Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Small Village

Went out to a село (village) with the Sisters for a lesson. We took the train, it was a 15 minute ride, (how cool is that) it dropped us off pretty much in the middle of nowhere. There was a nice stepping stone path on the tracks to get to the other side. 
I accidentally deleted the little path that lead from the train tracks to the village, it was awesome.  The path was made of concrete chunks in a row, in between bushes, the path was narrow and up hill.  It lead to this street where we would meet for the lesson. 
Coming back to the city as we waited for the train, we were entertained by the sheep and goats pasting by with there shepherds. 
And here is our train. I love this place!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Plovdiv, old town

пловдив, (Plovdiv) is the second-largest city in Bulgaria after the capital of Sofia.  Being older than most of the oldest towns like Rome, Athens, Carthage or Constantinople, an almost contemporary of Troy, Plovdiv is a town built upon layers of towns and cultures developed upon layers of cultures.

Liusi, my Bulgarian fiend and I had a couple of hours to tour while our husbands were in meeting. It was wonderful to see the past.


 Old town Plovdiv, largely restored to it's mid-19th century appearance with it's winding cobblestone streets and arched  gateways is tranquil.



The most impressive being the Roman amphitheaters- the best preserved in the Balkan and still in use today.

Entrance to theater.                        

According to a builders inscription, the construction of the theatre dates back to he time of Emperor Trajan (98-117 AD)

The theater was damaged in the 5th century by Attila the Hun.

Due to a landslide the theater was found in the early 1970's

The theater was built with about 7,000 seats, each section of seating had the names of the city quarters engraved on the benches so the citizens at the time know where they were to sit.

The theater is still in use today,  there are plays and dance festivals during the summer months

Night views of the theater entrance  and amphitheater.

риле манастири

 The square brick building on the left in the background stands the oldest building of the complex 1334-1335. A small church, which is just a few years younger 1343 stands next to the tower. The church in the fore ground is the church of "the Nativity of the Virgin" built in 1844.  The monastery was founded by a hermit, John of Rila in the 10th century, he lived in a cave about half and hour walk from the present day monastery.

The residential buildings, which form a closed irregular quadrangle were started in the 1816.  There are 300 rooms for monks and donors.
Pictures were not allowed inside the church, but thanks to the internet here is a glance at the altar.   Although it is not that bright inside the church.  The churches and monasteries are dark inside. 
The wall paintings, finished in 1846, were made by many artists, but it was only the famous Zahari Zograf  who signed his name below his work.

It would take you days to really look at all the art work in and outside with church, WOW!

 The walls both inside the church and on the outside of the church are painted, every wall and ceiling space is occupied with a painting. This is suppose to be the nicest monastery in Bulgaria.

 I love being a tourist and Michael is always looking for the nearest restaurant. Of course he found one behind the monastery.

Road to Rila Monastery

We were driving up the canyon to Rila Monastery as we came around a bend there was a herd of cattle with the watchmen herding them down the road. 

Around the next bend were a herd of horses just walking down the road. No one was with them  they were just strolling up   the road stopping once in a while to grab some grass? And yes they were tame, I got out and gave them a love. 

I so need to live in this village! Yep, just around the next bend.

   Of course I left my nice camera at home. We thought we missed the leafs changing, but we didn't and they were beautiful.

It was like hiking at Zions, around the next bend was just as spatular as the first!


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Tallinn Estonia

Tallinn Estonia

In September we were in Tallinn Estonia for a conference. It is a city with rich history, fascination tales and fantastic medieval architecture.  Old town is one of the most intact medieval cities in Europe.
Although we were only able to get a quick glance at the city, it was wonderful. One day I would love to come go back and be a tourist.
There are a pair of ivy-covered towers at the beginning of Viru Street, on of the main pedestrian arteries into Old Town. It was the first glimpse we saw of historic Tallinn.                              

The Hellemann Tower dates back to the 14th century and at different times was used as a prison and a weapons store    


Old Town is one of the few cities that was not  destroyed in world war ll.A view of Town Hall from a side street angle, to the right.

St. Catherine's passage below, connects Vene and Muuurivahe street

Some random people in a cool arch way.

This is the historic home of the Brotherhood of Black Heads, a Medieval guild made up of young and single merchants and foreigners. The first Christmas tree ever put on display in Europe was by the Brotherhood of Black Heads Guild in 1441

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral 19th century Russian Orthodox church. It was almost demolished in 1924 by some who reguarded it as a symbol of oppression
Another view of Town Hall, the centre of civic rule for the Middle Ages to the early 20th century. Old Thomas, the weather vane who symbolises Tallinn, has been keeping watch since 1530.  There really is a weather vane on top of the steeple.                              

The Helsinki Finland Temple is built on a beautiful rocky hill side. What a great blessing to attend the temple, it is a beautiful temple in a beautiful country.  

Mission Presidents conference