Bulgaria Day 5

Dear Heights family, 

What a great day this has been! We traveled around Kazanlak and the surrounding areas, sightseeing and soaking up the great culture of Bulgaria. One of the things that we have most loved about this country is that it is absolutely beautiful. The part of the country that we are in has majestic mountains, lush green pastures, and fields of sunflowers and lavender. We traveled to an absolutely gorgeous cathedral, Shipka Memorial Church, where we were able to witness a Eastern Orthodox child baptism. It was so amazing to see not only the architecture and details of the church, but the baptism of the child. After that, we traveled to several different Thracian tombs and learned all about the ancient history of the Thracians. It was so cool!  

One of the highlights of the trip so far was the dinner experience we had this evening. George, Laura, and Beatrice took us to a big, outdoor restaurant in the hills of outside of town. It was a open area with many tables to eat at, displays of Bulgarian history and culture, and a stage for folk dancers to perform. Once we were seated, we were treated to a huge Bulgarian feast full of meat, French fries, bread, vegetables, salads, and deserts. The food was so delicious and we all walked away stuffed to the gills. During dinner, four couples went up to the stage and danced to folk music. After they finished performing, the dancers came around the tables to invite guests to join in. Beatrice joined in and brought Wayne, Cookie, and myself in with her so we can now say that the three of us have danced a traditional Bulgarian folk dance. It was so much fun! Later on, there was a place set aside from the eating area where a woman walked over hot coals. In their ancient customs, walking over hot coals is an omen of good health. - Jordan Kiefer