Monday, November 27, 2006

Veliko Tarnovo

Teaching abroad at an American school is so wonderful because you get to observe the American and the national holidays! So, for Bulgaria's Independence Day- September 22nd, 2006 we (Gordon, Jonathan, and I) went to Veliko Tarnovo. This is a city of about 75,000 people and is the old capital city of Bulgaria. It is in the northern central part of the country. VT is the location where their Constitution was written in 1878 and has evidence of human settlement dating back to 5,000 years ago!

We traveled 3 hours by train from Sofia. Unfortunately, there was standing room only because of the national holiday. We spent our days roaming around the city streets, visiting the Anthropoligical Museum and an ancient Byzantine Castle. About 30 minutes after arriving a local elderly woman offered us rooms in her house. So, for about $12 USD each we stayed at her apartment, the second picture above is a view from her balcony, nice!

During THE Independence Day celebration we were lucky enough to endure a super patriotic speech by the Vice President of the country, of which we understood about 6 works, for example "holiday" and "independence". The marching band was nearly gunned down by overzealous soldiers firing heavy duty artillery. We even witnessed 5 army personnel pass out from standing at attention for so long... such patriotism! The speeches were concluded with a spectacular light show over the Tsarevets Castle, mostly built in 1185.

And thus concludes our Bulgarian Independence Day experience. Where do we go next?

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