Sunday, October 9, 2011

Weekend Update

We had a great trip to Dryanovo and Veliko Turnovo this weekend.  In Dryanovo we visited Sasha's grandparents.  The girls loved seeing their great-grandparents for the first time.  It was a fun trip for David as well as he had the chance to sit down and hear some stories about a 5 year old Sasha first hand from Grandpa.  He obviously thought very highly of her.  The last time Dave visited them (in 2000) he did not speak Bulgarian, so there was little he could say and even less he could understand.  This time he was able to join in conversation with them.

On Saturday we left the girls with their grandparents and great-grandparents while we visited the former capital of Bulgaria and home to a prominent University.  Veliko Turnovo is a beautiful city with something fun for just about everyone.  Located on a hillside with steep streets there is hardly anyplace in the town that does not have a good view.  Below are some pictures to give you an idea of some of the great sites.

In the afternoon we also toured the Dryanovo Monastery and caves before returning back to town only to find out that our girls had been spoiled rotten by Grandma and Grandpa all morning at the town fair.
A few facts about Veliko Turnovo and Drianovo Monastery from Wikipedia:

Veliko Tarnovo (Bulgarian: Велико Търново, Veliko Tŭrnovo) is a city in north central BulgariaVeliko Tarnovo Province. Often referred to as the " and the administrative centre of City of the Tsars", Veliko Tarnovo is located on the Yantra River and is famous as the historical capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire, attracting many tourists with its unique architecture. Until 1965 the name of the town was Tarnovo, and this is still the common name. The old city is situated on three hills, Tsarevets, Trapezitsa and Sveta Gora raising amidst the meanders of the Yantra. Tsarevets housed the palaces of the Bulgarian Emperors and the Patriarchate with the Patriarchal Cathedral, as well as a number of administrative and residential edifices surrounded by thick walls. Trapezitsa was known for its many churches and as the main residence of the nobility. In the Middle Ages it was among the main European centres of culture and gave its name to the architecture of the Tarnovo Artistic School, painting of the Tarnovo Artistic School and literature.

The Dryanovo Monastery (Bulgarian: Дряновски манастир, Dryanovski manastir) is a functioning Bulgarian Orthodox monastery situated in the Andaka River Valley, in Bulgarka Nature Park in the central part of Bulgaria five kilometers away from the town of Dryanovo. It was founded in the 12th century, during the Second Bulgarian Empire, and is dedicated to Archangel Michael. Twice burnt down and pillaged during the Ottoman rule of Bulgaria, the monastery was restored at it present place in 1845. It was the site of several battles during the April Uprising of 1876. 

Veliko Turnovo

Street vendors

We stopped at the quaint restaurant for lunch
Super delicious chicken soup Sasha had for lunch

David always orders this Ovcharska Salad when he goes to a restaurant!
At the restaurant
A view of Veliko Turnovo (former capital of Bulgaria)

After Veliko Turnovo we went to Drianovo Monastery

1 comment:

  1. Hello!
    I just discovered your blog and your trip to Dryanovo and Veliko Turnovo brought back very fond memories. My wife and I lived in Sofia for two years (2009-2010) and traveled extensively around Bulgaria, a country which we fell in love with. Veliko Turnovo was one of our favorite destinations (although it had a lot of competition).

    We maintained a travel blog about our adventures in Bulgaria, describing the sites, the culture, and the history of the country.

    We have now returned to our home in Israel, but Bulgaria is not forgotten. I am in the final editing stages of a novel that takes place in Bulgaria.

    Regards from Israel!