BY Lisa Lindblad

October 5, 2011

I have recently returned from an intriguing long weekend in Bulgaria, a country with diverse landscapes, deep history, magnificent treasures, and a challenging future to grapple with.  Just a short 2.5 hour flight from London, the purpose of the weekend hop was to visit a lovely house, Villa Gella, located in the alpine scenery of southern Bulgaria’s Rhodope mountains.  There will be more on the house itself, but the context for the house is important to describe.

A country of 7 million people, 2.5 of whom live in the urban areas, this is a country of mountains and fertile plains, gorgeous painted Christian Orthodox monasteries, iconic domestic architecture, and a cache of Thracian gold treasure that astounds.  Its capital, Sofia, is rich with parks and buildings reminiscent of Paris or Buenos Aires.

The countryside is beautiful and pristine.  Two-lane mountain roads wind and climb through majestic alpine landscapes of dense pine forests with high aqua blue lakes, deep-cut gorges and trout-filled streams.  Bulgaria is gorgeous in all seasons, for meandering in wildflower meadows, skiing on blanketed pistes, hiking through blazing Autumn colors.  Add to the natural beauty once in a lifetime experiences of age-old festivals – ‘martenitsas’ in the spring when Bulgarians gift each other small figures made of red and white thread to herald spring, the play-off of scores of bagpipes on a ridge in the Rhodope mountains, the rose festival at the foot of the Balkan range.

A little visited country with reasonable price, rich treasure, delicious food and exquisite wines, Bulgaria offers an experience that is at once ancient in feel yet contemporarily pleasing.

array(1) { [0]=> object(WP_Post)#7893 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(5376) ["post_author"]=> string(2) "17" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2016-06-22 09:57:59" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2016-06-22 09:57:59" ["post_content"]=> string(930) "


There is a magic to this valley, they say, with its flowered meadows

and aspen groves cut by the Roaring Fork.

And those sublime snowcapped peaks that dominate it all.

There is a kinship here, nurtured in the mountain’s fold,

as well as a fierce commitment to protect what is so dearly loved.

Photo:  Forest Woodward

Location:  Aspen, CO

 " ["post_title"]=> string(15) "Meditations #75" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(14) "meditations-75" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2016-11-22 09:29:13" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2016-11-22 14:29:13" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(31) "" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } }

Meditations #75