Friday, 27 July 2012

It's a Knock-Out Charity Olympic Games, oh what a day in Bulgaria!

On July 21st the Its a Knock-Out charity Olympic Games kicked off in Dragizhovo, Veliko Tarnovo, opened by the Mayor of Dragizhovo and Bobby Martin 
All day breakfast show host Bobby Martin
Bobby Martin, Breakfast Show winner!

Its a Knock Out Competition begins
from left to right, The Mayor, Bobby Martin (Compere) and
Dimitar Paunov (translator)  
of Trust Global Radio (Compere) by his side, the day was aiming to raise more money for Binky Aid BG.
Trust Global Radio
The start of the event setting up the radio broadcasting equipment
Veliko Tarnovo camping
Declared open as the ribbon is cut
The very first Veliko Turnovo It's a Knock Out Olympic Games was hailed a great success, with participants and spectators alike having a great time whilst raising money for Charity! All the team captains introduced their teams, which were:- Amore Eterno, Banana's in Pyjama's, VT Camp Crusader's, Trail Ride Bulgaria, Team Vinograd, Div Patel, Sliven Scallywags, VT Hillman Avengers, Condor Club Bar Stewards, Milhaltsi Muppets and Famous Five plus One

yantra homes veliko tarnovo
Bobby introduces the team with a watchful eye from Rosie!
Camping Bulgarian properties
Pull and push the cart in 48 degrees Celcius sunshine!
Dont get wet and dont spill any water out of your bucket!
The hosts were Camping Veliko Tarnovo, who's wonderful and scenic campsite was the perfect location for this 1st event of its kind in Bulgaria! The event included archery, throwing horse shoes, slingshot, swimming events, putting, crazy team races around obstacles, racing a cart without a pulling it down a dirt track! 

camping VT
Trust Global Radio and Nicky Kinson, Camping VT Manager
savour the cake
There was a massive cake donated and sold for one Lev per slice depicting the Bulgarian Flag and Union Jack and the Its a knock out Olympics logo!

The very happy winning team! with the very large and heavy trophy donated by Trust Global Radio depicting a silver eagle on a  marble column sourced from a Bulgarian marble quarry near Mezdra were Booby and Rosie Marin are based with Trust Global radio
TV Crews were there
The day went by with no hitches and were eventually won by Amore Eterno, an all Bulgarian team! TV crews were there along with childrens' entertainers and a host of fun loving locals, campers, travelers from as far as Mezdra, Burgas, Stara Zagora, Sliven and Yambol! All had a great day and whilst we left at 6pm after 10 hours, many stayed for a karaoke and celebrations with cold beer flowing freely!
Childrens entertainers as well

Monday, 16 July 2012

Bulgaria and the weather, the Brits love it!

I have recently read and heard so many British living in Bulgaria complaining about the weather here in Bulgaria and in my home town Veliko Tarnovo!

weather in Bulgaria
Red hot Bulgaria!!
I have even recently read in a respected publication called Quest Bulgaria "After nearly freezing to death during one of Bulgaria's worst winters, now it is the complete opposite.........the air conditioning is now being used frequently.....and Bulgarian friends of mine have often commented on the fact that Summers are extremely hot, and winters are tremendously cold. Bulgaria's scolding temperatures forces you to spend a fortune on electric bills through the heavy use of air conditioning. Therefore, no money is saved through the summer in Bulgaria; summer cooling is as equally expensive as winter heating".

Belony, that's what I say, why do Bulgarians live outside in Summer kitchens, disappear in the hottest months to the mountains or coast and have windows open with insect nets, at night? Bulgarian Properties have thick walls at ground level for a reason.....they are cool!

Yes you got it! To stay cool in the extremely hot Summers! You don't have to spend a fortune on electric in Summer, just live like the locals and you'll be fine! A traditional Bulgarian House has been built to cope with very hot Summers and very cold Winters!

Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria, Culture, Stage of the Ages, Tsarevets Summer Festival 2012

Keep these dates firmly embedded in your mind and diary 27th July until 5th August 2012.

The stars of Sofia Opera and Ballet spend 10 days performing in Veliko Tarnovo. The unforgettable night-time performances take place on an outdoor stage on Tsarevets Hill, with an exciting line-up of talent, amazing lighting and a unique atmosphere next to the River Yantra.

Opera Bulgaria Veliko Tarnovo tsaravets Fortress
Turandot Opera comes to Veliko Tarnovo
Turandot - July 27, 28, 29   Composer Giacomo Puccini in 3 Acts, location Peking, Ancient China.
Act 1
In a crowded quarter nestled near the Forbidden City, a man pronounces an edict, saying that any prince wanting to marry Princess Turandot will first need to answer three riddles. If he answers all three correctly, he will marry Turandot. If he fails, he will die.
Act 2
opera veliko tarnovo Bulgaria
         Not sure whether the stage will quite reflect this scene as
seen at the English National Opera The Coliseum,
London, 11 October 2009
Wishing to be free of Princess Turandot's bloody reign, Ping, Pang, and Pong are in their quarters before sunrise reminiscing and telling stories of their past lives. They also share stories of Princess Turandot's previous (and unfortunate) suitors. Prince Calaf, appears and answers Princess Turandot's 3 questions correctly! Prince Calaf, in order to appease her, gives her a riddle of his own. If she answers correctly, he dies. If she answers incorrectly, she has to marry him. She accepts the new deal. The riddle he asks: "What is his name?" She has until dawn......
Act 3
Sofia Opera in Veliko Tarnovo
Turandot in person!
That evening, within the palace garden, Calaf hears the decree that no one in Peking will sleep until Turandot learns the name of her suitor. If she does not learn his name, everyone in the city will be killed. Calaf sings the famous aria, Nessun Dorma (Nobody shall sleep).....................The only people that remain is Calaf and Turandot. He calls her the Princess of Death, yet forcefully kisses her. Turandot begins to weep, for that was the first time she has ever been kissed. Calaf then tells her his true name......Love!

