Showing posts from January, 2014

Plovdiv Ethnographic Museum

The Plovdiv Regional Ethnographic Museum is really close to us. Like it takes less than five minutes to walk there. So I don't know why it took us so long to go, but we finally did, and it was cool. First, the kids had fun in the courtyard. This is a huge, beautiful painting in the very large entry area. From the second story windows looking out into the front courtyard. I took tons of pictures of traditional costumes. They are so colorful and varied and have beautiful hand-knit socks and intricate scarves and sashes and all kinds of fancy braiding. I'll spare you all of my pictures of that stuff, though. Here's just one. I think this is a typical rich person's Revival-era room. Mira with some awesome rugs. The kids exhausted after exploring the whole place. (Not really that exhausted. They just liked those wide window seats.) From the front courtyard of the museum, which is a house that was built in 1847 for a wealthy merchant

More graffiti

There's a lot of really cool street art in this pedestrian underpass in Plovdiv, but unfortunately, I don't have pictures of much of it. Somewhere in Plovdiv. This is a swimming pool on top of Mladezhki Halm, the tallest hill in Plovdiv. Somewhere else in Plovdiv. Somewhere in Sofia. This is at the bottom of a memorial built for Buglaria's 1300th birthday, which Seth blogged about here (at the very end of the post). Near the ancient aqueducts in Plovdiv. A couple by Plovdiv's graffiti artist Билко (Bilko). Jon mentioned him here and included a link to an article about him, which is in Bulgarian, but Google Translate can help with that.

Views from the terrace on a sunny December day

Tomorrow we leave for Sofia. Early on Friday morning, we have a flight from Sofia to Paris and then a flight from Paris to Salt Lake City. It's hard to believe that we'll be in the States in a couple of days, though we won't be back in our own home until the first of March. And while the kids are packing and cleaning, I'm doing some random last-minute blog posts. Ah, my life of leisure!

Sounds of Plovdiv

Every day at about 8:00 am, 8:35 am, and 5:00 pm, the bells ring at Sv. Nedelya, the Orthodox church that is almost right next to our house. I can tell that someone is actually ringing them, because some days they're slow and rhythmic and sometimes they ring kind of fast, like someone's in a hurry. And sometimes they get a little out of sync. The times are a little different on Sundays: 8:00 am, 9:00 am, and 4:00 pm. And on holidays, they sometimes ring at different times and for longer. I love hearing them. Here's another video from Christmas Day. It's long, so don't feel obligated to listen to all of it, but it's an example of how different it sometimes sounds. And here's a video that I took during the call to prayer at Dzhumaya Mosque. Another sound that I hope I don't forget is the sounds of the caged birds chirping at our neighbors' house. There are several small cages attached to the outside walls of their house, and each one ha

Бачковски манастир (Bachkovo Monastery)

Бачковски манастир / Bachkovo Monastery , founded in 1083, is the second-largest monastery in Bulgaria, and is said to be one of the largest and oldest Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Europe. Those two links go to Wikipedia articles that explain much more, including interesting connections to Georgia and Armenia, and have some good photos. See these pages on and for more history and photos. A couple of weeks ago I went there for a day with Jacob and Phin. They requested that photos not be taken inside the monastery itself, but we have plenty from the beautiful hills and nature, and of several wonderful small churches up in the mountains. This is the gate to the monastery grounds: Water fountains are common, and some like this one have icons and inscriptions too: This was the furriest fountain we've ever seen: This is the main monastery entrance: This is a graveyard and ossuary (bone house), but it wasn't open: