Useful Things to Know Before Heading to Bulgaria

Bulgaria was one of those countries where I didn’t really know what to expect when visiting. I hadn’t really developed any preconceived ideas and my planning had been very limited. As a tourist destination, Bulgaria felt somewhat under the radar. Certainly, it is fairly popular as a seaside destination in summer, but I wasn’t aware of it on the same scale as its Mediterranean cousins. Visiting Bulgaria then was eye-opening as I began to learn more about this extraordinary country, its history, people and culture. I honestly can’t wait to return and further explore this little corner of Europe. For those venturing to Bulgaria, here are 9 endearing or important things to know about visiting.

1. More than its Coast

It’s fair to say that Bulgaria’s coast is the most popular part of the country with tourists. But this pains me, as there are just as many fascinating spots throughout the rest of the country. Sure, the country’s coast on the Black Sea is home to plenty of nice sand beaches and historic port towns. However, inland you can find plenty of other remarkable destinations as well. From the historic former royal capital of Veliko Tarnovo, to the immensely cool city of Plovdiv, tourists have their pick of fascinating cities to explore. There are also the smaller locales hidden away within the country’s dynamic countryside, like the Monastery of Dryanovo or the unique Sand Pyramids of Melnik. Bulgaria really is quite a diverse country and I encourage visitors to try to experience that. For more inspiration on Bulgaria’s destinations, take a look at these photos.

2. Entry and Visa

While Bulgaria is part of the European Union, it is not yet part of the Schengen Area that allows free movement between countries, something many EU countries currently benefit from. This means that when entering Bulgaria you will go through passport control and visa requirements vary. For visa information, here is one place to start, but at the time of writing travellers from Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and most of Europe did not require visas for stays under 90 days.

Crossing the border from Romania to Bulgaria, our coach was stopped and border police came aboard. They collected passports, took them away and then returned them. This may seem alarming for some people, that people would take off with your passport without saying anything, but it is fairly common practice in Eastern Europe.

3. Getting Around

For those looking to take public transport around Bulgaria there are some things worth keeping in mind. Firstly, while I never once used the country’s train network, I did not hear good things about it. The people I talked to who used it encountered significant delays and were told by locals that they often don’t use it. This makes sense when you consider the quite extensive bus network there is crisscrossing across the country. The buses are fairly good value and for the most part punctual. One thing to keep in mind is that most major cities have multiple bus stations, so do check which stations you are departing from and arriving at. Information can be found online at Bgrazpisanie or Balkan Viator, but it always pays to check at the station as I encountered the occasional discrepancy.

Once you’ve arrived, most cities and towns have local bus networks that are pretty straightforward to use. While many were moving towards new ticketing systems, as of July 2016 in Varna, Nesebar, Plovdiv and Veliko Tarnovo you could buy tickets from ticket ladies aboard the bus. Tickets are generally cheap at about 1 lev.

4. Nod for No

Quite possibly the most confusing cultural difference I encountered in Bulgaria. Yes, in Bulgaria you nod for Noand shake your head for Yes. In a country like Bulgaria, where English isn’t all that widely spoken, you have to rely a lot on gestures and body language. That means, simple gestures like nods and head shakes become even more critical. This will take some time to adjust to during your visit, but I found it always helps to rethink what answer you were given to ensure you understood it properly.

5. Communist Remnants

Bulgaria was one of many countries that was under socialist rule during the latter half of the 20th century. During the period, the country saw a lot of construction in the very Soviet/Brutalist style that was in vogue at the time. Today plenty examples of this period are able to be seen when exploring Bulgaria’s bigger cities, particularly in the nation’s capital of Sofia. Many of the large government buildings in the centre of Sofia are large, monolithic and thoroughly soviet. There are also monuments, such as the half-dismantled one found in Sofia’s NDK Park. Sofia is not the only place however, Veliko Tarnovo has its fair share of relics from this period. Look no further than the brutalist Interhotel by the river or the incredibly secular church atop Tsarevets Fortress. Further afield, there are supposed to be abandoned bunkers and the like, for those who willing to explore.

