Monday, 21 August 2017

Featured Destination

Bhutan: A Sharp Surge in Gross National Happiness

Satiated by Kathmandu’s crowds, smells and chaos, I board the Druk Air flight – the only airline with service to Bhutan, with a sigh of relief. We have been advised to get a seat on the left side of the plane, as to be able to glimpse Everest.

But the constant peering during the hour-long flight is fruitless – all I can see is clouds. Then the pilot announces our imminent descent and, like a scene in a Monty Python film, warns the passengers to stay calm, for no apparent reason. A few minutes of slight panicking later, it is clear why – the clouds remain above us and the plane drops suddenly, verging around the surrounding mountains at such proximity that its wings seem like they will scratch the slopes.
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Foreign Wines Outnumbered Bulgarian Ones on Vinaria 2014 Competition

11 March 2014 | National wine tastings, preceding Bulgaria’s biggest wine fair, Vinaria 2014, started today with a surprise: foreign wines exceeded in number Bulgarian ones first time in history of the competition. Full Story


Easter Photo Opportunity in Bozhenci, Bulgaria

17 April 2014 | Architectural reserves may seem sometimes touristy or hollow, but Bozhenci, Eastern Bulgaria, does not. It’s been blossoming under the sun for some centuries now. Its quiet cobbled streets and wooden houses, protruding through lush vines, compose the idyllic panorama, which many Bulgarians see in their dreams of the country side. Full Story

Slow Wine Was Added to Slow Food
A Doc Fest to Warm up Thessaloniki, Greece, This Weekend

Routes Less Travelled

Mount Parnassus in Greece Beckons Off-the-Beaten-Track Travellers

In the world of tourism, the phrase "off-the-beaten-track" is mostly identified with remote and exotic excursions. But in Greece, it can easily mean a way to avoid pricey destinations that often come to mind Full Story

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Balkan Mysteries: The Bosnian Pyramids of Semir Osmanagić
Romania’s Haţeg Land: Shades of Blue

Curiosity Chest

A Prayer Carried by the Winds

All over Bhutan – from the cities, by the roads and in villages, one can see colourful pieces of fabric, imprinted with Buddhist images and texts, blowing in the wind. These are prayer flags, unique to the Himalayan branch of Buddhism. The idea behind them is that when the wind blows, it picks up and carries the imprinted prayers to the skies, “for the benefit of all sentient beings."
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Hidden Sofia

Bulgaria’s Capital Sofia: Queen of the Balkans

Alive and stirring, Sofia is like a butterfly about to emerge from its chrysalis. Neon lights, posh hotels, fancy restaurants and brightly lit shop windows now illuminate its avenues, but a walk through the city gives visitors a glimpse into its varied past – from medieval churches and mosques dating to Ottoman rule to a newer, golden-domed cathedral, from ornate nineteenth-century façades to communist-era architecture.
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Sofia, Bulgaria: A City of Ecumenical and Earthly Delights
Some 20 Reasons to Feast in Sofia

Hidden Bulgaria

The Crystal Heartbeat of a Mountain Lake

With summer slowly melting behind us, September often awakes craving for fresher waters, for landscapes more sensitive towards the change of seasons than the uniform, uniseasonal sea coast of sand and blue water. Full Story

Bulgaria’s Most Contested Monastery, St Ivan of RIla
Bulgaria in 3 Days: Sofia and Mount Vitosha

Balkan Coasts & Mountains

Ararat: The Mountain Where Noah’s Journey Ended


Eastern Turkey, 10 kilometres from the Iranian border. The raven-strewn landscape is a barren yellowish red. On one side rises Ararat, the twin-topped dormant volcano that is rightly considered as one of the world’s most impressive sights. Full Story

A Blue Cruise in Turkey's Magic Waters
Fresh Fish, Olives, and the Albanian Bay of Ksamil: All to Yourself