Sunday, 23 September 2012

Bulgaria flag flies in Veliko Tarnovo with the voice of Valya Balkanska

Independence Day celebrations in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Valya Balkanska with the most famous voice of Bulgaria, symbol of the "Rhodope song" is also called the phenomenon in the Bulgarian folklore and on the 22nd September she was also the phenomenon of Veliko Tarnovo!
veliko tarnovo Famous singer Valya Balkanska
Famous singer Valya Balkanska, entertained Veliko Tarnovo

Singing in front of thousands of spectators in the main street of Veliko Tarnovo and encouraging dancing the horo, it was a spiritual performance on Bulgaria's national holiday!

veliko tarnovo Valya Balkanska bulgaria
Valya Balkanska entertains on Independence Day Bulgaria

Riparian restoration work in Veliko Tarnovo, river Yantra would lift the environment

The riparian zone is located along the bank of the river Yantra and riparian flora and fauna are often distinctly different from those found in adjacent communities because of the water-rich soils found in the riparian zone. Healthy riparian zones provide a variety of important ecosystem services and they are often important habitats for wildlife, to be seen in the very heart of Veliko Turnovo from the neighbouring traditional Veliko Tarnovo real estate. Riparian zones provide a variety of ecosystem services, even in the middle of a town such as Veliko Tarnovo, including; river sediment filtering, river bank stabilization, excess water storage and release, and aquifer recharge. In addition, riparian zones provide important habitat for wildlife such as black storks, kingfishers to name but a few that are found in the Yantra.

When the Yantra flows through a healthier riparian zone it will provide a better environment for fish because:
  • the riparian trees provide shade and buffer temperatures
  • inputs of woody debris creates fish habitat
  • inputs of organic matter via leaf fall provides food sources for invertebrates and fish
  • invertebrates that fall into the stream from the surrounding riparian vegetation provides food for other organisms
  • the riparian zone can improve the water quality of the river by filtering out nutrients that would otherwise enter the river. 
bulgaria veliko tarnovo eu funding
The River Yantra in flood in Veliko Tarnovo

The abundance and diversity of wildlife in the river Yantra area is influenced by the availability of water, the productivity (amount of carbon fixed by photosynthesis) and habitat diversity. Riparian zones provide reliable sources of water for wildlife and the greater productivity allowed by the high moisture content of the soil allows for more potential food for wildlife. In addition, the habitat diversity of riparian vegetation provides many potential niches for wildlife to fill. Not surprisingly, the diversity and abundance of wildlife in riparian zones is higher than in the adjacent communities, such as the residential areas of Veliko Tarnovo and the more rocky cliffs of the characteristic gorge.
Riparian zones are threatened by a variety of factors including: 
  • over management in urban areas and overgrazing in rural
  • too much tree felling as can be witnessed on the Veselina River in Kapinovo  
  • agriculture, particularly nitrates
  • building dams and weirs
  • and of the most significant here in Veliko Tarnovo, human development
The Mayor of Veliko Tarnovo, Daniel Panov, has long been considering what new schemes can be submitted to the Ministry of Regional Development under the Urban Environment Programme. One of the projects that the Mayor thinks should start soonest, is the riparian zone of the Yantra River, where it runs through the town.

Veliko Turnovo has 8 public parks which have been renovated, re-landscaped and had water features and sculptured features under the Urban Environment Programme completed in 2012 and understandably the Mayor of Veliko Tarnovo is proud of these projects which provide a great environment for the residents and visitors of Veliko Turnovo.

Hopefully the banks of the River Yantra here in Veliko Tarnovo will be rejuvenated soon allowing visitors and residents alike to be able to stroll down them whilst some sections remain inaccessible to allow timid wildlife to continue to provide a showcase of fauna and flora.

Veliko Tarnovo celebrates Bulgaria Independence Day with the Horo record

Saturday 22nd September and Veliko Tarnovo celebrates with a massive Horo dance
It was a great afternoon with over a thousand people holding hands and dancing in the street!

bulgaria veliko tarnovo
Veliko Tarnovo dances the afternoon away!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

eBay......Bulgarian property boom or bust?