How to Select the Right Travel Destination for You

Going for a tour or planning for any holiday would first require thinking about an ideal destination. Actually, an ideal travel destination is exactly what tops the priority list to make plans for any holiday. You will find various holiday packages which make both determining a travel destination and travelling easier. Thinking about lengthy distance travel is now more practicable than in the past. Here are the most widely used travel locations globally:

Sri Lanka: Aside from the landscapes and seascapes, Sri Lanka offers its vacationers with thrill and amazement. The vacationers could possibly get as much as be personal and shut using the giant tigers in the elephant orphanage.

Poultry: The alien landscapes in Cappadocia in poultry not just shocks but additionally bewilders! The area could be best seen from wicker basket of air balloons. The good thing about the area could be best perceived when seen in the wicker from the heat balloon. Whilst getting thrilled through the cave houses from the region which are famous throughout, the Turkish special treats may also be savoured. You will find several subterranean metropolitan areas to understand more about.

Burma: Why is Burma among the best travel locations, besides getting a powerful historicity, may be the amiable people there. The neighborhood families there assist the vacationers in going to Burma.

India: The nation wealthy in the natural splendor offers quite a bit to provide to the vacationers, which varies from heaven rising Himalayas, towards the tribal culture decreasing with the age range in the rural parts. The vacationers like to taste the neighborhood cuisine there. India is really a country which shows great diversity in the people, its food, as well as in its geography.

The other agents: The legend from the modern The other agents is constituted in the intriguing literary depictions and fantastic films. However, the status from the spot for as being a meeting point for Arabic, European, and African cultures continues to be ongoing since years.

Japan: The urban sprawl of Tokyo, japan is unfathomable with no traveller are able to afford to overlook it! While evolving in technologies and growing its industries, Japan offers outdoors and patch of eco-friendly to refresh.

Cambodia: This peaceful great thing about East Asia is easily the most amazing place in the area. It provides great diversity that varies from the Buddhist monastery towards the historic monument to finish within the more relaxed coffee shops, bookstores.

The Best Food and Places to Enjoy In Greece

Greece is the land of myths and history. Situated in the southern tip of the Balkans peninsula, this land offers you the chance to immerse yourself in a culture dating back thousands of centuries. But that’s not all this place has to offer. You can stroll along the beaches, visit the sites and enjoy authentic Greek food while in here. If you are thinking about where to camp, then there’s no need to worry because you can rent a house in Greece. This will make it easier for you to bring along your family as well. So before we traverse the places worth visiting, how about taking a little break and enjoy some authentic Greek food? What to try, here we got the list.

Amygdalota

It is a gluten-free Greek almond cookie which is very popular in the country. You should try it out with a hot cup of coffee. Get your family and friends together for a morning gathering and then enjoy this, as the cookie is supposed to reflect the memories of good times and warm relationships. The recipe will vary all over the country but the one stable ingredient is almond.

Bougatsa

This is kind of sweet pie, but keep in mind that it won’t be that sweet according to Greek standards. Made up of semolina custard and phyllo pastry, this food is for all times of the day. Exquisite in taste, you might want to consider eating this from a roadside food court so as to get an extra zest sweetness with the sprinkled cinnamon and powdered sugar on top.

Dolmadakia (Stuffed Grape Leaves)

This traditional Greek appetizer is a sign of the versatility of Greek food since dolmadakia are actually tiny dolmades made up of stuffed grape leaves. What’s inside you may ask? Ground beef or lamb is stuffed inside along with rice. Generally, it is served with lemon wedges as an appetizer. It tastes exquisite and should be enjoyed by everyone.

Courgette Balls (kolokithokeftedes)

A popular Cretan meze, this veggie starter food will surely take a spot in your list of favorite dishes. This food should be crispy on the outside while maintaining a creamy texture on the inside. Your taste buds will surely appreciate its salty and yet flavoured texture which it gets from the feta cheese along with a bit of mint.

Tomatokeftedes (Santorini Tomato Fritters)

This is a traditional meze and main course vegetarian food item found in Santorini as well as Syros. These tomato fritters require proper drainage of the tomatoes to prepare this delicious food item. Here’s how they should look if you plan to have them- have rough edges and be filled with tomato, onion and mint chunks.

