It's expensive to use mobile phones on roaming in Bulgaria. I mean really, really expensive... for both operators. US$3 per minute and the minute starts with the second '0', so you pay even if you don't get connected. Get a local sim card and put your own mobile on divert.
The statue of Popa is a very popular meeting point of the people in Sofia. So it comes at no surprise that it was also our meeting point for the VT meeting.
Popa means priest. And the priest is Patriarch Euthymius, a church leader that was captured in 1393 by the Ottoman Turks.
You will find Popa at the corner of ul. Graf Ignatiev and bul. Patriarh Evtimiy.
Bogoyavlenie (St Jordan) - 6 Jan
Bogoyavlenie or Yordanovden markes the end of the 'dirty' days and the restoration of order in the world. According to the Orthodox Religious Calendar, on this day John baptised Jesus in the waters of the Jordan River; the skies opened and God appeared in the form of a dove. Therefore, we call this day "Bogoyavlenie" (the appearance of God).
At the eve of Yordanovden, we make the third blessed dinner (first on Nikulden, second on Christmas). The dinner is vegetarian. The whole walnuts from Christmas are broken and the future is spelled on them. The belief is that on that night the skies open and whatever you wish for will be granted.
From this day onwards, the 'moratorium' on engagements, weddings, baptisings is lifted, and the wedding 'negotiators' are sent out.
One of the rituals that made it to present day is the "blessing of the cross". On this day, after the church service, the cross is thrown in the river/lake/sea or whatever natural or artificial body of water is at hand, and all men go in the water & compete to catch it. Since the cross is blessed and brings all the goodies you can imagine, whoever catches the cross can give it away for "ransom".
Mind you, it's 6 January, so it's very cold!!! But the tradition is observed so much that in heavy winters, if the water is frozen, people break the ice only to be able to perform this ritual. In some cases, the competition is so heavy that even fights break out (even tho, this defies the point of the ritual!)
Jordanovden is the nameday of: Jordan, Jordanka, Dancho, Dana but also Boyan, Boyana, Bogdan, Bogdana (the second group have other namedays but they may celebrate on this day). Famous Bulgarians who celebrate on this day are Jordan Lechkov (former football/soccer player), Jordanka Donkova (former hurdles record holder); Jordan Jovtchev (gymnast; best rings specialist in the world!!)
Kambanite (The bells)
25 years from the opening of the monument were celebrated this month.
The monument was initially called "Flag of peace" monument. It was built back in 1979 and was dedicated to the first so-called International children assembly Flag of Peace. This assembly was an idea of the doughtier of Todor Jivkov (the country's leader then), Ludmila Jivkova. It was a gathering of kids from the communist countries in order to show their talents and culture to each other.
Later in 1990 , after the fall of the communist regime, it was renamed to Kambanite (The bells).
The monument is an ugly construction made out of concrete. Though I kind of like the idea of what it should represent.
It comprises of four rectangular bodies facing the four directions of the world. In the highest part of the monument you will see 7 big bells with a weight between 700 and 1 000 kg symbolising the 7 continents. 16 bells from different countries with a different shape and size supplement the composition. The bell of Bulgaria weights 1 300 kg which equals the years of existence of the Bulgarian state.
There are more bells around from all over the world, I think they were over 100. What I like is that one can see that we all have bells which makes us all the same but at the same time one can see how different the bells are which comes to tell that after all, we are very unique and we should learn to live with it :)
There are meadows around the monument, which are nice places for a picnic. I also heard that the place is good for cross-country biking.
Kambanite (The bells) monument is situated close to Mladost 4 leaving area on the opposite side of the ring road. It is near to Bunkera and Malinova dolina villa zones.
There is a side road to the monument, you will see the monument itself so you will know where to make a turn :)
Hali shoping mall
theirs a look at Hali Hali is something like tsum it has department stores shops .the only thing it has that tsum dosen't have is fast foods Hali is also for modarn and tsum is more architectureal. and fansy