More buyers are purchasing Bulgarian property than ever before, one company has announced. But this Bulgaria boom is different from the last one: this time it is taking place on eBay. As reported in an article by
Bulgarian properties
..."we have had several in our offices in tears
because when they arrived to view their new purchases,
they found that they were nothing like what they expected

in the same article it is stated "Bulgarian real estate offers some of the best property investment opportunities in Europe right now. Prices are some of the lowest on the continent and are expected to increase significantly in future years."
property bulgaria
....hard to believe that anyone would buy an overseas property without viewing it seems a crazy way to buy when the alternative is so easy!"

Other agents agree. Speaking exclusively to, Bulgarian estate agent Yantra homes admitted property prices were low: "We currently have over 85 properties for sale at between €2,500 and €10,000," said Managing Director Andy Turver. Indeed, according to Knight Frank, the value of Bulgarian homes fell by 2.6 per cent in the second quarter of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011. That decrease saw enquiries for Bulgarian Real Estate increase in July as the country become the eighth most popular destination on But while quality bargains can be found in good locations, Turver does not believe they are on eBay. "We are very aware of Brits buying cheap rural property on eBay," he told, painting a very different picture of the bidding boom. "In fact, we have had several in our offices in tears because when they arrived to view their new purchases they found that they were nothing like what they expected, for example in the middle of nowhere." "One couple that had bought on eBay earlier this year showed us the photos that were displayed on eBay, clearly years out of date," he continued. "When they went to view their new property the roof had collapsed, the garden was a jungle and the wiring had all been ripped out of the wall." "They asked if we could sell the property to get some of their money back; we had to advise that their property had almost no value and we couldn't possibly advertise it for them for anything other than the land value (which was less than 20% of their bid price on eBay) and that we did not even want to do that because the village was in the middle of nowhere." "They were obviously distraught," he added.
property bulgaria
Watch out for properties
with a sting in their tail!

Bulgarian properties
Come and view Bulgarian properties 1st hand
and see properties in the flesh before you buy!

For Yantra Homes, the number of auction horror stories is a cautionary tale for curious investors. "I find it hard to believe that anyone would buy an overseas property without viewing it first," he commented, "especially when you consider that a flight to Bulgaria is very inexpensive with operators such as Easyjet flying daily from London to Sofia. It seems a crazy way to buy when the alternative is so easy." Looking for Bulgaria bargains? Browse Yantra Homes listings of houses, apartments and other property in Bulgaria.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Now I have real estate in Bulgaria I need to repair or re-build the traditional clay oven?

