Sunday, 13 April 2014

Game of Thrones in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

The throne comes to the world of Veliko Tarnovos, where summers and winters can last for year upon year and the thirst for supreme power, represented by the Iron Throne is eternal.
thrones in Bulgaria
The Iron Throne in Veliko Tarnovo

All Men Must Die, "Valar Morghulis". The struggle for the throne continues more fierce and mysterious words Valar Morgulis and a mystical black eyed raven are among the symbols of the Spring season in Veliko Tarnovo.
tsaravets game of thrones castle
Brave people from all over the land of Bulgaria wait to sit in the mystical throne

According to legend, the this Iron Throne is made from the swords of the enemies who have surrendered. 59 days were needed to allow the thousands of swords to become a throne. Blades and serrated edges point in any direction and daunt anyone standing in front of him, beware!
game of thrones veliko tarnovo
Blades and serrated edges point in any direction and daunt anyone standing in front of him, beware!

Saturday, 5 April 2014

International Festival of Tourist Films 2014, Veliko Tarnovo European Capital of Culture 2019, region candidate

International Festival of Tourist Films "On the east coast of Europe." 

For the tenth consecutive year Veliko Tarnovo hosts International Festival of Tourist Films "On the east coast of Europe."

European capital of culture 2019
The beautiful historical old capital of Bulgaria, Veliko Tarnovo

Since 2005 the festival has developed as the only dedicated forum for tourism products in Bulgaria, which provides an excellent backdrop for film companies, developers and teams of film producers and art directors with leading representatives of the tourism industry and investors. Film Festival is part of the international exhibition "Cultural Tourism", which this year will take place from the 10th until 13th April.

For this year's festival 77 films were nominated and after pre-selection 63 productions from 23 countries were selected. "The festival will welcome nearly 50 Bulgarian and foreign dignitaries for its anniversary including official visits of heads of the biggest tourist film festivals in Cannes and Berlin, globally recognised film producers, representatives of embassies and foreign missions in Bulgaria, representatives of the Ministry of Economy and Energy, National Film Centre and associations of Bulgarian Tour Operators and Travel agencies", said festival director Mary Karagyozova. The best films in the world in the last two years for travelers and destinations will be shown in three consecutive days of festival screenings. These will be presented with several productions that will take viewers back to the recent past of Bulgaria.

The group "Movie Memories", to be shown in the club "Melon" consists of two documentaries on cultural and tourist themes from the 1970s and 80s. After the screenings there will be open forums with the filmmakers.

In the group "Cinema and the City" is a particular screening of the comedy "ancient coins" from 1965, showing the Black Sea at the time, and "The Island" by Kamen Kalev. The film is about an island "St. Anastasia ".

bulgarian culture film festival c
10th to 13th of April

The group "Special movie collection" will be shown in the club "Hedgehog" particularly for fans of documentaries on art and culture.

All screenings at this years festival are free. There will be a special prize for attendees to win - a 6-day trip for two to the island of Santorini in Greece and will be a lucky draw.
European capital of culture 2019
Santorini Greece
Original Bulgarian article by Zdravka Maslyankov, Yantra Dnes live

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Veliko Tarnovo 3D Mapping Light Show

On March 22nd 2014 there was a cacophony of sound, light, music and explosive fireworks to a visual backdrop of lasers in the old Medieval city of Veliko Tarnovo shortlisted 2019 contender for the European capital of Culture.
Bulgarian news veliko tarnovo 3d mapping
a cacophony of explosive fireworks brings the holiday to a close

 The 22nd march is Veliko Tarnovo day when the day starts with motorbike owners celebrating the 1st day of Spring along with the likes of Veliko Tarnovo's very own OBMC.
bulgaria veliko tarnovo news
the Veliko Tarnovo "Old Bastards" Motorbike Club celebrate the 1st day of their season on the 22nd March
Veliko Tarnovo day is associated with the glorious victory of Ivan Assen the second over the ruler of Epirus (an area partly now in Greece and Southern Albania), Theodore Komnenos at the Battle of Klokotnitsa March 22, 1230.
veliko tarnovo 3d mapping

Also the day of the Holy Forty Martyrs is also associated with this day.The forty martyrs were Roman soldiers who had confessed that they were Christians and were condemned by the Roman prefect of this region in Lesser Armenia, to be stripped naked on a frozen lake near the town of Sebaste on a freezing night, so they would freeze to death.

veliko turnovo 3d mapping show
the vivid green and white and red lasers scatter across the buildings and properties on the River Yantra gorge  steep rocky banks
Nowadays the day is one big celebration in Veliko Tarnovo which gets more and more popular each year.

mapping veliko tarnovo in 3D Bulgaria
end of the day!

