Friday, 5 July 2013

Five hours on the train, worth it: Going to Plovdiv

The Roman theatre of Plovdiv, now nearly two thousand years old, and still hosting performances.
Doing an EVS often includes a fair share of travelling. We have joined fellow volunteers from the Sofian SMART Foundation for a day trip to Plovdiv.

Plovdiv, Bulgaria's second largest city and one of the most culturally important, surely cannot be all seen in one day but, as it was the first visit for most of us, it has been a nice introduction.

There is a big size difference between Bulgaria's capital Sofia and the next major cities, the former being at least 3.5 times larger in population than Plovdiv & Varna, and six times larger than Bourgas.

As one can expect, Plovdiv has got a more relaxed vibe than the busy capital, and feels green and refined like a typical university town. Rumours say, it also has got a nightlife of a typical university town, although this time we were unable to check it.

The city has got a significant population of cats, looked after by the locals collectively.

Plovdiv is among the oldest cities of Europe, being continuously inhabited since at least 4000 BC. Originally established by the Thracians, it later became known as the Roman city of Philipopolis. There are some remaining ruins from both Thracian and Roman eras in Plovdiv, as well as treasures in the city's Arhaeological Museum.   

Finally, Plovdiv's old town is also a good place to go and appreciate the so-called Bulgarian National Revival architeture of the nineteenth century, see a couple of my photos below.  

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