Plovdiv. Unique name.. Unique place!

Standard

Image

Plovdiv, Bulgaria. What more can be said to summarise Plovdiv in one short statement other than ‘it is a testament to the history of civilization’. To say that it is an ‘old city’ is an understatement, with a vast settlement history stretching past 4000BC, making it not only one of the oldest in Europe, but the world. To think about the diverse amounts of cultures that have called this city ‘home’ over the past 6000 years is staggering, with Thracians, Greeks, Romans, Bulgars, Slavs and Turks, all to leave their mark on the cities architecture and culture.

Image

Image

The old city itself is a mix of ancient Roman theaters and Plovdiv’s own unique architectural style from the 19th Century, the colours used are alike those of Latin American towns, which just adds to the curiosity of the city. The stonework of the roads and walls are alike many original Balkan streets, however the care and devotion of the city towards maintaining its charm is not unnoticed.

Image

Image

Image

There of course is the old Ottoman style of the city with centuries old mosques with minarets, still looking as impressive as the day they were built! Not to forget the obviously beautifully decorated Bulgarian Orthodox Churches. In the centre of the old town the streets are similar to those of most Western European business districts, with later styled architecture, however to me it just adds further to the appeal of Plovdiv.

Image

Image

Image 

The biggest appeal to me is how authentic this city is despite it still having a relatively large population; it is as though whilst it’s unique flair and spirit seems new it is amazing to know that its style has lasted centuries! Personally I would love exploring the stone streets of the old town and just take in the amazing architecture and flair of the city.

Image

Image

Image

Image

There are lots to do and see in Plovdiv, whether you are an art buff or love to immerse yourself in history and ruins of the distant past. There are ancient mosaics, an amazingly partially intact roman aqueduct, not to mention the main sights of the Odeon and Amphitheater! An interesting fact is that the Amphitheater was only discovered no more than 40 years ago, buried underneath the city centre! It has been beautifully uncovered and can be toured. This is just amazing as the centuries past so much has been covered up, despite the size (it could sit half the cities 1st century population of 60,000!), just makes you think of what treasures are still yet to be discovered in the most unusual places!

 Image

Image

Image

To get into Plovdiv these days is quite diverse and plentiful, with trains and buses from Sofia and even Istanbul! The nearby airport though small still has flights from Milan, London and Frankfurt, and then there is the trusty car, in which you can travel along the newly upgraded motorway from Sofia or Burgas!

Image

Image

This amazing town is defiantly high on my trip list as is many places in the Balkans, if any of you have been there please let me know on your experiences! Hope you enjoyed the read!

Image

So where tomorrow’s post will be?

Standard

Its been a while since I’ve uploaded a post.. Not since last week actually! It is thanks to a hectic schedule consisting of university study through summer holidays, and 2 online courses I have to get through before next April, on top of work duties and socializing! Where do i find the time or my sanity?!?

The place I will introduce you to tomorrow is off the beaten track and I often wonder off in my mind (as I often do when studying or working) to imagine this amazing part of the European Union.. Where you ask? Well the clue is in the photo! 🙂

Image

 

 

Crystal clear waters of Croatia’s Plitvice Lakes

Standard

I never have been any place that offers so much unspoiled natural beauty than Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia. The entire park from the very first step is awe inspiring and a testimony to just how amazing nature is.

Image

I visited Plitvice earlier this year and also last year during summer and the first thing I noticed was just how many people come to visit. It had me worried about the quality of the experience (I am not a big fan of having to dodge tourists while trekking), and there was a slight bother for the wait for the ferry to pick us up from the pier, however the scenery just draws your attention to all the great things on offer.

Image

Image

Image

Image

From the moment you set foot on the walkway you are greeted by the clearest water you could ever imagine.. While walking over a little timber bridge just over the side of one of the lakes I actually knelt down to touch the water.. I almost fell in since my depth perception was way off, it was so still and clear I thought it was only centimeters under the bridge, turned out to be a bit more!

