Showing posts from December, 2013

Our Christmas in Bulgaria

Even under normal circumstances, I don't decorate a ton for Christmas. I love other people's well-decorated houses and trees at Christmas time, but I haven't ever put in the time or money to do anything outstanding at our own house. It was pretty much the same story here in Plovdiv, but with less pressure and guilt because 1) we don't have any Christmas decorations and 2) the level of Christmas ornamentation here in Plovdiv is much less than we're used to seeing at home in the US -- there are beautiful lights and a small Christmas market on Glavnata (the main pedestrian shopping zone in the middle of Plovdiv) and many stores have modest decorations, and we saw small Christmas trees and lights in some apartments, but nothing like the Christmas markets of Germany or the sometimes amazing light displays of American houses. Anyway, here's what we did for our Christmas decorations, in a short series of extremely mediocre photographs. (Is it possible to be extremel…

Graffiti on Taksim Tepe (Таксим тепе)

For my Uncle Howard, here are pictures of some of the plentiful graffiti in and on the long-abandoned building on top of one of Plovdiv's main hills, Taksim Tepe. The building looks like it might have been some kind of state-owned community center during the Communist era. Look! Mira's name! In front of the wall is the top of the rock mountain, left as part of the room.

Cold Plovdiv days with some sun

The days have gotten colder here. One day we had "freezing fog", which felt just like you'd expect. We bundle up with scarves and sometimes gloves. But when the sun's out for an hour here and there, it's very nice to be outside.Near the main eastern approach to Сахат тепе/Данов хълм, off Главната. This would be a cool building with nice views when renovated: Looking northwest from the overlook by the radio towers on Сахат тепе/Данов хълм, see the Turkish clock tower, and left and down from it many different stone stairways built into the hill going down toward a park: We've been to Таксим тепе and the decaying building there a few times since finding it. Thanks to whoever owns it for leaving it wide open with no fences or signs to keep out! A museum below Таксим тепе with painted-on columns typical of the areas: A view north/northwest with the tower of църква Св. Богородица (Church of the Holy Mother of God): Watch out what "candy" you buy without lookin…

Another week in Plovdiv

Mira made her own mock MP3 player, headphones, and charger out of cardboard, tape, and yarn: On Wednesday the whole family went to see the new Thor movie in 3D at a movie theater. The audio was in the original English and there were Bulgarian subtitles. Some sights seen on the way there and back: Afterward we walked to Гребна база, a large rowing canal in the west of town near the river. It looks like the canal is about 2 km long, and in the winter there are people out walking, running, and biking around it: We had the LDS sister missionaries over one night for dinner. Sister Frame is on the left. She's from Ephraim, Utah, and finishes her mission and heads home this coming week. Sister Davidson is on the right. Yesterday I got to watch the sun set from on top of Младежки хълм: And for the first time I found the smaller hill overlook not far from our house, Таксим тепе, where there is an abandoned building in a pretty advanced state of decay. It was fun to explore. I had a nice evening…

Thanksgiving in Plovdiv

We had a very nice Thanksgiving dinner made mostly by Erin, and Jacob made rolls from scratch. We had mashed potatoes, green beans, chicken, gravy, stuffing, rolls, and water. For dessert we had apple crisp and chocolate pudding cake. We have many, many things to be thankful for, and talked about that before, during, and after the meal, alongside the eating, general silliness, and partial chaos. Here we are before beginning. That morning Seth and I went for a run east along the south side of the Maritsa River, and entering into the Izgrev neighborhood encountered the delightful sight of these apparently unattended horses grazing on grass in the median of the 4-lane road: On the way home we found an advertisement that was fun to read in Cyrillic because of the final word: ресторант · градина · барбекю = restaurant · garden · barbecue. Here is Seth in front of it sporting my brother Charlie's venerable Ethel Boyes Track t-shirt from Idaho Falls: Near us in the old town are some ancient…