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Bulgaria

Bulgaria’s Tangible and Intangible Cultural Heritage

22 – 29 June 2014 (8 days/7 nights)

Day 1: Sunday – 22 June, 2014
Flight to Sofia, Bulgaria; Transfer from the Airport to Hotel in Sofia – shared twin rooms. Late dinner .
Day 2: Monday – 23 June, 2013
Breakfast in the hotel. In the morning – a walk around the Roman remains in the centre of Sofia, visit to Archaeological museum. Lunch in the city.
In the afternoon – drive to Plovdiv /2 hours/ and walk in the old town – architectural reserve. Visit to Roman Theatre and Forum. Late drive to Hissarya and accommodation for 2 nights in hotel. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hisarya,_Bulgaria
Day 3: Tuesday – 24 June, 2013
Breakfast in the hotel. In the morning – celebrating St. Enyo`s /patron of herbalists/ day in the village. Visit to Archaeological museum and meeting the director and curators. Discussion about their work. Walk around the Roman walls and Baths of the ancient Roman town of Dioclecianopolis – modern Hissarya. Lunch in the town. In the afternoon – visit to Starosel Thracian complex.
The key temple within the Thracian cult complex of Starosel was excavated in the so-called Chetinyova Mound in 2000. The excavations were carried out by the team of the prominent Bulgarian archaeologist Dr Georgi Kitov (1943 – 2008) who made some of Bulgaria’s most remarkable discoveries – the ‘King Teres’ golden mask is the most sensational of them. The enormous temple, called by the archaeologists the Temple of the Immortal Thracian Kings, is the largest underground temple found in the Balkans so far.
The wall of the temple is built of over 6,000 huge stone blocks weighing up to 500 kilograms each.
 
 http://bg.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A4%D0%B0%D0%B9%D0%BB:Thracian_tomb_near_Starosel_svik2.JPG
Free time, swimming in mineral pool, dinner and overnight in Hissarya..
 
Day 4: Wednesday – 25 June, 2013
Breakfast in the hotel. Travel to Kazanlak in the Valley of Roses and Thracian Kings – visit to the picturesque Thracian Tomb (replica), UNESCO World Heritage site and to Iskra History Museum – discussions on protection and adaptation of Thracian monuments and local celebrations/ meeting Plamen from the group in 2011/ Lunch in the town.
In the afternoon – Visit to Golyama Kosmatka Thracian tomb
 
The temple inside the “Golyama Kosmatka” Mound was built during the second half of the 5th century BC. The preserved colour ornaments on the wings of the marble gate of the chamber symbolize the cardinal directions of the world and the rotation of time according to the Thracian beliefs. The magnificent golden wreath of the ruler, an exquisite wine goblet, knee-pieces and a helmet with plastic ornamentation, appliques for riding and other valuable artifacts have been found in the tomb.
 
In 2004 in the “Golyama Kosmatka” a mound with monumental temple was discovered, with an entrance from the south, built during the second half of the 5th century BC.
Photo stop at Rozhdestvo Hristovo (Birth of Christ) Memorial Church with golden domes. Travel to Gabrovo via Shipka Pass. On the way – stop on the peak of St. Nikola – visit to the Monument of Liberty – part of Shipka – Buzludzha National Park Museum. – place of battle in the Russo-Turkish War 1877-1878. Night in Sabotovtsi village – in guest house of Eli /from the group in 2011/ – for 2 nights.
 
Day 5: Thursday – 26 June, 2013
Breakfast in the house. Drive to Etara and visit the crafts center and exhibitions, meeting Rosi Bineva /curator, was in the group in 2011/ http://www.etar.org/index-en.htm; later a trip to Tryavna – visits to museums of woodcarving and icons.  http://www.tryavna.bg/en/index.php?culture/museum Night in the guesthouse with local meals.

Day 6: Friday – 27 June, 2013

Breakfast in the house. Drive to Troyan via Sevlievo – walk to a medieval fortress and town /recently adapted for tourists/. Picnic lunch or on the road. In the afternoon – visit to ECO-ART guest house /Villi and Encho/ and some crafts work – pottery. A forest walk for mushrooming if the weather allows.

Day 7: Saturday – 28 June, 2013

In the morning – drive to Troyan – and celebration of the Herb and tourism festival in the mountains near Troyan. In the afternoon – Crafts museum in Troyan and talk to curators /Desi / . Night in the guesthouse with homemade meals.

Day 8: Sunday – 29 June, 2013

Breakfast, travel from Troyan to Sofia and some visits on the road – to Roman Castle Sostra, and to Lovech /museum, historic places/. In the afternoon – Transfer to Sofia Airport and a flight back to Scotland