 Image

Image

Image

The walks are quite long and there are lots of photos to be taken along the way, whether it be waterfalls, fish, wildlife, strange formations in the lime coloured water and even the lush greenery of the forest.

Image 

Image

Image

When you finish the possible hours on end of walking there is a kiosk at the end which you can relax with a light meal and a beer before you jump on the free bus to take you back to where you started! There you will find more food options of typical Croatian everyday grilled meats. The walk from the main carpark to the lakes are great, with local produce being sold such as great fruits, honey and even chilli fetta cheese!

Image

Image

Image

Image

The cost of entering the park is a quite low, being less than $20 for an adult, and driving there from the coastal city of Zadar or the capital Zagreb is only a couple of hours away, so this is great for a day trip. I and anyone that has been will highly recommend it, make an occasion for it the next time your in Croatia!

Image

Image

Image

Re-discovering our world lost to 'conventional' travel #1

Standard

Who am I?

Before I begin, I will introduce myself, seeing as its my first blog post, ever! My name is Daniel, I’m 24 years old, a university student and friends call me ‘Bera’ due to my fantastic surname.. cool story, I know. 

I’ve lived in Sydney, Australia my entire life and ever since I was at least 4 years old I always wanted to explore what seemed out of reach places, whether it be a park I saw from the back seat of the family car, a town in a far away location I saw in a movie or even funny enough explore beyond the borders of open world video games like GTA or even Call of Duty. Let’s be honest there is Imagesomething interesting about exploring the unknown!

There is something inside me that I feel and I’m sure many others feel, that leads to a yearning to explore places where others either have no interest or not enough knowledge about. After all its these places where you just might discover feelings of happiness, excitement, tranquility or you might just feel at peace with the world. Without trying to sound like a conventional ‘explorer wannabe’, I have little interest in discovering a hidden cafe in Milan or visiting a National Park somewhere in Australia..That is simply put, over done and not really discovering anything outside the box in terms of travel. After all, lets face it, the Western world is well documented!

How this blog will be different to ‘travel blogs’

First and mostly of all, I want to expose you to places which you either rarely or wont read about at all, introduce you to different peoples of this world that you did not know existed, share histories from the most unheard of locations and more than Imageanything I want you to know that travel goes beyond the usual destinations of Tropical resorts and Parisian streets.

Now before I start I would like you to know, there are places I will be sharing with you that I have been before, these posts and stories will include such information like:

  • Best places to visit, walk around, drive to, eat at, etc
  • Cheapest & most convenient ways of getting there and getting around
  • Places that are nearby so you have some option on other great places to go
  • Tips of the area, things to do and not to do

And then I will share other great destinations that I wish to go one day, I will just be scratching the surface by mentioning:

  • Where, What and Why go to there?
  • Interesting facts & stats, histories and articles or videos about the destination
  • Who lives there?
  • How do you get there?

As this is the very first post I don’t want to turn this post into a book, yet, rather than leave you with nothing at all before my next post I will briefly share a place I have been recently, just a month ago in fact. A place that I hold very dear to my heart and is what feels the periphery to the world of travel I’m going to share with you!

A taste of things to come

ImageOne of the most spectacular places Ive been to in Europe is defiantly Croatia, in particular the Makarska Riviera. It is a rare piece of unspoiled Mediterranean Europe with pristine water, clean beaches, hot dry days with almost perfectly timed cool breezes, it really is the Pearl of the Adriatic. Truth be told, photos don’t do justice to the beauty of the Dalmatian Coast, this photo was taken from my battered 3 year old Sony Xperia phone, which has accompanied me to Europe 3 times now (however I do believe this was its last time).

I will share with you the best this Coast has to offer, the most interesting places to day trip too, the cheapest yet best quality places to eat and most importantly how you can make everyday you spend there count!

But that is until a few days from now, due to endless studying ahead for the weekend! Try to keep posted and until then, take care and Doviđenja!

– D Berakov