The Bulgarian people were very friendly and seemed pleased when I attempted a few words in Bulgarian. Then you can "follow the yellow brick road" (Sofia has one) to explore the bustling market hall and more of the city's center on your own. Our tour buddies were inquisitive and our guide, Stefan, was engaging and enthusiastic about introducing us to his country and culture. Bulgaria; Romania; Bonus Extra — Rick Steves' Europe: A Symphonic Journey; Turkey & The Holy Land 6 shows, 3½ hours Istanbul; Western Turkey; Central Turkey; Eastern Turkey; Rick Steves' The Holy Land: Israelis and Palestinians Today; Egypt; Travel Specials Vol. We were eager laarners and he was there for us. A Report from Bulgaria — Keeping in Touch with Our European Friends It’s easy to be America-centric when it comes to the hopes, fears, and frustrations of fighting COVID-19. One of the questions from a young man was whether or not it was true that American teachers had to carry guns. The rest of the afternoon and evening are yours to explore this modern town and stroll the extensive waterfront park and promenade. Fellow tour members were friendly, cheerful, and helpful. Bus: 5 hours. The cities were inviting, friendly, and beautiful. 425-608-4217, from $2,695 "It is difficult to pick just one as there were so many amazing experiences. "In Veliko Tarnovo we did a cooking demonstration. It was touching and memorable enough to rate a big "wow". It also had the worst accommodations. Go to 11. "The WOW moments were; I define "wow" as the moments when I felt a deep connection to the people, when hearing a story from history that caused tears to fill my eyes or when the guide, Stefan, brought Bulgarian history or beauty to life. Here's a reminder of the fun that awaits us in Europe at the other end of this crisis. In this episode, we chat about the 2016 Rick Steves’ Europe episode “Bulgaria.”We'll debate whether Sofia or Plovdiv is the best city in the country, talk about what it's like to visit Budludzha today, and swoon at Rick's updated interpretation of Dad jeans. I took my 5th Rick Steves tour to Bulgaria last year with my 80 year old mother and sister. Create a SoundCloud account Sign in Bulgarian tour guide Stefan Bozadzhiev gives Rick a quick look at what makes his country an exotic and fun destination for the curious traveler since Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007. Rick Steves' Europe: Bulgaria Preview | 30s Rick traces the country's complex history, from ancient Thracian tombs to medieval Orthodox Christian monasteries to Soviet monuments. What It Means to Be Bulgarian by Rick Steves Audio Europe published on 2018-08-30T19:29:56Z Bulgarian tour guide Stefan Bozadzhiev shares his Bulgarian pride and describes what makes Bulgaria such a fascinating place to explore. Our guide Stefan, a native Bulgarian with a law degree, was absolutely superb. shipping: + $2.80 shipping . Sleep near Rila. It is a wonderful country to explore! Visiting the Roma community and the Bulgarian Muslim community were two priceless experiences that would be impossible on our own. Guidebook author and travel TV host Rick Steves was in Bulgaria in May to shoot a video for his travel series. HOTEL COMMENTS START HERE (not enough room below!) Join us for the Best of Bulgaria in 12 Days! It seemed like we were seeing the same thing over and over again. This is a moderately active tour! "The Cathedral in Sophia was fantastic. Here's what you'll see and do on our Bulgaria tour: Group sightseeing events subject to change. Marketplace Directory. Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. It was an excellent experience. Season 9 Episode 4 | 25m | Video has closed captioning. "Thank you for the inside view of a Roma community. Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. Sleep in Sofia. The children sang and danced for us which I thoroughly enjoyed. We'll start our day with a walking tour of Plovdiv's old town, including Trajan's second-century Roman theater and its commanding view of the city. It was also interesting to see how Bulgaria is still transitioning in leadership and infrastructure from being under former communist rule to the present democracy. ", Learned the history of Bulgaria and current issues. The remainder of the day is free for you to explore more of this cultural and cosmopolitan city. Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. Join writer and host Rick Steves as he experiences the local culture, cuisine, and fun in some of Europe's most interesting places. "My "wow" moment was listening to Stefan recount the story of how Bulgaria saved its Jewish population during WWII. "The entire trip. ... We'll trace Bulgaria's complex history, from ancient Thracian tombs to medieval Orthodox Christian monasteries to Soviet monuments. Should be a day trip and overnight else where. "My wow moment was visiting the two schools. This time we're high in the Swiss Alps. No bus. Yes, I would go back to Bulgaria. The diversity of Romanian heritage was illustrated in the glorious sceneries, the intriguing history, the elaborate culture and the thriving folk life. Airs Saturday, May 12, 2017 at 4 p.m. on KPBS TV. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning. When tours start again, what are the top tours on your bucket list. We got to see many Christian Orthodox Churches that really amaze me, beautiful countryside, historical and community. The heart of every single Bulgarian belongs to this place, belongs to this monastery here. I had a wonderful tour of Bulgaria under the leadership of Stefan. I enjoyed watching and then joining the folkloric dance group. $4.49. I saw so much in a short time, met locals and got a feel for their history and culture. As the old Eastern Bloc countries shed the shackles of communism, and reach to the West as their economies grow and the countries begin to prosper, we thought it was a perfect time to make a visit. One of America’s most respected authorities on international travel was a guest at Amb. It was our third Rick Steves tour and we really appreciate not having to drive, park, and search for places to stay. Sleep in Plovdiv. Steves Garden Tales Poetic Stories from Hardcover Stephen G. Roper. We enjoyed the lack of tourist crowds and the friendly Bulgarian people. We were also surprised by the amount of Bulgarian history that we covered. Rick: So what do we have? We enjoy interacting with the other members of the group and reflecting on the experiences that we share. Bulgaria Travel Guide by Rick Steves For coronavirus (COVID-19) travel information, see our FAQ . Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. October 29, 2016. The Best of Bulgaria tour was great. Learned so very much about Bulgaria history, politics and culture. Rick: So what do we have? American travel authority Rick Steves guides viewers through his favorite European cities. It was private, front row experience highlighting the culture and traditions of Bulgaria through sand and dance. I went to Bulgaria fairly ignorant - I knew its general history (very, very generally) and where it was located geographically. I really enjoyed this tour. Evening meal Sep. (paid by R.Steves) was average, and of limited quantity (unusual for Bulgaria). The enthusiasm and intricacy of the dancing, the beautiful traditional costumes, and the music were all incredible.". Bus: 5 hours. I was troubled by the poverty I saw, but amazed by the resilience of the people. Unfortunately, the other thing that literally made me said 'wow' out loud was our experience in the elementary school that we visited, wherein a young boy who was part of the program asked whether or not it was really true that teachers in the U.S. carried guns.". Rick: Ah, OK. We'll also enjoy the structures that Plovdiv is proudest of: the old town's unique collection of elegant, pastel-pretty "Bulgarian Renaissance" homes from the 19th century, followed by a visit to the Dzhumaya Mosque, the oldest in Bulgaria. Above: Rick Steves at the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia, Bulgaria. Bulgaria is an ancient land and I loved how they preserved their history. There were so many interesting sites, stunning countryside, beautiful arts and crafts, very friendly people, and so much history in this country. For coronavirus (COVID-19) travel information, Rick Steves' Europe is an American travel documentary television series created and hosted by Rick Steves.In each episode, he travels to the continent of Europe, documenting his experiences along the way.. Most tour members arrange to fly into and out of Sofia (SOF). I appreciated that I was exposed to the Roma community and got to interact with the locals on many occasions. We'll take a tour of this 14th-century architectural treasure and its fabulous frescoes before heading to our countryside hotel near Rila, where we'll enjoy dinner together. Waking up to a view of the Black Sea and a night in a monastery listening to the stream outside were unique. by Rick Steves and Cameron Hewitt | Jun 25, 2019. As the story unfolds, we'll wind our way along narrow cobblestone streets, meeting local artisans along the way, then finally conquer the ruins of one of Europe's mightiest citadels. Comments. Should I say the sunset on the Black Sea, the Bulgarian Renaissance architecture, or the monastery in the mountain mist? Still, it is an interesting country, the people were friendly, the guide, Stefan, was outstanding, our fellow-travelers were terrific. ", "It was less a moment than a regular feature, during bus rides Stefan shared information on the history and his personal history in Bulgaria that made the trip so much more meaningful.". Breakfast v. good. Most days are light to moderately paced, but two days are strenuous, with 2–8 miles of walking, lots of stairs, and hilly terrain. Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. Loved listening to Stefan's pashion for his country.". They are proof that kids are the same everywhere. This morning we'll visit the remote village of Glogovo — a community that converted to Islam under the Ottoman Turks and has kept that faith ever since. "visiting the Rila Monastery. (photo: Rick Steves) I have an affinity for Bulgaria — so overlooked and underappreciated…and yet so charming, in a Slavic way. Being in the travel business, we have dear friends in many countries. I see it as a feisty, underappreciated underdog of a nation. Bulgaria is a very interesting country. For coronavirus (COVID-19) travel information, Tour Account › Travel Forum › Home / Travel Forum / Italy; Please sign in to post. Activities (lunch in a Roma community, a preschool graduation, sleeping at a monastery) made this a trip full of wow moments. Other than that, the guide Stefan was excellent and the experience was a joy. This marketplace is a listing of creative services and experiences that Rick Steves guides are offering during the COVID-19 crisis to earn some income by entertaining, educating, and inspiring our travelers. Rick traces the country's complex history, from ancient Thracian tombs to medieval Orthodox Christian monasteries to Soviet monuments. Rick: You come here and celebrate Bulgaria. It was very interesting to learn about the distillation process and to see the workers doing their magic with roses.". Later, we'll drive through the scenic Rilska Valley en route to our destination high in the mountains: the remote and mystical Rila Monastery. I saw so much from the Rila Monastery (and attending a service and seeing a monk road the grounds with his dog in the evening) to dipping my feet into the Black Sea, "I don't think I have one "wow" moment but many.The cooking demo in Tarnovo with dancing in the small hotel was fantastic. Everything you need is here. Hotel Crystal Palace: Room excellent. We'll wrap up our day by meeting with a local politician and economist, who will answer questions and tell us about issues facing Bulgaria today. This morning we'll take a time-tripping walk through Nesebar, learning about its important Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Bulgarian, and Turkish past — a lot happened in this tiny place! Post questions and answers about travel in Bulgaria. Fascinating! Then we'll feast with a family and get our cultural bearings in … Rick Steves: In Bulgaria, Sofia surprises. Host and writer of over a hundred public television travel shows and author of 30 best-selling guidebooks, Rick now brings his passion for exploring and understanding our world to public radio. I don't have enough space to fully describe all the moments. During the shoot, the “surprising” theme quickly became a running joke. Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Today we'll drive up and over the green Balkan Range to one of Europe's most dramatically situated towns: Bulgaria's medieval capital of Veliko Tarnovo. The diversity of geography was amazing - mountains, arid stretches, farmland and the Black Sea coastline. (18:36). :)". One month prior to the tour departure, you'll find the directions to your first tour hotel and a complete list of hotels where we'll be staying while on tour in the Documents section of your tour account. Barcelona — Proud Capital of Catalunya Today is the National Day o... f Catalunya — the "nation without a state" with its capital at Barcelona. Everyone asked us.."Why Bulgaria?" "The wow moment of this trip from a positive perspective was the behind the scenes exhibits at Rila Monastery. Loved the cultural dances and songs. And the royal banquet, with the gods, musicians, servants, horses. And our guide Stefan was superb. Rick Steves is America's leading authority on European travel. I enjoyed having the opportunity to hear from the school principal and observe her love and concern for the students. With Rick Steves. Rick traces the country's