Wednesday 28 August 2013

From Rila (mountain) with love: cute and colourful bugs

While hiking in Rila mountain next to the breathtaking views we had fabulously colourful encounters with small and tiny representatives from the butterfly/bug/caterpillar family...So please meet the hummingbird hawk-moth (also known as "humming moth" or "гълъбова опашка" in Bulgarian and "Taubenschwänzchen" in German). When you look at the wings of this butterfly (yep, its part of the butterfly family) you will instantly know why its call that way:-) 

While I was checking online its names in different languages I found some interesting facts about it. The humming moth is supposed to recognise colours pretty well, it recognise the yellow and blue nuances pretty well, however he humming moth can not tell the difference btween the black and the red. It flies in sunshine, but also at dusk, dawn and even in rain which is pretty rare for hawkmoths. And the third picture could be its larvae, we did not ask though:-) the last stranger we met was so great colour, we forgot to ask for his/her name during the photohooting, if anyone knows, pls tell me!

Sunday 25 August 2013

From Rila (mountain) with love: great views and colourful flowers

I have reported here once last year about the highest Bulgarian mountain Rila (with Musala being 2925,4 m high). The place is magical, once you have been there you always long to go back...I was going up every summer with my grand parents when I was little. It was standard nature escape... So this year I did it again with my parents! We took another hike trail and had a fantastic weather and amazing encounters. Enjoy the breathtaking views of lakes and colourful inhabitants! I hope you can feel how special, quiet and cozy this place is from my photo-tour...
Rila flower, Bulgaria
Rila lake, Bulgaria
Rila lake, Bulgaria
Rila mountain flower, Bulgaria

Next to enjoying the magnificent views, refreshing out feet in the lake water and sweating while climbing up we did not forget the most important activity! We have picked some fresh Rila thyme (picture below), which is used in almost every Bulgarian family as aromatic tea or best home caugh-remedy in the cold season! I love to collect this plant as my fingers are parfumed for some time afterwards with the thyme oil:-))
 Rila thyme, Bulgaria

Rila, thyme collector

Thursday 22 August 2013

Once in a blue moon!

Tonight (21.08.2013) is full moon, ooops sorry its actually BLUE moon! Because its an extra full moon, which happens very rare, like when we have 13 full moons in one year! And last time it was in 2010... So I decided to get the camera and see how I could document this beauty in pics! So here we gooooo! I have been using ISO 800-1600 and -2stops...I have viewed it from Risjwijk, the Netherlands between 10 and 12pm.
Blue moon/full moon August 2013
Blue moon/full moon August 2013
Blue moon/full moon August 2013
Blue moon/full moon August 2013

Sunday 18 August 2013

Visit the Basilica from late 5th century, known as the red Church next to Plovdiv

Hidden in the middle of sunflower fields, mountains and few industry chimneys the Red Church next to Perushtitsa expect nowadays visitors more proudly than ever. The rests of this late Roman Christian basilica (originally built in the 5th/6th century) has been beautifully restored and opened to public in April 2013. The Red Church is a rare example of solid brick construction in a church from Late Antiquity in Bulgaria, and it was the red colour of the bricks that gave the church its name.

The floor of the church was covered with mosaics and the interior was decorated with frescoes. Currently few frescoes under the arches (one old from the original church and few from the later stage in 11th century) are amazing the visitors. They are for sure the wow-part of the discovery of this old temple. This magic place is actually just 15 min drive from Plovdiv and 1 km before the town of Perushtitsa. Definitely worth the stop. There is only one sign and a path of around 10 min walk will bring you to this treasure!

Sunday 11 August 2013

The colours of the old town in Plovdiv

Old Plovdiv Etnography museum
Old Plovdiv Etnography museum entrance
As a Sofia-born girl (and Sofia being the capital of Bulgaria) I have to confess that I was only twice short in Plovdiv, the second biggest city at home. So this summer I decided to learn better the town and to spend one day there. Plovdiv's history spans 6,000 years, with traces of a Neolithic settlement dating to roughly 4000 BC, ranking it among the world's oldest cities. Plovdiv was known in the West for most of its recorded history by the Greek name Philippopolis, which was introduced in 340 BC.Plovdiv was originally a Thracian city before later becoming a Greek and a major Roman one. In the Middle Ages, it retained its strategic regional importance, changing hands between the Byzantine and Bulgarian Empires. Nowadays Plovdiv is often referred to in Bulgaria as "The City of the Seven Hills" as it historically developed on seven hills (which are 250 m high).
Old Plovdiv houses
Old Plovdiv houses
Old Plovdiv beautiful door
My Plovdiv discovery was sunny, hot and simply mind-blowing... Plovdiv has more than 200 archeological sites. The architecture of the city is a real time-machine:  there are two ancient theatres and stadium from Roman time; remains of the medieval walls and towers; Ottoman baths and mosques; a well-preserved old quarter from the National Revival period with beautiful houses, churches and narrow paved streets. The buildings in the old town (from the years 1800-1850) are beautifully restored and visiting the houses really helps imagine the life back in time...Enjoy the walk with me in pictures!  
Plovdiv, old town
Plovdiv, Roman stadium
PS: Next to great+colourful+ancient architecture we enjoyed yummy food, in restaurant Hebros in the old town rice with snails:-)