Rigoletto the jester!
Rigoletto - August 3 and 4, at a ball at the ducal court of Mantua, the hunchbacked jester Rigoletto mocks the courtiers cuckolded by the profligate Duke, stirring them to plans of vengeance. This opera is in 3 Acts and written by Giuseppe Verdi

Tickets online from  or from the Tourist Info Centre.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria to stage It's a Knock-Out

The Trust Global Radio trophy for the first place winners of "It's a Knock-Out Olympics" at Veliko Tarnovo. They will have to be tough to win it and very strong to pick it up... It's huge!

Its going to be delivered to Nik and Nicky's camping veliko tarnovo campsite in Veliko Turnovo.

Rumour has it that Bobby and Rosie will be delivering it personally in the new Trust Global Radio GAZ all purpose road show vehicle....

12th July in Bulgaria, day of the National Guard Unit of Bulgaria

The National Guard Unit of the Republic of Bulgaria was established on July 12 1879 as a personal guard unit of prince Alexander I Batenberg. On this day, the first official escort of the Bulgarian prince was made. Through the years, the structure of this unit underwent different changes – from a conduct of the prince, it was transformed into a squadron, regiment, and in 1942 – division.

By a decree of Bulgaria’s Council of Ministers dated May 14 2001, the National Guard Unit was officially proclaimed representative military formation of the Bulgarian army and is currently one of the symbols of the state authority, the others being the national flag, the state emblem and our country’s anthem. The unit includes saluting army units, representative national guard band, as well as an artillery division “Salute”. This army unit has its own flag, seal, distinctive mark and uniform.
Add caption
The guards’ uniform was created in 1883 and includes elements, symbolical of the Bulgarian nation. Though undergoing some changes through the years, two of the symbols in the uniform have remained unchanged: the eagle’s feather on each of the guard’s cap, as well as the Alexander star.
The current insignia was introduced in 2002 and concists of the Alexander star, which is part of the royal medal "St. Alexander" and is worn on the Guard's hat since 1883. It is placed over a shield in colours of the Flag of Bulgaria. The current war flag, which follows the pattern of the traditional Bulgarian war flags, dates from July 12, 2003. In 2003 in the eve of 6 May or St George's Day, the biggest Bulgarian military holiday, the Bulgarians saw for the first time the solemn show-ceremony "Iskra" ("Sparkle").
This performance is combination of spectacular demonstration of non-standard combatant positions, movement with and without weapon and saluting battle flags and the heroes, who gave their lives for the freedom and independence of Bulgaria. The ritual "Solemn changing of the sentry of honour in front of the Presidency" first took place on November 5, 2003.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

General Gurko in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria after 135 years

and now!
Today, the 7th July 2012, Count Iosif Vladimirovich Romeyko-Gurko, otherwise known as General Gurko proudly rode down Gurko Street once more.
135 years ago
In 1873, he was given command of the 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, of the cavalry of the Imperial Guard. Later in 1877 he led the spearhead of the Russian invasion and on July 7th 1877 he released Veliko Tarnovo from the Ottoman rule, exactly 135 years later this fantastic tribute to General Gurko took place down Phil's street just above the Yantra river.
The calm of Gurko Street and no cars in sight
The morning started off quietly enough, however things were clearly different since the Police had requested me and all the neighbours to remove their cars before 9am and low and behold Gurko Street was transformed into the old street once again.
Neighbours with their flag on their balcony
The red, green and white flags adorned many balconies and there was a calm on the street whilst police mingled with house occupiers drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes.
The 1st sign that the procession was coming was a white unmarked opel astra flying down the street like it had appeared out of "back to the future", false didnt reappear!
Young people in national costume
After maybe an hour we see young children dressed in traditional and colourful costumes walking down the street, completely unaware of the temperatures which were now approaching 32 degs C in the shade.
The General!
the overcoats and bear hats
are almost shouting out
 "passing out parade"!
Then we see the General himself resplendent in his best dress cavalry uniform, proudly saluting the cheering residents of Veliko Tarnovo on Gurko Street. His entourage of body guards on horseback and foot clearly were suffering from the heat but continued onwards down the street towards the Gurko Hotel were the procession gathered to celebrate this amazing victory!
The mayor, deputy president and bishop
Guida pipers
Furthermore local and national dignitaries, politicians and the bishop headed the crowds being entertained by two amazing guida pipers (Bulgarian bag-pipers), but these Bulgarian pipes sound like a children's choir in comparison to Scottish pipes which sound more like alley-cats screaming for smokies at Arbroath fish harbour.
100's of people milling
down Gurko Street
and more!
100's of people braved the blistering temperatures to follow the great General Gurko and his band of hot subordinates, some on foot and others on horseback, surrounding him from any stray Ottoman soldier that may take a shot at him. Thankfully today there were no shots, but an amazing procession the like that hasnt been seen on Gurko Street for 135 years.