complex history, from ancient Thracian tombs to medieval Orthodox Christian monasteries to Soviet monuments. We joined a wonderful, friendly group of folks who made the tour unforgettable. Rick Steves' Europe | All the best travel tips, travel inspiration, and European tour info from the team at Rick Steves' Europe. Beautiful. We were not disappointed. "The poverty witnessed at the Roma part of town (forgot which town). Rick Steves’ Romania visit can be defined by three short remarks: “amazing sights”, “endearing people”, and “rich memories”. His ability to make the connections between the past and the present was critical for a successful trip. Sleep in Veliko Tarnovo. Wine tasting is always a plus at Bessa Valley and of course all the museums and archeological sites!". Bulgaria; Romania; Bonus Extra — Rick Steves' Europe: A Symphonic Journey; Turkey & The Holy Land 6 shows, 3½ hours Istanbul; Western Turkey; Central Turkey; Eastern Turkey; Rick Steves' The Holy Land: Israelis and Palestinians Today; Egypt; Travel Specials Vol. We'll also tour the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, famous for its gilded domes and masterful mosaics. 2. But it turned out that Bulgaria isn't really all that exotic (compared to India, say). Nessebar and the Black Sea were awesome. We'll meet up later this evening and drive to a nearby community center to enjoy a fabulous folk performance. Declan Field: Art, Music Declan leads Rick Steves tours in Ireland and is a musician and artist, creating sculptures, paintings, and drawings. (15:51), What It Means to Be Bulgarian Bravo Stefan!! I came away loving this land and looking at how in spite of its twists and turns through history, its people are kind, culture colorful, food so tasty - and the wine - how had I never heard about Bulgarian wine before?!?! per person + air, Single Walking the streets of Sofia and roads of the Roma neighborhood in Dupnitsa, as well as the diverse other towns and villages, each with its own story and culture. "Bulgaria's wows are quieter, yet they stay with you in their own way. Bus: 7 hours. So much history happened in this country that I knew nothing about! "My wow moment was the folklore show. Above: Rick Steves … Bulgaria. He didn't know the guide or the teacher - just joined in the fun! Country. All along the way, your guide will connect you with people who make their country's history, art, culture, and hospitality come to life. Bulgaria is a beautiful country. This tour was a fun and informative introduction to a country that is off the radar for most Americans, but shouldn't be. "I really liked the "quiet" in Veliko Tarnovo. Then we'll feast with a family and get our cultural bearings in … But I think the visit to the school in Dupnitsa has to be placed at the top. Rick Steves. We had a wonderful experience on our second Rick Steves tour. Bulgaria's international airport is just outside of Sofia, or you can hop a train to other European cities. August 17, 2020 by Rick Steves A Report from Bulgaria — Keeping in Touch with Our European Friends It’s easy to be America-centric when it comes to the hopes, fears, and frustrations of fighting COVID-19. The tour was everything I expected. You'll be warmly welcomed in neighborhood cafés, rustic mountain villages, and humble monasteries. With a prime location at the intersection of civilizations–going all the way back to antiquity–it has an unusually rich cultural heritage. see our FAQ. This was an amazing trip exploring a part of Eastern Europe that few Americans even think about visiting. I had an amazing time and learned so much. Great image of Bulgarian people and culture!". He then waved good bye, got back in his car and drove off. No bus. This afternoon we'll return to Sofia and have a festive final dinner together, where we'll share travel memories and toast new friends. No bus. by Rick Steves My Favorite Guides in Bulgaria and Romania Since I’ve been filming new TV shows in Bulgaria and Romania, people have been asking if I plan to start running tours or writing guidebooks to this underappreciated corner of Europe. Each city has sights worth seeing, with opportunities for enjoying the scene and hanging out alongside locals, a true back-door experience. Tour Questions? "Our group attendance at a preschool graduation ceremony in Glogovo. "Standing above the ancient Roman Amphitheatre hearing musicians practicing from a nearby concert hall and viewing the statue of a music professor who was imprisoned by the Communists for making jokes about the political system. 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