Bulgaria

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About

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia

  • Bulgaria is a country located on the western side of the Black Sea.
  • It is surrounded by Romania to the north, Serbia to the northwest, the Republic of Macedonia to the southwest, Greece to the south, and Turkey to the southeast.
  • The Bulgarian language is related to Serbian, Russian and other Eastern European languages, but contains many international words.
  • Bulgaria emphasizes foreign language studies, especially English language, so it wouldn’t be a problem to talk and find information in English in bigger cities.
  • Bulgarian cuisine is a mix of the cuisine of Southeastern Europe with some Turkish and Greek influences.  Famous for its rich salads required at every meal.

 

HISTORY

  • Bulgaria is the oldest nation-state in Europe.
  • Bulgaria became a member of the European Union in January 2007 and has been a part of NATO since 2004.
  • In the mid fourteenth century, Bulgaria came under Ottoman rule, which lasted till the Russo-Turkish War. In 1878, Bulgaria was re-established as a constitutional monarchy.
  • After World War II, Bulgaria became a communist state and part of the Eastern Bloc.
  • In 1990, the Communist party of Bulgaria gave up its monopoly on power, making way for democracy and free-market capitalism.
  • Bulgaria forms a part of the Balkan Peninsula, an area in South East Europe.


FACTS

    Windmill at Nesebar Island

    • Mount Musala (2,925 m), a part of Rila Mountains, is the highest peak in Bulgaria.
    • Iskar is the longest river in Bulgaria, while Varna Lake its largest coastal lake.
    • Raiskoto Praskalo Waterfall, known as the Heaven Spray, is the highest waterfall in Bulgaria.
    • The hottest mineral water spring in Bulgaria is in the town of Sapareva Banya.
    • There are around four thousand mapped caves in Bulgaria.
    • Varna, on the Black Sea, used to serve as a trading centre in ancient times.
    • The name Bulgaria has been kept after Bulgar people, who arrived here in the late seventh century.
    • John Vincent Atanassoff, the inventor of the first electronic computer, belongs to Bulgaria.
    • Bulgaria introduced the Cyrillic alphabet in the European Union, when it became a member in January 2007.
    • Bulgarian Air Force developed the first air-dropped bomb in military history, during the First Balkan War.
    • Peter Petroff, a Bulgarian, developed the first digital wristwatch of the world.
    • On 1st March, every year, Bulgarians give each other ‘martenitsas’ – small figures made of white and red threads. These figures are believed to be a symbol of the awakening – of spring, health and happiness.
    • Soccer is the most popular sport in Bulgaria.
    • When Bulgarians waggle their heads Indian-style, it means yes and when they nod, it means no.
    • Lactobacillus Bulgaricus is a bacterium that can be found only in Bulgarian air.
    • There is only one volcano in Bulgaria – Kozhukh, which has been extinct since long.
    • Boris Christov and Nickolai Guaurov, the famous Opera singers, are Bulgarian.

Avg. Costs

Black Sea Coast

  • Beer: 1.50 LV
  • Salad: 3 LV
  • Bottle of coke: 1 LV
  • Fries with cheese: 3 LV
  • Large pizza: 5 LV
  • A full meal for 2 would be around 30-35 LV.  Example: chicken breasts, pork chops, roasted veggies, shopska salad, two cokes, two glasses of wine, and dessert
  • Breakfast – 4 LV
  • Lunch- 10 LV
  • Supper – around 15 LV
  • One-litre bottle of mineral water costs 0.80 LV

 

Click here to see The Economist’s Big Mac Index.  It is arguably the world’s most accurate financial indicator to be based on a fast-food item.

Currency

Information is coming soon.

