• Nesebar, Bulgaria (8)
    Bulgaria

    Nesebar: Life on the old Island

    Because of the thousands of summer tourists, it’s hard to look around Nesebar. But a stroll along its meandering streets and among its half-ruined churches is always worthwhile. In the 6th Century BC, the Greek city-states of Megara and Miletus contended to control of the Black Sea coast of Thrace, which supplied the ancient world with the timber, hides, copper, slaves, and salt its economy needed. Miletus was in the superior position. It managed to establish a colony first, Apollonia (present-day Sozopol), on the southern coast of the Bay of Burgas and to gain control over Anchialo (present-day Pomorie). It was only a century later that Megara found a suitable…

  • Izrael Museum (1)
    Israel

    The Israel Museum and the Shrine of the Book store the Jewish past and pose riddles of symbolism

    5000 sq m is a lot of space, but not enough for the Israel Museum to display all the artistic and cultural monuments of the Jewish people and the Holy Land. 8000 years of history is too much time. However, what the museum in western Jerusalem is truly remarkable for is symbolism, hidden in the sculpture garden and the architecture of the ethnography, archeology and contemporary and modern art wings. Because of the city’s complex topography, the first-time visitor starts thinking about the symbols in the Israel Museum only after passing by the Knesset. The parliament of the still young Israeli state and the complex containing its millennia-long past are…

  • travel thailand
    Thailand

    Big Buddha, little Buddha: once it was golden. Now he’s pink

    In the future Buddha will be a towering giant… After the Chinese, Buddhas must be the most numerous folk on the globe. With 360 million Buddhists worldwide, each having at least two or three statues of their founder, this amounts to about a billion copies of the same body. Given such abundance it’s no surprise that Siddhartha Gautama appears in so many different forms. Emaciated or with folds of fat on the legs, tiny or the size of a three-storey building, he appears in all kinds of styles, from the finely crafted to the shockingly kitschy. Thailand is responsible for much of the proliferation of the world’s Buddha population. The…

  • San Fermin festival, Spain
    Spain

    Fiesta in Pamplona: the fierce and colorful San Fermin festival

    In early July Pamplona becomes the scene of bullfighting, bull running, bull talking and memories of Hemingway. In 75 BC the Roman General Pompey the Great established a military camp in the northeast of present-day Spain. But Pamplona only began to attract interest in the Middle Ages, when it became a stopover for pilgrims going to the shrine dedicated to St. James at Santiago de Compostela. At the end of the 16th Century the Navarrese city hosted the first summer festival of San Fermin, who saved the city from plague, and its status changed forever. But the thousands of people who flock to Pamplona between t and 14 July are…

  • Ukraine

    Food Guide: Where To Eat And Party In Lviv

    “Secret” is, perhaps, the best word to describe Lviv, a city in the southwest of Ukraine. Narrow streets, old buildings, and picture-square courtyards hide evidence of historic events, rebellious Ukrainian character and charming stories of a daily city-life. “Secret” is, perhaps, as well the most popular type of bars and restaurants. Throughout the city, there are dozens of them. Not marked on the maps, without any sign, usually hidden by the shabby flat doors. You can easily find yourself circling around, sneaking into small courtyards, looking for the hidden doors. But when you find them – usually its more than worth it. My favorite one is called „Libraria“ (easy to…

  • sofia bulgaria
    Bulgaria

    Bulgaria for Beginners: all you need to know

    As an up-and-coming destination for tourist visitors and business travelers alike, Bulgaria has become increasingly cosmopolitan over the past 15 years. At least cities have, to varying degrees. Meanwhile, out in the countryside, there are plenty of places where time seems to have stood still for centuries, with villagers in traditional garb riding along donkey-carts – until you see them talking into their mobile phones. Once you have made your first Bulgarian friend, though, you will definitely not have made your last. Bulgarians are very social and love any occasions to gather for conversation, eating, drinking, dancing, or cultural or sporting events. As regards practical matters, Bulgaria is forging ahead…