Bulgaria, Plovdiv – Landmarks Everywhere
There is no airport, so you need to fly first to Sofia and then by train or bus directly to Plovdiv. The train journey is lined with high mountains, so it runs faster. The local transport in Plovdiv itself is quite clear. The ticket is bought inside the bus and costs 1 BGN (approx. 14 CZK). But one thing stopped me a lot - they don't have timetables. It is always stated what time the first bus of a certain line runs and then the interval is written, how often the given line runs. But it's up to you to calculate when the bus will leave. The locals don't solve it at all, they just wait at the bus stop before something goes. Bulgaria is not as rushed as Central and Western Europe. Time is important, but if you come 10-15 minutes later, nothing happens, especially since you came.
I honestly have to say that Plovdiv has lost a lot more interesting and lively to me than the capital Sofia. Maybe it's just because it is a cosmopolitan city, where you will meet many domestic, but also tourists and foreign students, at the same time it is not a megalopolis. So it is not a problem to meet an elderly grandmother who lives with the whole family in a dilapidated house and a group of foreign students who rent part of the villa opposite for a lot of money. I claim that really anything is possible in Plovdiv! Many cultural events take place here all year round. In 2019, Plovdiv was chosen as the capital of culture. It is quite green, there are parks where you can sit, it is not far into nature and at the same time it is a big city where you can buy and buy practically anything.
Old Plovdiv is full of beautiful old houses. A characteristic architectural element is the extended floor of the house. I recommend visiting the ancient theater, the Roman stadium, the ancient stadium and the view from all the hills on which the city of Plovdiv lies.
New Plovdiv has a beautiful quiet boulevard without cars, lots of restaurants, cafes and Roman excavations. Most of the houses were built here at the end of the last century. The dominant area is Centrale Square with the adjacent park - the Garden of Cara Simeon. On the main boulevard you can visit various luxury boutiques and shops with clothes, food, decorations, souvenirs, etc. At the end of this boulevard begins Old Plovdiv, the border is the only Plovdiv mosque Djumaya Jamiya with an adjacent cafe.
Text and photos: Martina Koşar
Photos: Martina Koşar, Wikimedia Commons: MrPanyGoff
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