Unlike most of its neighbours, Bulgaria is not particularly renowned for its islands - for a reason: it has but a handful of them, the largest being less than a square mile in size. Some of those are just rocks off the Black Sea coast, others are in the Danube river. None of them are easily accessible unless you have your own boat. Still, some are at least interesting. For example, the St Anastasia island - formerly known as the Bolshevik, in the Bay of Burgas, was used as a place of pilgrimage, then a prison, then a weekend getaway spot; and now there are plans to convert it into a tourist attraction.
The island pictured here is south of the St Anastasiya. Under Communism, it was completely off limits as it was the only place in Bulgaria where wild cacti grew. Now the restriction is not very well kept, especially after the construction, just across the water from it, of one of those huge resort complexes typical of the southern Black Sea coast.
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and you can win a weekend for two at Maria-Nevena Guesthouse, in the Bezmer village near Tervel. The winner will be selected in a draw.
Kjetil Brukstuen from Norway guessed correctly that the Red Church near Perushtitsa is the answer to Vagabond No67 Where in Bulgaria Are You? Quiz and won a weekend for two at Madona Inn, Belogradchik. Kjetil was born "some 40+ years ago" in Lillehammer and is currently employed with United Nations in Lebanon. He does not live in Bulgaria but his wife, Dobroslava, is a Bulgarian from the village of Dolni Lozen. Kjetil and she met some 10 years ago in Pristina, Kosova, and have after that regularly travelled to Bulgaria. In Bulgaria, Kjetil likes the warmth of the people, the food, the wine and the beer, excluding foreign brands brewed in Bulgaria. He does not like the general state of roads and streets, and the barking dogs in the villages. In Vagabond, Kjetil and Dobroslava enjoy the wide variations of articles, especially those on domestic travel, and art and culture.
70 years ago, on 10 March 1943, Bulgaria's pro-Nazi government decided to defy Berlin and halt the deportation of Bulgaria's 50.000 Jews. This was down to the actions of one man - Dimitar Peshev. Just two years later he faced Communist justice and found himself on trial for his life. His niece Kaluda Kiradjieva remembers