Our guide was Velislava Chilingirova, who turned out not only to be eminently knowledgeable and unfailingly skilled at group management, but also patient, generous, warm, funny and full of life; in short, a terrific ambassador not only for Bulgaria but also for the programme. Through Velis’s vast network of contacts, we as a group were privileged to be treated to site and museum visits that covered the full spectrum of Bulgaria’s heritage, all the while learning from practitioners who enthusiastically shared their expertise and experience. In addition, Velis made special arrangements to visit places and people not on the original programme;
Erasmus+ Structured Training Course Devetaki Plateau Association ‘Understanding the cultural impact of ancient peoples and applying ancient skills’ Bulgaria 11th – 19th July 2015 My first visit to Bulgaria was in late summer 1974 as part of a trip I made through Eastern Europe. I was just about to enter my fourth and final year […]
The 4am rendezvous at was tough but we bonded over coffee at horribly-early-o-clock in the departure lounge at Edinburgh airport, bleary-eyed but excited about our upcoming adventure. There were six of us, all involved in the Scottish heritage and culture sector. We were heading to Bulgaria, a country about which we each admitted we […]
“It seems that the direct interpretation of collections is often dependent on the initiative of local folklore groups. It was those moments and visits like this, which brought the collections and houses we were visiting really to life. It reminded me of the way we are trying to communicate and get visitors involved within the Georgian House with our school and education visits, as well as our Living History tours, in attempts to make the House and its collection attractive and interesting through not only seeing but through hearing, tasting and interaction with guides, volunteers and costumed ‘actors’. This brings in another dimension which can be experienced, not only seen.” Bethan Morris
Arriving in Bulgaria, after a sleep-deprived day of flights via Paris and some so-so airline food, I had no real idea or picture of what awaited me in the week ahead. Would there really be rural peasants on a horse and cart? Would it be full of decaying Communist tower blocks? Would the food consist […]
The group was intrigued to learn that forestry age is measured differently in Bulgaria where the mean age of trees is used rather than the length of time the area has been afforested. This is due to the influence of other European countries where a more holistic approach through continuous forestry methods are adopted. This is unlike Scottish forestry which is still in the infancy of this and mostly managed on a financial /accountancy basis. The oldest tree in the park was a 500 year old beech. The group asked several questions about deer but it was apparent there was no problem with high densities due to a combination of factors, primarily predation by wolves and anthropogenic hunting. One of the rangers stated that there were probably less than one deer per 100 ha. The hunting in the region is managed by local hunting groups and licenses are issued by the Ministry for Food and Agriculture.