When you buy an old village house in Bulgaria you will often see that it has an earthen oven in the garden or outhouse. However, they are often damaged and need repairing or even re-building! Familiar site? Have you ever thought how this can be done? Well read on and learn how you will be the earthen oven maestro of the village in the Veliko Tarnovo region, you chose to live in, here in Bulgaria. An oven is just a hole in the ground – light a fire, heat it up, and bake! An earthen oven is about that complicated. If you made mud pies when you were a kid, you can make a beautiful mud oven. You can also do it for nothing (or next to it), and it will work as well as a custom-built masonry or ceramic model costing thousands. Earth is not only more common, safe, cheap, and easier than brick, it’s also more environmentally friendly and, I think, beautiful. The three basic steps to oven-making are: Make a pile of damp sand, and pat into a hemisphere. Cover with a layer or three of mud. Cut out a doorway and remove the sand. If you fire-dry it, you can bake tomorrow. To bake, fire the oven without a door cover. Then clean out the fire and load your loaves or meat or veg into the hot oven, put something in front of the door, and wash your hands for supper.
bulgaria real estate
Dilapidated clay oven, but don't despair
Details: The floor: brick is a common choice – new, old, red brick, or firebrick. The mud: In most places, there is clay subsoil below the topsoil. Like cement, clay holds things together. If you have a garden, you likely have good soil for building. Use it straight out of the ground, or mix it with sand. If you have no garden, anyone digging a hole will probably give you some. The base, or foundation: You can spend lots of time (and money) on a magnificent stone foundation. Or build on the ground, on a pile of rocks, on logs or railroad ties, old metal barrels, or even on sawhorses. Protection from the elements: A roof is nice, but not necessary. It takes a long time for an oven to ‘wash away in the rain’ (look how long the hills last…). But a wet oven takes longer to heat up. So cover it with a tarpaulin or bend pieces of roofing tin into a vault for a simple, elegant, and cheap solution. DON’T USE PAINT OR CEMENT! An earthen oven, like a living thing, breathes. When baking, it ‘exhales’ steam. Cement or paint will trap moisture and destroy your oven. Tools & Materials Water Dirt (subsoil) Sand to mix with mud: ‘sharp’(not rounded or beach) sand is best Material for the oven form: sand,or anything that will make a firm, but removable form (topsoil, chunks of turf, etc.) Firebricks or standard red bricks, new or used, free of old mortar Wood for a baking door Newspaper Shovel Wheelbarrow 20 litre (5 gallon) plastic buckets Tape measure Tarps: 2×2.5m (6x8ft) minimum. Spoons, spatulas, dull knives, etc., in case you want to do any sculpting Timber scraps Old clothes to get dirty in, and boots if you don’t want to go barefoot Spirit level, two or four foot (optional) Your oven can be one or more layers thick. Here we’ll just describe a single layer, to give you the idea. It’s easy to extrapolate and improvise. Finding Clay Subsoil Clay subsoil is pretty easy to recognize. I take a pinch of dirt in my palm, spit into it, and mix it with a finger. Silt or organic matter feels floury or crumbly. Clay feels sticky, slippery, and a bit greasy. Wetted, it rolls into snakes between your palms and wraps around your finger. (Beware dirt that may contain glass or debris; ask permission where necessary.) When dry, the clay should be hard, not crumbly. Test it. Make bricks and let them dry. See how much they crack and how hard they are. Try mixing dirt with sand, and make more bricks. If they show less cracking and shrinkage, good! Compare and choose the best. Remember what your proportions were. Your Oven Floor The simplest and easiest thing to do is simply to set your floor bricks in a 10-15cm (4-6in) bed of sand, tamped and smoothed into an even, level bed. No mortar is necessary. The bricks will be held in place by the heavy, solid oven walls. Set your first brick carefully, level and solid. The more even and flat your bricks, the easier you’ll be able to clean it. Hold the next brick level and about 2.5cm (1in) above the sand; gently ‘kiss’ its long side to the match-ing side of the previous one. Set it flat and firm on the sand. Don’t wiggle it! Minimize cracks and gaps. When they’re all down, set them lightly with a hammer handle. If one stands up a bit proud, tap it down. Make A Sand Form – Shape The Void The sand form is the shape of the void. Sand (or whatever) should be moist enough to pack into a ball, but not so wet that it slumps. Make a pile on the floor bricks. Make the walls near vertical at first, to give your loaves ‘head room’. The form should be a bit higher than the radius of the oven floor. Too high, and you get cooling eddies at the top of the dome; too low, and the fire won’t get enough air. A 69cm (27in) diameter oven, with a 34cm (13in) radius, should be 40-50cm (16-20in) high. Hold a straight stick level across the top; measure the distance to the floor to get the interior height of your oven. Multiply it by 63% (0.63) to determine the proper height for your oven door. Write down the number! Mix Mud Use whatever mixture gave you the best, hardest, strongest test bricks. Prepare a pile of dry mix on your tarp. (If you’re using pure subsoil, you may need to do nothing, or just add a little water so it’s moist enough to build with.) With two people, hold two corners of the tarp each – feet spread, knees bent, elbows down and shoulders back – roll the mix from side to side. Don’t lift! You can do this solo by pulling one end of the tarp over the other, rolling as you go. A longer tarp is easier. Or just use bare hands and feet and muck around in it. Add water slowly. Take off your shoes, jump in, and do the twist – seriously! As you twist and turn, your feet work like rotating pistons, breaking up the clay and pressing sand into it. Play music! Grab a partner! Dance ’til it starts to clump, like dough for pie crust. Test it. Pack a hard ball (50-100 pats from hand to hand). Drop it from breast height. It should hold together. If not, add a little water. If it’s too wet; add dry mix (harder), or use as is and allow more drying time (easier). Build! First, cover your sand form with sheets of wet newspaper (so that later, you’ll know where the void ends and the oven begins). Smooth them down flat. Press handfuls of your mix around the base of your sand form. Use your fingers as a gauge to guide you in maintaining thickness. Make a layer at least three inches thick. You can make it thicker (it will hold more heat), but a thicker oven also requires more fuel. Maintain a well-defined edge. As you go higher, the face of the layer should angle upwards. Cover the whole form, even where the door will go (you’ll cut it out later). When it’s all covered, take a flat board and pack the material ’til solid. If it squishes and/or sticks to the board, don’t worry! Your mix was too damp. Rock the board firmly back and forth, up and down, or rub it as if you were polishing. Make it beautiful. Say your dome is 45.5cm (18 in) high (interior height). Your door should be 0.63×45.5=28.7cm 0.63×18=11in) high. As for width, 30-50% of the inner diameter is good. Scratch a line in the material where the door will be. Cut a hole just big enough to get your hand in. Dig a narrow channel into the form. If the mix was moist but not wet, you can dig out the whole form immediately. If, when you poke the thermal layer with a finger, it’s firm and resists denting, go on and dig. If it’s soft, or you’re in doubt, wait and let it dry (this can take days or weeks depending on the weather)! When you remove the sand, watch for the newspaper so you know you’re not digging away the oven. Refine the doorway so it’s smooth and even. You’re Done! Air drying the finished oven can take weeks, but if you’re impatient to bake, make a small fire in the oven to speed up the process. Even when they’re not quick-dried, they may crack. If so, don’t worry. Cracking due to natural expansion invariably occurs during firing. If the cracks don’t close when the oven is cool, you can fill them (from the outside) with mud. When I’ve built a quick oven and heated it up in a hurry, I’ve sometimes sealed it with bricks and sand, or whatever else I could get my hands on. It doesn’t even need to fit perfectly, since you’ll drape it with a wet cloth to keep it from charring and to add steam for baking. You can also soak it in water, or screw a sheet of metal to the inside, or wrap it in foil. You are now ready to fire up your oven, and bake in the garden of your Bulgarian property. The aroma of your cooking will be floating around the neighbouring regions of Veliko Tarnovo proving that the old Bulgarian way is the best way to cook either your bread or your lamb, or be adventurous like me and try cooking tandoori chicken or pork loin tikka and bring a bit of India into the Country!
traditional bulgaria real estate
delicious tandoori chicken in Bulgaria? Kiko Denzer is from Oregon, USA. He is a sculptor and builder who has been working with cob and earthen materials for 8 years. He has taught in Mexico and Canada, as well as the US, and often with his wife, Hannah Field, who was a baker at the Village Bakery in Cumbria. Build Your Own Earth Oven, by Kiko Denzer is available from the Green Shopping Catalogue. Source of this information

