Wednesday, August 31, 2016

My summer so far...:)





July was a very nice month…:) We spent the first July weekend in Plovdiv as usual but now that both children were free from school, we decided to go out for dinner...:) On the Sunday, July 2nd, we went to ‘Johanna’ which is a lovely restaurant with traditional Bulgarian food and the most delicious BBQ…:) 

And after dinner we went for a walk along the Main Street of Plovdiv and in the Central Park where we sat at the ‘singing fountains’.:) It’s a lovely show of fountains with music and lights…:) I attended it very often as a child but it’s been ages since I’ve last been there so it was very special to see it again – this time with my husband and children!:) 

After the show we picked up some delicious ice-cream and enjoyed it on our walk back to our car…:) Oh, and we also met one of the X Factor stars…:) His name is Georgi Arsov and he has studied at Minnie’s High School…:) Needless to say, Minnie didn’t miss her chance to take a picture with him!:) 

On July 5th, Minnie, Vlado and me /Vanyo was in Karlovo/ went to see the opera ‘La Traviata’…:) My dear cousin Plamen was playing Giorgio Germont and he was fantastic!:) After the performance we had dinner at a restaurant near the opera and we had a wonderful time together!:)

The following weekend was interesting too…:) On the Saturday, July 9th, we went to see the Asen’s Fortress. It’s a medieval fortress in the Rhodopes, close to Plovdiv, and we’ve passed under it many times…We’ve wanted to see it for ages, so I’m glad we finally did!:) The nature there is amazing!:) Unfortunately only the church has been renovated, the rest of the fortress is in ruins…:( Oh, and we saw a little snake there, probably poisonous… Luckily it was dead, though…:) 

The next weekend was even better…:) Vlado and I had the Friday, July 15th off… Minnie had driving lessons that day but as soon as they were over, we picked up Vanyo from Karlovo and drove to Pamporovo /a lovely resort in the Rhodopes/. We checked in at a lovely hotel, called ‘Nevada’ /the two studios we had rented were perfect:)/ and as soon as we dropped our luggage, we took a taxi to the Rojen Folk Festival…:) It was dark and quite cold by then and we were very tired, but we still enjoyed listening to the unique folk music from the Rhodopes under the stars…

The next morning we had breakfast at the hotel and went to the Rojen Folk Festival again…:) We did some shopping /mostly souvenirs/ and listened to the talented performers...:) It was so exciting to see all those people, wearing Bulgarian folk costumes, waving Bulgarian flags, and all of them – proud of their origin, proud to be Bulgarian… The feeling was incredible!!!:) We returned to our hotel at lunch time…:) The kids had fun at the fitness and hubby and I simply relaxed...

We had dinner at restaurant ‘Excalibur’ at ‘The Castle’ hotel complex… The food and the service were excellent and we’ll definitely go back there!:) They were making ‘cheverme’ in front of us /it’s a typical specialty from the Rhodopes – a whole lamb or goat is grilled slowly on a stick/ so we simply had to try it and it was delicious – it simply melted in our mouths…:)

We had planned to go back to the Rojen Folk Festival after dinner but then we changed our minds and decided to go for a hike instead…:) The nature in Pamporovo is very beautiful, the air is clean and fresh so all of us enjoyed the hike to the fullest!:)

Unfortunately the next morning after breakfast we had to say good-bye to Pamporovo… Vlado and I left Minnie and Vanyo in Karlovo and continued to Sofia… 

Luckily I had the next week /July 18th - 22nd/ off too… While Vlado was working, I was all alone but I didn’t mind as I really needed some time by myself…:) I didn’t do anything special, just relaxed, read books, watched movies and TV series /like the first two seasons of the Bulgarian TV series ‘Liaisons’ which turned out to be hilarious and I can’t wait for season 3 now:)/, etc… And enjoyed the time with my hubby in the evenings when he came back from work – just the two of us as a couple…:) 

On July 22nd Vlado and I celebrated our 21st anniversary…:) He surprised me with something I once mentioned that I wanted – a bracelet, made of red thread /according to an old superstition red thread on the hand keeps us safe/ with a golden symbol of eternity…:) It was so sweet of him and totally unexpected as we usually don’t exchange gifts for our anniversary…:)

I saw five movies and read two books in July…:) The movies are Kokowääh 2 /it was great - sweet, touching and full of funny moments:)/, ‘Allegiant’ /it was a bit predictable but still exciting and full of incredible action scenes and visual effects...:)/, My Name is Khan’ /one of the best movies I've ever seen - beautiful and touching!:) I highly recommend it to everyone!:)/, ‘Maleficent’ /great entertainment for the whole family...:)/ and ‘The Huntsman: Winter’s War’ /it was much better than 'Snow White and the Huntsman' in my opinion…:)/. And the books are both by L.J.Smith - ‘The Vampire Diaries: The Fury’ /it was much better than the first two books of the series/ and ‘The Vampire Diaries: Dark Reunion’ /not a masterpiece but easy to read and a perfect ending to the saga..:)/. 

