изберат акцента според личните си интереси и познания. Групите ще разполагат с около 2 часа да измислят примерен маршрут, кратко представяне на обектите и идейна обосновка на обиколката. За това време трябва да подготвят и кратка презентация на идеята си. На всяка група ще има осигурен по […]
January 12, 2012

Surva – Festival of the Masquerade Games

If you want to get the feel of some Bulgarian traditions, you can stop by the nearby city of Pernik 27-29th of January 2012 and see the International Festival of the Masquerade Games before or after you join us at Free Sofia Tour.   The International Festival of Masquerade Games is held in the town of Pernik every even year in January. This is the most important people’s cultural event in the region. More than 5000 performers from all over Bulgaria, as well as formations from many European countries take part in the festival. It is an an illustration of the most vital and deep-rooted traditions of masquerading rites dating from the remote past and preserved for us to the present. The masked participants are called kukeri, kukove, survakari, startsi, babugeri, dzhamailari, kamilari, etc. They will dress in fur hides or in traditional women’s costumes. They will dance for you in their fancy-dress. The performance of the masked men, commonly known as Survakari or Kukeri, is a mystical union of rhythm, sound, […]
January 9, 2012

Sofia Events Calendar 2012

Check out what is going on in Sofia in the first half of 2012 in the convenient events calendar, created by the Tourist Service Municipal Enterprise. / Вижте какво се случва в София през първата половина на 2012 г. в удобния календар на събитията, създаден от Общинско предприятие Туристическо обслужване: Национални празници /National Holidays Църковни празници /Religious Holidays Бележити дати /Famous Dates Културни събития /Cultural Events Фестивали и паради /Festivals and Parades Музика и танц /Music and Dance Events Бизнес събития /Business Events Научни събития / Scientific Events Спортни събития / Sports Events Чествания на годишнини /Celebration of Anniversaries Световни годишнини /National Anniversaries In case you are travelling on a budget, check our list of free things to do in Sofia. / Не забравяйте да разгледате и нашия полезен списък с безплатни неща в София.
January 7, 2012

Happy Ivanovden

On the 7th of January the Bulgarian Orthodox Church celebrates Ivanovden (St. John’s day) – perhaps the most revered and well known of the so-called “name days”. On this day more than 300 000 Bulgarians have a reason to party (anyone named Ivan, Ivanka, Ivo, Iva, Vanya, Ivaylo, etc.). One of them is our own team member Vanya! We’d like to wish her health and happiness! The day itself is devoted to the young family that got married in the previous year. Nowadays Ivanovday is yet another reason to have a good time since more then 174 000 Bulgarians are named Ivan. It is common to see friends of the person celebrating coming to his house uninvited, but he should’ve prepared a feast for them – that’s what the tradition says! Ivanovday comes one day after St. Jordan’s day (6th of January) and the Bulgarian tradition commemorates the day as the beginning of something new and looking forward to health, happiness and good life. You might also have a reason to celebrate […]
January 6, 2012

Happy St. Jordan’s day (Epiphany)

On the 6th of January Bulgarians mark one of the most important name days in the year – St. Jordan’s day or most widely known in the Christian Orthodox world as Epiphany. The main ritual on this day is performed early in the morning by a priest who throws a cross into a river or a lake for young men to catch it. It is believed that the first person that gets to the cross will enjoy good health throughout the whole year. Also on this the colours of the Bulgarian armed forces are traditionally consecrated by a person from the religious establishment. In the town of Kalofer, which is about 150 km from Sofia, there is something quite unique going on St. Jordan’s day. When the priest throws the cross in the river, the men descend into the icy water and start an all-men dancing in a circle, which resembles the traditional Bulgarian horo dances. It doesn’t matter who catches the holy cross in Kalofer, because it always goes […]
January 4, 2012

Istanbul Free Tour

ISTANBUL FREE TOUR IS NOT RUNNING AT THE MOMENT. AS FAR AS WE KNOW, THERE IS NO FREE TOUR IN ISTANBUL. PLEASE LET US KNOW IF YOU FIND ONE 🙂 The number of free walking tours all over the world keeps increasing. However, a great city was missing from the map of the free tours around the globe. Not anymore. Let’s give a warm welcome to the brand new Istanbul Free Tour. You can join for free the guides for a free walk on the centuries old streets of the Old Town twice a day (11AM and 6PM) without reservation. If you like cycling, you can book in advance a city bike tour around Istanbul City Wall at 11AM that would cost you 8 EUR for the bike rental. The tours are organized jointly by Rent A Bike Istanbul and the Bulgarian Factor Foundation. You can also see more information about the project on the website of Vyacheslav Stoyanov’s organization. Don’t forget to give your opinion about this new project. Rate Free […]