Monday, 13 January 2014

Tsarevets Castle, Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria....don't knock it until you've tried it!

Just for 6 Bulgarian levs per adult an enjoyable afternoon can be had at Tsarevets Fortress and park in Veliko Tarnovo Bulgaria.This fortified location dating back from Medieval times is a spectacular place to visit. Great time to walk and photograph this spectacular location is on a dry, Sunny day in Winter, when there are virtually no tourists around!

So I did just that as you can see below, it paid results! The walk culminated in arriving home in General Gurko Street, which I will photograph real soon!

Fortress Tsaravets
Blood red skies over Tsaravets Fortress
UKIP in Bulgaria
Fortified walls of Veliko Tarnovo can be walked upon at your own risk! 
I wouldn't advise it if you suffer from vertigo 

Foreboding Medieval Castle in the old Capital of Bulgaria

The Citadel and the moon

UKIP and Bulgaria the bells
Looking through the bells
down to Veliko Tarnovo

violence Sunny Beach UK
Cross bow with spear!

Bulgaria UK
The Citadel Tower at Tsarevets,
looking over Elena Balkan

Citadel Architecture

The old wooden drawbridge gatehouse at
Tsarevets and onwards to the
"old town" of Veliko Tarnovo

Royal property Bulgaria
Mystical views in Tsarevets Park

The Yantra Valley around Tsaravets Fortress

Beautiful misty Veliko Turnovo

So if you support UKIP, ignore what Nigel Farage was saying and come and see for yourself why you should emigrate here, not the other way round !


Sunday, 18 August 2013

Charles Dickens character Uriah Heep hits Veliko Tarnovo in the shape of a memorable world class rock band!

Moto Rock Fest 2013

Day 3 of the Veliko Tarnovo Grand Moto Rock Fest International gig next to the Monuments of the Asen also had a charitable mission - with all funds collected, from specially made T-shirts and donation boxes at the entrances, to support the treatment of a young 9 year old boy, Radoslav Borisov.
Radoslav, suffering from muscular dystrophy and whose parents are unemployed, needs 40 thousand Levs worth of treatment at a clinic in Israel.
moto rock fest veliko tarnovo
The event was organised by the MC Old Bastards

Organisers of the Moto Rock Fest, Moto Club "Old Bastards", supported by the Municipality of Veliko Tarnovo - which is candidate for European capital of Culture 2019, got the loud support of Uriah Heep band members who said "they support the candidature of Veliko Tarnovo for European Capital of Culture for 2019 and one day will return here".

In fact at the start of the two-hour concert attended by over 3000 fans and bikers from across Europe next to the spectaculaer monument Asenevtsi, Bernie Shaw said, "this is a great place for concerts, just amazing,  incredible!"  after singing the 1st song hearing the acoustics of the almost natural amphitheatre of the River Yantra Gorge!
veliko tarnovo uriah heep
Bernie Shaw was amazed by
Veliko Tarnovo!

In the novel by Charles Dickens, Uriah Heep is not a person; he's an evil machine comparable to a sloth like version of the Terminator, hell bent on destructing everyone who has it better than him! How many characters from Victorian novels have lived on to inspire late 20th-century heavy metal bands?

Trust me after briefly being priviledged to meet John Lawton (Guest vocals), Phil Lanzon (keyboards, moogs etc:-), Mick Box (Guitar) and Russell Gilbrook (drums) these gyuys are far from being like the character of Charles Dickens!
veliko turnovo uriah heep
Uriah Heep, last seen in 1978 at the old Mancheter Apollo Theatre,
now in Veliko Tarnovos' natural theatre!

Lets hope they return sooner than we think and promote Veliko Tarnovo's unique open air theatre in the Yantra to other big international bands and artists!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Veliko Tarnovo Moto Rock Fest 2013 headlining Uriah Heep in Bulgaria

Old Bastards Veliko Tarnovo
Veliko Tarnovo hosts Uriah Heep thanks to the Old Bastards of Veliko Tarnovo
supported by the municipality

The Old Bastards Moto Club of Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria should be rightly proud of the organisation of the 3 day event here in Veliko Tarnovo.
Its still not too late to come and enjoy this great event! Details are in this link "moto rock fest 2013"
bastards old Veliko Tarnovo
Great organisation by the Veliko Tarnovo "Old Bastards" MC

This Rock Fest is situated right next to the Monument of the Assens (ASENEVTSI MONUMENT) by the River Yantra, opposite from Gurko Street.

To date we have enjoyed on Thursday August 15th:-
Veliko Turnovo Bulgaria

Bulgaria rock fest and tribute bands
Bikes from all over Europe!



Yantra River Veliko Turnovo
ready and waiting
Last night Friday 16th August we enjoyed:-


07.30 P.M. – LIVE MUSIC - RAMMSTEIN TRIBUTE BAND which were awesome with the fire show and outstanding realistic vocals and music
Harley Davidson Bulgaria
Rammstein Tribute Band



11.30 P.M. – AFTER PARTY BAR ROCKA ROLLA which after the performnces of these bands I left to the younger members of the audience and I dare say a few of the Old Bastards!

TODAY Saturday 17th it's Uriah Heep with John Lawton heading up the show at 10-30pm but with Iron Maiden Tribute Band from Serbia, before and ER GOLYAM BAND from Bulgaria, along with chrome shows and stunt exhibitions in the afternonn it promises to be a great last day!
rock and roll fest bulgaria
Last night of rock!

Finishing off the performance around midnight will be an EROTIC SHOW!
rock fest and erotica bulgaria
Who knows what erotica will be here?


Monday, 15 July 2013

Veliko Tarnovo Dixie Jazz Fest, 11th -13th July 2013 Bulgaria, The final night!

Jazz festival
The last night!

The final performance in this years festival in Veliko Tarnovo a stones throw away from the historical General Gurko Street was performed by the great "Sentimental Swingers" supported by the Michael Iosifov Sextet, preceded by modern jazz Rumen Halatchev quartet with Tsvetomir Tsankov singing and humming along capably with his huge range of octaves!
Bulgaria Veliko Tarnovo news
The sentimental swingers salute!

The ladies and the sextet wowed away the audience and even got me dancing at the end with my wife in front of the stage!
dixie jazz festival veliko tarnovo
No not the Andrews, these are the sentimental swingers!

At the entrance of the festival a line of photo exhibits arranged against the stone wall under The Art Galery "Boris Denev." The exhibition consisted of 18 large photos of performers who participated in the previous two festivals. The photos were taken by three Bulgarian photography artists - Gentcho Petkov, Nikephoros and Theodore Todorov Kalushkov.
This year's Dixie jazz festival was performed in support of the candidature of Veliko Tarnovo for European Capital of Culture in 2019 which it clearly deserves being the old cultural capital city of Bulgaria and already sporting the Veliko Tarnovo Sound and Light show at Tsaravets Hill amongst many other attractions within the town and neighbouring settlements.
The sentimental swingers
The Dixie Jazz Fest in Veliko Tarnovo comes to a close in 2013

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Veliko Tarnovo Dixie Jazz Fest, 11th -13th July 2013 Bulgaria

A fantastic two nights of Trad and Dixie Jazz with a bit of Big band sound thrown in for even better measure!
And that's just Thursday and Friday, still tonight to go.
Relaxed natural amphitheater setting in Veliko Tarnovo

If you want to watch and listen to quality jazz music with a backdrop which is undoubtedly unique in an informal and overwhelmingly friendly atmosphere, look no further than Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria!
Dixie Jazz Fest
Militsa Gladnishka, singer and actress wowed everyone
on her 1st night performance
The first night we had the concert kicking of with Teteven Dixie Band and after turning dark the Military Big Band Stara Zagora started to pump out rythms and jazz like there was no tomorrow!