Also in July I started watching the TV series ‘The 100’ and it was so interesting that I saw all the three seasons in no time…:) And now I’m curious for season 4!:)

The first half of August was rather uneventful as I had to work… And Minnie attended her first internship at a hospital – at the endoscopic surgery ward of the Military Medical Academy…:) She greatly enjoyed her internship and just can’t wait for the next summer!:

The last day at work before my summer holidays was actually my birthday, August 12th. It was a fantastic day – I got totally spoilt by my family and friends…:) Once again I realized how blessed I am to have such wonderful people in my life!:) All those phone calls, e-mails, messages, Facebook greetings, cards, gifts, etc. really warmed my heart...:) I had a little celebration with my colleagues at the office /I treated them with a cake and wine and they gave me some lovely gifts:)/ and then, in the evening, I celebrated with my family and in-laws at a pub in Karlovo /with the most delicious food:)/…:) 

The next couple of days were slow and relaxing… And on August 16th we drove to Myrodatou, Greece, where we spent 10 fantastic days…:) We stayed at the same house as last year, surrounded by olive trees and close to the beach…:) And just as last year, everything was perfect – the weather, the sea, the food and the people!:) But as we stayed longer this year, we decided to make some trips…:)

First we visited Thassos…:) It was so exciting to travel on a ferry – a first time for Vanyo and me…:) We had delicious lunch /gyros and frappe/, did some shopping /T-shirts for the children and fridge magnets:)/, had some ice-cream and – last, but not least went to the Agora and the Archaeological Museum… The museum was so interesting and I was so impressed by the gigantic sculpture /Kouros/ I saw there…:) Awesome!:) And I greatly enjoyed having Minnie as my guide, explaining things, reading signs in Ancient Greek, etc.:) Unfortunately it turned out that one day in Thassos was not enough, so we should definitely visit it again, for a longer time!:) 

Then we went to Porto Lagos – we had to see the famous church of St Nicholas, which is located on the island of the lagoon Vistonidas…:) Such a picturesque and peaceful place, I loved it!:)

Our third trip was to Kavala…:) I just fell in love with this incredible city – such a special atmosphere, such a beautiful mixture of ancient and modern!:) Unfortunately it was too hot that day, so only visited the castle, did some shopping and had dinner /delicious seafood, my favourite in Greece:)/ but we’ll definitely come back to see more…:) 

And our last trip was to the Archaeological Site and Museum of Avdira…:) We made friends with the people who worked at the site, especially one of them was super nice, and he was fluent in Russian…:) Both the site and the museum were very, very interesting and once again it was very helpful to have Minnie by my side…:) Actually I noticed that Vanyo is also very interested in history and ancient cultures which makes me extremely happy!:) 

Unfortunately our holidays in Greece were over too soon and on August 26th we got back home… Actually we only stayed for a couple of hours and then drove to Sozopol /a lovely town at the Black Sea/ to drop Minnie at the Summer School of Classical Languages…:) She came back home yesterday, August 30th, full of stories and in perfect mood!:)

We don’t have any more plans for the rest of the summer… I guess we’ll just relax and enjoy being together!:)

So far I've seen eight movies in August…:) Here is the list: ‘Dumb and Dumber To’ /not as funny as the first Dumb and Dumber movie, but still OK to watch for some silly entertainment.../, ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ /it was shocking but I loved the story, the dark humour and the acting...:) Especially Leo DiCaprio was a killer!:)/, ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ /great movie - sweet and fresh!:)/, ‘Warcraft’ /such a disappointment...:(/, ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’ /great movie - exciting, full of humour, action and unexpected twists, I loved it!:)/, ‘LOL’ - the French original /another great movie - sweet, funny and touching...:) And I simply *love* Sophie Marceau...:) She is so beautiful and talented!:)/, ‘A Walk Among the Tombstones’ /it wasn't bad, but too brutal for my taste...:( Liam Neeson was incredible, though...:)/ and ‘Escape Plan’ /nothing special…/.