A Designer in Europe - Plovdiv

Plovdiv is the sight of one of the oldest cities. Period. It is known as "the city of seven hills." Most of the old town is built upon three hills in the center of the modern city. The longest pedestrian walkway in Europe is located to one side of the hill. On top of one of the hills are houses with the unique Bulgarian architecture. This is where our hostel is, and where we will first set out from. Let's enjoy Plovdiv!

The most exciting sight on the drive down from Veliko Tarnovo was the Roma villiage outside of Stara Zagorka. We got the camera out in time to capture only the free-roaming horses.

The first thing you notice about the old town portion of Plovdiv is the cobbled street. In some sections it's more like a glacial moraine. There are some rough, jagged rocks on this road. Later on our tour of the city, the tour host told us that during prom every one in the class walks up the hill to watch the sunrise. They only get so far in their high heels before their dates have to carry them the rest of the way up.

Always nice to be greeted with signage and a fresh cup of coffee. Extra little details go a long way to make a positive experience. 

We peek our head into a courtyard in the old town and a young man welcomes us in and explains that the building used to be an old Dervish monestary and is now a restaurant and event space. He gave us a full tour!

This is the room where the Dervish would whirl.

Part of the reaturant is built right into the hill, and uses the old roman foundation.

This bronze helmet is now a lamp, setting the ambiance for a romantic dinner for two.

The seal of the city of Plovdiv.

This device used to slow cook coffee for 8 hours, welcoming visitors of the Dervish.

An example of the Bulgarian architecture and a clever way to expand your interior without paying more property tax.

Old roman theatre put back together in Plovdiv.

The Bulgarian monestary mortar style on this building has something else going for it.

A clever salesman, Georgi, tricks us into getting a tour of the old city. We knew we'd have to give him some money. While it was slightly off-putting at the time, the more we saw him in the next few days with other poor saps, the more we came to like him. He even gave us directions a few various times.

A spiky poster for an opera performance.

The main pedestrian street in Plovdiv. I would say it was crowded but now we have been on Iskital Street in Istanbul.

A traditional Bulgarian bagpipe player giving Lisa the cold shoulder.

Traditional instruments entertain all ages.

An old roman stadium slightly uncovered under the main pedestrian street. Multi-million dollar efforts have failed to produce a viable way to unearth the entire structure.

An old roman forum. It was gated off, or I would have made some proclaimations. 

This is me trying to order what everyone else is ordering during the lunch rush. It involves just nodding your head, handing over a large enough bill that you don't have to worry about knowing what it costs and standing your ground. Then you get a delicious surprise kebab.

Lisa upping her fashion window game. This was a documentation regarding the amount of belted puffy coats we were seeing. (Not documented was the women's construction boot craze in Serbia.

Lots of random legends about this guy. Seems like he was a very likable public creep. Sometimes you can be annoyed with things, but then miss them when they are gone.

Plovdiv was very proud to get named as the cultural capital of Europe for 2019. They were once a cultural epicenter and they want to be that again.

There is a section of the city known as 'the trap.' It used to be a bazaar, but that burned, so they built buildings there. I can't remember exactly when the state came to own a lot of the buildings here but now they are renting out storefronts, free of charge, to artists, in the hopes of revitalizing the area. These flags went up for a specific event years ago. The people liked them and so they have been there ever since.

Endless apartment blocks on the outskirts of many European cities. They are still foreign to see. Maybe a Chicago or New York resident wouldn't think as much of it.

Plovdiv youth hanging out on a nice day.

We visited the regional ethnographic museum located in one of the old town mansions. The building itself was part of the exhibit.

A very friendly artist had a small shop near the top of the hill in the old town. We liked his attitude and purchased one of his masks. 

Atlas Obscura clued me in to another abandoned communist monument. It is like a treasure hunt to go find them. This one had a futuristic pagan feel to it.

Near the abandoned monument was a man-made lake for rowing practice and competition. Everyone was out on the nice day, walking around. Lisa was disappointed there were no boats to see. Well Lisa, I bet we will get some boat time in Istanbul. Into the unknown we go!