Veliko Tarnovo, lights, music, action....Dixie Jazz Fest

Not long into the performance Militsa Ivanova Gladnishka appeared onto the stage to a massive cheer from the crowd! Wow, can this lady sing, enough said since these mere words cannot do Militsas' voice justice. Her enthusiasm and massive vocal range brought a decided hush to the audience, even the young children who were just about everywhere on this balmy July evening were mesmorised by Militsas' voice!

Just when we thought the singing had come to an end, the cheerful and charismatic Tsvetomir Tsankov (Tsetzo) from neighboring Gabrovo jumped up onto the stage and started blasting out some great big band sounds including a duet or two with Militsa. The evening culminated in an amazing version of New York, however in this case Tsetzo started to spread the news that he wasn't about to leave Veliko Tarnovo today, yes Frank Sinatra arrived in town and gave a collosal performance in the native style of New York but tonight it was "Tarnovo", re-written specifically for the magnificent city of Veliko Tarnovo!
New York or Veliko Tarnovo?

The next night consisted of the evening starting with the Municipality Brass Band hammering out some big band tunes and jazz! After the Alexandrov Ragtime Band played some inspirational trad jazz to an ever increasing audience. Lastly, my old time favourites appeared  Mladenski Barisax on clarinet, Stefan Nikov on trumpet, Hristo Tsatsinov on saxophone, Tsvetomir Tsankov on banjo, the forever smiley Georgi Donev on his sliding trombone,  Krasimir Stefanov and his amazingly large tuba, Emil Kosturkov on drums and last but by no means least, Rumen Halachev on keyboards. Yes it was The Royal Dixie Band!
The Royal Dixie Band, oh YES!

They blasted out some great old time trad jazz favourites before being joined on stage by Stefka Onikyan,
Stefka Onikyan
who sang with class and matched the band with strength and perfect harmony. I could have listened to this ensemble of musicians all night, but sadly all things have to come to an end and the final piece was true Dixieland and reminiscent of a New Orleans funeral party "The Saints".
Good night and God bless!

What a fitting end, to an evening that I had dedicated in my mind to my Father who would have been 78 on the 13th July.
Cheers Dad!

The "Saints" and the fact that he had most of the music being played on original Louis Armstrong "78's" makes this Veliko Tarnovo Dixie Jazz Fest particularly memorable for years to come. 
Cheers Dad!
Happy Birthday Dad!

Sunday, 21 April 2013

A meeting with the Chairman of the Bulgarian Association for Preservation of raptors in Veliko Tarnovo

Imagine my surprise when this fellow and his partner turned up at an outside table on a spring Saturday afternoon in our home town of Veliko Tarnovo, in the Hunter Inn close to the River Yantra and Gurko Street.

Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria Bulgarian association for preservation of raptors
Pavel and Harry in Veliko Tarnovo

Yes, you can see he had with him a Harris Hawk or Harris's Hawk, indigenous to south USA and down to Chile, South America.

His name is Pavel Yakimov, the chairman of BAZGP (Bulgarian Association for the preservation of raptors). He took time out to explain what they are doing and introduced me to Harry the Harris Hawk.
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria Bulgarian association for preservation of raptors
Pavel Yakimov, Harry and Phil

I was honoured to be introduced to such a beautiful raptor, and somewhat gloomed by the story that many Bulgarian "Green activists" call him barbaric and a torturer etc....these misfits are so misinformed, these raptors are doing what they do naturally and if that means they keep pigeons and other birds away from airport runways as an example, I see nothing barbaric in this.
Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria Bulgarian association for preservation of birds of prey
Phil meet Harry the Harris Hawk, in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

I am sincerely grateful to Pavel for taking time off his well earned lunch to share Harry with me for a few minutes and it is a chance encounter I will never forget!
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria Bulgarian association for preservation of hawks
Harry the Harris Hawk in Bulgaria