Safety

Fortress of Assen

  • Bulgaria is generally a safe country, and people are quite friendly. You should however behave according to common sense when you are outside of the main tourist areas
  • Don’t show too openly that you have money, don’t dress too much like a tourist, watch your things, don’t walk around the suburbs and avoid dark streets at night.
  • Driving in Bulgaria can be very nerve-wracking. Bulgarian roads claim almost 1300 lives each year.
  • The use of seat belts is mandatory in Bulgaria for all passengers, except pregnant women.
  • Take caution while crossing the streets, as generally, drivers are extremely impatient and will largely ignore your presence whilst crossing the road.
  • In general, Organized crime is a serious issue throughout Bulgaria; however it usually does not affect tourists. Bulgaria is safer than most European countries with regard to violent crime, and the presence of such groups is slowly declining. Pick pocketing and taxi scams are present on a wider scale, so be careful, especially in crowded places.
  • Car theft is probably the most serious problem that travelers can encounter. If you drive an expensive car, do not leave it in unguarded parking lots or on the streets – these locations are likely to attract more attention from the criminals. If, by any chance you do leave it in such a location, you need to be sure that the vehicle has a security system. Such an installment will prevent the vehicle from getting stolen.

 

Emergency phone numbers

The pan-European standard number 112 for all emergency calls is working everywhere in Bulgaria since September 2008. If, for some reason, you cannot connect to 112, dial 166 for police, 150 for ambulance and 160 for the fire department.

Click here to see Canadian Government Travel Reports and Warnings on http://www.voyage.gc.ca/.  Travel Reports offer information on safety and security, local laws and customs, entry requirements, health conditions and other important travel issues.

Climate

Summer in the Rhodope Mountain

  • The climate of Bulgaria is one of the country’s most favourable features.
  • Along the Black Sea Coast the climate is maritime; the Mediterranean Sea cools summer temperatures compared to the interior of the country.
  • Continental in the interior; cold, damp winters with snow in the higher elevations; hot and humid summers.
  • Temperate on the coast; mild autumns, cool winters, mild springs and warm and breezy summers.
  • Temperatures average 75°F (24°C) in summer and around 32°F (0°C) in the winter months

Places to See

Veliko Tarnovo

The Marvelous Bridges

  • A rock formation in the Rhodope Mountains in southern Bulgaria.
  • Located in the Karst valley of the Erkyupryia River in the Western Rhodopes at 1,450 metres above sea level, at the foot of Persenk Peak.
  • The “bridges” were formed by the erosive activity of the once high-water river.
  • It transformed the marble clefts into a deep water cave, the ceiling of which whittled up through time and collapsed, allegedly during an earthquake.
  • Geologists suppose that the water carried the debris away.
  • As a result, the two remaining bridge-shaped boulders remained.

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The Boyana Church

  • A medieval Bulgarian Orthodox church situated on the outskirts of Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.
  • The east wing of the two-storey church was originally constructed in the late 10th or early 11th century
  • The central wing was added in the 13th century
  • The whole building being finished with a further expansion to the west in the middle of the 19th century.
  • The church has one of the most complete and well-preserved monuments of Eastern European medieval art.
  • A total of 89 scenes with 240 human images are depicted on the walls of the church.

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The National Historical Museum

  • Located in Sofia is Bulgaria’s largest museum.
  • It was founded on 5 May 1973 and its first representative exposition was opened in 1984 to commemorate 1300 years of Bulgarian history.
  • The museum stores and owns over 650,000 objects connected to archaeology, fine arts, history and ethnography, exhibiting about 10% of all.

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Baba Vida

  • A medieval fortress in Vidin in northwestern Bulgaria and the town’s primary landmark.
  • It consists of two fundamental walls and four towers and is said to be the only entirely preserved medieval castle in the country.
  • The construction of the fortress began in the 10th century at the place of an Ancient Roman watchtower.

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Etiquette

Communication Etiquette:
• Fairly formal culture, handshake, direct eye contact appropriate meeting
• Address them with their titles
• Only friends and family address each other with first names, and occasionally a hug
• Small gifts should be brought if invited to someone’s home

Business Etiquette:
• Handshakes and direct eye contact are used at the beginning and end of meetings
• The eye contact is very important because it relays trust and sincerity
• Do not rush negotiations, as good ventures will not happen overnight
• Retain a business formality at all times
• It is important to know that a nod of the head means “no” while a shake of the head means “yes”
• Most senior Bulgarian will open the meeting with an opening statement
• Any presentations should be fact based, with statics to prove points
• A good relationship with your Bulgarian counterpart will insure a success in negotiating
• For business dress, it is pretty normal to Canadian or American standards
– For men, suits with dark colors
– For Women, stylish yet conservative, standard business attire

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