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Bulgarian Property to have insurance cover including natural disasters?

The Bulgarian government will debate and discuss a draft bill for supplements to the State Bulgaria Property Act, which will introduce an obligation that public/municipal Bulgarian property and privately owned Bulgarian real estate to be insured against natural disasters including earthquakes.
insurance bulgaria real estate
Stone is resilient to disasters but timber can catch on fire 

A disconcerted large amount of money was allocated to cope with property in Bulgaria and infrastructure damage consequential to these natural catastrophes, which could have been saved if the municipalities and the Private Bulgarian house owners had insured their Bulgaria real estate against all kinds of risks.
Modern apartment blocks are built to withstand major earthquakes
but will require insurance if this amendment is passed by parliament.
However, all the occupiers will need to contribute to the insurance.

The proposed changes are following on from the amendments approved by parliament 2 weeks ago in the draft bill for amendments and supplements to the Municipal Property Bulgaria Act and were provoked by 2012 natural disasters faced by Bulgaria  including the floods in February and the strong earthquake near Pernik and Sofia in May this year. 

Friday, 7 September 2012

Bulgarias' fiscal attitude creates mass attention

The Bulgarian government has announced that it is suspending its plans to adopt the euro, which was planned for sometime after 2015. "The momentum has shifted in our thinking and among the public," Simeon Djankov, Minister of Finance told the Wall Street Journal. "Right now, I don't see any benefits of entering the euro zone, only costs."

This, supposedly, amounts to the latest proof of the single currency's necessary and certain doom. The popular British website heralded the spectacle of Europe's poorest country telling the currency club to "get stuffed." Russia Today, the Kremlin's English-language mouthpiece, called up a "financial expert" who characterized Bulgaria's stance as "we don't want your euro because your grand design is deeply flawed, it's built on sand, it's a catastrophe."

Except that's not what Bulgaria said. As Mr. Djankov told the Journal, "the public rightly wants to know who would we have to bail out when we join? It's too risky for us and it's also not certain what the rules are and what are they likely to be in one year or two." If this seems like a distinction without a difference, consider that while Sofia's news this week means it's opting against joining the official European Exchange Rate Mechanism, it is maintaining its fixed exchange rate to the euro.

