Vassil Christov, CEO of Fibank, on the future of the Bulgarian banking system and the importance of new technologies
Bulgaria was born, according to the most commonly accepted theory, in 681 when, after a humiliating defeat, the Byzantine emperor Constantine IV signed a peace treaty with Khan Asparuh, the man who had led the proto-Bulgarians south of the Danube. What happened next is still a keenly debated part of early Bulgarian history, but one thing is certain: the first centuries of Bulgaria's existence were turbulent.
"Greek beaches are not as good as Bulgarian beaches."
Tourism Minister Nikolina Angelkova
In most European countries, licensing cars is a pretty straightforward business. Number plates usually reflect the year of the first registration, or the province where the car's owner resides, or sometimes they give out nothing at all except a unique combination of letters and numbers detectable by the traffic authorities and the police.
Bulgarians love to boast the real or imaginary uniqueness of their feasts, from the Kukeri dances to the Nestinari firewalking, and from vine pruning during St Trifon Zarezan's feast to picking of oil bearing roses. What unites these is their long history, spanning centuries and probably millennia.
Acceptance, equality for LGBTI people yet to happen
An easy drive from Sofia, nestled deep in the leafy Sredna Gora mountains, Koprivshtitsa has all the elements of an exemplary Revival Period experience. The surrounding landscape is all high slopes, lush forests and meadows. Beautiful 200-year-old mansions line cobbled streets. Old stone bridges span the local river. Charming old water fountains, their worn inscriptions still legible, are here, there and everywhere. Koprivshtitsa's history is also captivating, as this was where the April Uprising of 1876 began.