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September 2009, 25/09/2009

Dear Valued Readers,

We continue the series of articles dedicated to less known tourist sites in Bulgaria with September issue dedicated to Vitosha. We hope you will enjoy reading.

SHORT EXCURSIONS OFF THE BEATEN TRACK AROUND BULGARIA - 2

Vitosha is the most visited Bulgarian mountain. It is situated just above Sofia - within an hour you can be far away from the noise of the capital. Many people accept it as a big park where one can walk following signed paths and enjoy nice landscapes. However it is a high mountain and should not be underestimated - the highest peak Cherni vrah is 2290 m (the meaning of its name is 'black peak'). The access points are from the fringe quarters of Sofia where rich Bulgarians have built luxury houses at the mountain foothills - Dragalevtsi, Simeonovo, Boyana, Vladaya, Knyajevo and others.

One easy way to get there is using the lift starting from Simeonovo quarter and reaching Aleko hut. The area around the hut is quite developed and can be even crowded during the weekends. There are few ski slopes for beginners and advanced skiers. From Aleko hut to Cherni Vrah is less than 2 hours - for those who like challenges.

The other lift which can be used starts from Dragalevtsi and reaches Goli Vrah /meaning "the bare hill"/. This is a plateau area suitable for long walks. Those who are not afraid of climbing can get off at the middle station and walk through the pine forest until they reach the flatter top area. There is also a nice monastery within 40 min walk up the hill from Dragalevtsi.

One of the most beautiful destinations is Zlatni Mostove - about 2 hours walking distance starting from Vladaya. This is a natural phenomenon - a rock river. The big rocks are covered with golden lichens which give the name of the place meaning "golden bridges". You can climb on the rocks for fun and try to "walk up the river", have a sun bath on them or just enjoy a lazy picnic in the open. You can reach Zlatni Mostove also from Aleko hut passing through Vitosha Plateau and going down - it is 2-3 hours easy walk without steep descends.

Another interesting tourist track starts from Boyana. There you should definitely visit the Boyana Church with its preserved medieval frescos - it is listed as a world cultural heritage from UNESCO. The aim is Boyana waterfalls - there is a bit of climbing but the walk along the river and the final destination deserve the effort.

There are so many other places to visit. We are sure that once there you will find your way. It is also very easy to say "Dobar den" to the smiling elder tourist who walks slowly following his usual path and you will get loads of information where to go, what to see, how far it is and so on.

THE CABINET TO APPLY ADDITIONAL ANTI-CRISIS MEASURES

The new Bulgarian government has prepared a list of eighty-two anti-crisis measures aiming at overcoming the current problems of the economy. Improvement of European funds absorption, decrease of the social payments by 2% and quicker refund of VAT to the companies are some of the measures approved by the government.

The measures are short-term and are scheduled to be implemented by June 2010 by which time the government believes Bulgarian economy would start to recover from the crisis. The measures are expected to lead to saving of 150,000 jobs.

The plans in the tax policy foresee keeping the current tax rates of 10% for both corporate profit tax and individual's income tax.

The cabinet already imposed 15% cuts in costs for the administration for the second half of this year which will save 1,2 Billion Bulgarian levs. Further measures are planned in order to prevent tax frauds and improve collection of VAT and excise taxes which are expected to increase the budget revenue with 1,3 Billion levs.

One of government's first priorities is equal development of all Bulgarian regions and levelling off the differences in the living standards and opportunities for doing business in them.

 

BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT MAY INCREASE PENALTIES FOR UNPAID TAXES

The Bulgarian Government is discussing increase in penalty interest for overdue tax payments. Currently companies and individuals that lag behind with tax payments are charged an interest of the base rate plus 10 per cent and it is proposed that the add-on is increased to 20 per cent.

Businesses supported this idea but proposed that same interest is paid on unauthorised retention of money by state institutions in the cases when the companies were found clean of fraud by tax revisions.

 

BULGARIA'S IRINA BOKOVA ELECTED FOR UNESCO'S NEW DIRECTOR-GENERAL

On 22nd September Bulgaria's ambassador in France Irina Bokova became the first woman and first Eastern European elected for Director-General of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). In the fifth round of the elections Bokova won by 31 votes to the Egyptian cultural minister Hosni's who received 27 votes. The two of them were the last of the 9 candidates who continued their competition for the post.

Irina Bokova is born in Sofia career diplomat and politician. According to Meglena Kuneva, Bulgaria's European commissioner, Bokova's election would help improve Bulgaria's image on the world stage.

 

ARCHAEOLOGISTS FIND UNIQUE CULT COMPLEX AT PERPERIKON

The archaeology team of Prof. Nikolay Ovcharov has found a large cult complex at the ancient Thracian city of Perperikon in the Eastern Rhodopi Mountains. The complex consists of 9 altars on an area of 12,000 sq m. One of the altars was built of stone plates with 1,5- 2 m thickness.

The complex is dated back 1,500 BC which is about the time of ancient Egypt and the Mycenae civilization and Minoan Crete. It is believed that the alters are used by the Thracians for fire rituals. The cult complex may lead to discovery of a connection between Ancient Thrace and other ancient civilization.

Perperikon was an astonishing ancient city in the Eastern Rodopi Mountains with rich traces of several civilisations between ancient Thracian and Middle Ages.

 

Monthly Travel Guide

Below is a link to the Jamadvice HRG Bulgaria Monthly Travel Guide. It provides useful information as well as some interesting facts from the travel industry.

Monthly Travel Guide..

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