Why is this? Because it has worked. Bulgaria adopted a fixed exchange rate in 1997—originally fixing the lev to the German mark—after the central bank had responded to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Bulgarian banking system with a series of devaluations. Inflation was in triple digits, and in 1996 alone the lev fell by 560%. By the end of that year, the average Bulgarian income was worth less than $30 per month—not enough for a new pair of Levis, let alone the household basics. Every lev in circulation has since been backed 100% by foreign exchange reserves at the national bank.....first the mark, and since 1999 the euro.

This arrangement is known as a currency board and is much stronger than a mere currency peg. That's because in principle under a currency board the central bank could meet any speculative attack on the lev by accepting levs in exchange for the euros the bank holds in reserve. Average real wages have increased more than 1000% since Bulgaria established the currency board, to more than $400 per month today. Economic reforms have allowed and encouraged real productivity gains, not inflation, which has been limited to single digits almost every year since 1997.

Bulgaria's currency board has also forced its government to control spending, as the central bank is not free to print money to support government borrowing. Bulgaria today would not only meet the Maastricht Treaty's criteria for joining the euro zone—it would be one of its star members, with public debt less than 20% of GDP. Maastricht signatories agreed to similar fiscal constraints but flouted them from the start. Bulgaria's fixed rate with the euro and its internal reserve requirements eliminated that choice. Economist Steve Hanke, who designed the currency board in Bulgaria and in several other east European countries in the 1990s, says he has recommended for months that Sofia stay out of the euro. But "it has nothing to do with the euro being in jeopardy," Mr. Hanke added "They are part of what I'd call the unified euro zone," which means they get the advantages of Europe's monetary union without having to join the euro club's current agonising about political or fiscal union. "The lev is a clone of the euro," Mr. Hanke adds. "It's the same as the euro. This is not a no-confidence vote on the euro, it's a reaffirmation of their own sovereignty to control their own monetary regime."

Source - The Wall Street Journal and Sofia News Agency

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Cool properties in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Veliko Tarnovo is currently sweltering in temperatures of 32 degs Celcius plus in the glorious sunshine. These temperatures are guaranteed for the next few days and you too can stay cool in your basement of your Bulgarian real estate during the middle of the day!
veliko tarnovo real estate
Cool basement!

For those with swimming pools in their garden why not take a dip in your Veliko Tarnovo real estate with friends and family and enjoy a cool drink.

In the evening light up the bbq and sit in your converted solid stone barn which is so typical of Bulgaria real estate, and enjoy local Bulgaria home cooked cuisine such as Koftes and Kebabche with Shopska salad and Rakiya! Not forgetting the locally produced wine.

Dont forget that you can also enjoy all these past times listening to Trust Global Radio all day, without ever getting up!
bulgaria property cheap during tail end of Summer
Sting in their tail!

Whatever you do in Veliko Turnovo, be wary of the scorpions which are running around in this heat, they particularly like hiding under shoes and stones left out! But dont worry their sting in their tail isnt very strong, allegedly!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Roman wedding re-enacted at Nikyup, Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria

Nicopolis ad Istrum Roman City
Bulgaria will witness its 1st Roman wedding at the ancient Roman city Nicopolis ad Istrum The first Roman wedding at the settlement, Nicopolis ad Istrum will be held on Sunday in Bulgaria, Radio FOCUS – Veliko Tarnovo, broadcasted.

The wedding ritual will start at around 4 p.m. The entire ceremony and the wedding festivities will be held in the spirit of the ancient Romans. Although the wedding will observe all the Roman traditions and rituals it will also comply with the legal requirements of the Bulgarian marriage procedure. All guests at the wedding will be dressed in Roman togas. The wedding will start with the dance of the Vestal Virgins, who symbolically clean the Bulgarian house where the wedding ceremony will be held. The couple, which are to wed, will be brought in by their parents. The Mayor of Veliko Turnovo Municipality, Daniel Panov, will play the part of a senator, while a young man will be the pontiff, who will address a series of prayers to Jupiter, Venus and Diana. After the wedding ceremony there will be food and drink for the invited guests, which will be created in accordance with ancient Roman recipes and methodology.