Bulgaria

The famous lions in downtown Sofia, Bulgaria, Monument of the Unknown Warrior

Kutrubes Travel planned an exquisitely complicated tour for me through “eastern” Europe, helping me to make the most of seeing the highlights of these countries in the most meaningful way, without just zipping through.

In 2015, I started out in Romania, flew to Bulgaria, then drove through Serbia, next to Macedonia, Kosovo, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Boznia-Herzegovina, Slovenia, and ending in Venice, Italy.

You’ll see me in pictures above and below next to lion statues, and they’re all over Bulgaria. Lions are an important animal to Bulgarians. According to Vagabond: “A symbol of bravery, the lion was featured on the Bulgarian coat-of-arms, pieces of jewellery and the clothes of aristocrats as early as the 13th century. Curiously, the animal was cemented as a part of Bulgarian heraldry after the country fell under the Ottomans. When the Bulgarians started their movement for national independence, the lion became not only a symbol of bravery and strength, but also of freedom.”

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is IMG_8008-2.jpg

 
Be sure to visit the capital, Sofia, which is located at the base of Mount Vitosha, as it is a great place for both skiing and hiking. Also of interest is Plovdiv, the oldest city in Europe, known for its laid back vibes and emphasis on the arts. In general, Bulgaria is known for its scenic beaches, historic architecture, and hiking destinations.
 
One fun fact about Bulgaria is that it is the only country in the world that has ever fired an elected official over playing the Facebook game, Farmville. Plovdiv city councilor, Dimitar Kerin, was fired in 2010 in order to “have more time to tend to his virtual farm”!

 

Maldives

  Country Information: The capital of the Maldives is Male. There are approximately 650,000 people living here. The majority of Maldivians practice Sunni Islam. The official language of Maldives is Dhivehi, but English is also widely spoken. The major export of...

Australia

If you ask me what’s my favorite place on planet Earth, one of the two countries / places that would likely come out of my mouth would be Australia … Lizard Island in Australia specifically. I was there in 1992, and haven’t forgotten about it since. photo credit...

Dominican Republic

6 summers of volunteering at Outreach 360 in Monte Cristi, near the Haitian border Outreach360 has been working in Latin America since 1994, and our family began volunteering in 2013 through 2018 in the Dominican Republic.  Outreach is such a wonderful program that...