Baklava

Everyone has at least heard of this quintessential Greek food. Containing nuts, butter, and sugar, this cuisine is a delectable combination which is completed by pouring sweet syrup all over it. That syrup then gets absorbed into the crispy phyllo layers, making the food delectable. With its flaky crust and exquisite flavors, it is probably the most popular food item amongst all Greek desserts and should be eaten at least one while you are touring.

After having some appetizers and cookies, how about heading out exploring the place? Here are the places you should not miss:

Patmos:

Dedicated to St John the theologian (who is believed to have written the Book of Revelation on this island) Patmos has arguably the most beautiful main village. Built around the monastery, the ideal time to visit this place is actually during July when the International Film Festival is going on. You can also pack up and visit during the August, Patmos Religious Music Festival. But music isn’t where it all ends, you can also witness the three-day event called Patmos revelation where there will be running and open water swimming races. It will take place at the end of June. Want to get away from the hub-bub for some time? This place got you covered with its gorgeous beaches, most notable of which is called Lambu and Psili Ammos. Pro tip: If you want to get away from civilization for some time then the uninhabited (almost) islands of Arkoi and Marathi is worth visiting.

Sifnos

If you are planning to visit this place then make sure to pack in both your flip-flops and hiking boots because there’s a whole lot to explore in this stunning village. The natural beauty called ‘Sifonas Trails’ is actually the largest network of paths developed in Aegean. There is more than 100 km to explore. Keep these in mind: there are 19 professionally marked footpaths which will take you to various places- chapels, quaint villages, ancient temples, olive groves and even farmhouses. This Cycladic Island has a number of hotels to stay in and is famous for being pretty hiker friendly. Here you can find equipment, maps and much more. But you don’t have to journey here alone; this is a family-friendly site and has great restaurants and taverns which serve delicious good. Pro tip: If you are visiting in September then do check out the Cycladic Gastronomy Festival Nikolaos Tselemedes which is held over three days.

Greece has a lot to offer if you are ready to explore. So put in your beachwear along with your hiking gear and get ready to experience a conglomeration of hospitable people, accompanied by their delectable food and adventurous places.

Best Caribbean Honeymoon Destination

If you’re a recently get married couple and are thinking about a honeymoon destination, look no where else and plan a Caribbean honeymoon. Very couple of places worldwide could contend with Caribbean honeymoon. However the only hitch here’s there are over 7000 Caribbean islands which is a real gigantic task choosing one for celebrating your honeymoon.

It is a fact that these islands aren’t lived on but nonetheless the job of picking a choice isn’t simple. You’d discover that every single Caribbean island features its own distinctive culture and tradition and would attract anybody visiting here. However the best news for honeymooners is the fact that every single island includes a minumum of one all-inclusive resort which turns out to be the very best factor for honeymooners.

There’s a couple of things that you need to bear in mind whenever you consider a Caribbean honeymoon.

The initial factor that you would need to do is always to choose a tropical that may be well suited for you as recently-weds. As pointed out earlier there’s an abundance of islands to select from and you’re sure to locate an island to fit your taste. So, if you’re searching for any typical Caribbean honeymoon experience, Jamaica is where to go to. It’s a big island of hawaii that provides you everything from shopping and clubbing to hikes and waterfalls. And furthermore, you will find a quantity of all-inclusive resorts which makes everything so simple.

So if you’re considering closeness and privacy, then there are a variety of smaller sized islands that will supply you complete privacy. You may want to visit Culebra and Dominica if you want privacy together with your spouse. These islands don’t provide you with much when it comes to other facilities but yes, you are able to rest in warm sun and revel in time with the one you love.

The following factor that you ought to be searching for is a brand inclusive Caribbean honeymoon resort. There could be no paucity of resorts to select from. You can start with resorts that are “adults only or couples only.” These resorts are meant solely for couples on romantic holidays. This could make sure that it’s not necessary to bear vociferous families and boisterous kids.

And finally, if you have made the reservations and also have compensated for that trip, you can start packing your bags and prepare for that trip. The very best factor about Caribbean honeymoon package is the fact that things are all-inclusive within the cost from the trip. So, you don’t need to be worried about meals, drinks, beach rights, resorts, and aquatic sports.