Bulgaria: Kingdom of Roses
Bulgaria is situated on the southeastern Balkan Peninsula and lies adjacent to Romania, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece and Turkey. The Danube River separates Bulgaria from Romania. Bulgaria boasts diverse topography, such as mountains, hills and plains, and lakes and rivers crisscrossing each other.
Sofia, the capital, lies in western Bulgaria. As the nation's political, economic and cultural centre, Sofia is also the country's largest city and a tourism destination. It is known as a garden city.
Bulgaria has well- developed tourism resources. It is adjacent to the Black Sea, which is the country's traditional tourism destination. In that summer, it is ideal for taking walks on the beach to enjoy the sunshine; in the winter, it is fit for skiing and hunting. The country has many hot springs, so trips to therapeutic baths are a highlight for many travellers. Bulgaria boasts abundant natural scenery, cultural relics and world heritage. It is a European country with ancient civilisation. Thracian buildings and ancient sites left from Roman times and the Byzantine Period, such as monasteries, old castles and churches, can be seen by visitors.
Varna, a city on the western bank of the Black Sea, is one of the most important in the country. It enjoys an important geographical location adjacent to the estuary of the Danube and the Bosphorus Strait. As a link connecting Europe and Asia, it is of great significance to the Belt and Road Initiative. It undertakes half of Bulgaria's sea trade, and the country's second largest airport is also situated there. The city has direct cargo flights to Europe, Central Asia and Africa and has regular flights to more than 30 countries. Varna is also the scientific, technological and industrial centre of Bulgaria.
The country is the birthplace of yoghurt, and the bacterium used to make it, which was formerly called Lactobacillus bulgaricus, is known throughout the world. Wine is also extensively produced in Bulgaria. The regions south and north of the Balkan Mountains are involved in wine production, while fine liquor is brewed to the mountains' east.
Flower lovers can come to Bulgaria to see varieties of roses blooming all year round. This abundance of roses and other flowers has earned the country the nickname “God's backyard.” A staff member from its embassy explained, “Bulgaria is known for its roses. This time, we are exhibiting tea made from roses.” Essential rose oil produced there is world-famous and is one of the main raw materials for high- end perfume. It has a history of more than 300 years. Its output and export of the product rank highest in the world.
To maintain the tradition of essential rose oil production, Bulgaria declared the first Sunday in June, the “Rose Festival” in the 1960s. This is when roses are harvested in the ocuntry. Extracting one kg of essential rose oil requires about 4,000 kg of rose flowers. Essential rose oil is also called “liquid gold.” The world's best rose producing area is located in Kazanlak at the eastern end of the Rose Valley and south of the Balkan Mountains. The region features warm and moist air from the east of the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, while the Balkan Mountains in the west ward off the cold air from the north. The temperature difference in Kazanlak is larger than in the Rose Valley, creating more morning dew to prevent the aroma of the roses from being lost.
During the Rose Festival, 7,000 varieties of roses in white and pink bloom. They are used for producing high-end perfume. The Bulgarian booth at the “Colourful World” event exhibited essential oil and other rose-related products that reflect the hardwork and hospitality of the Bulgarian people. Bulgarians love roses. Regardless of the occasion, whether it be visiting friends and relatives or joining a funeral, they are a suitable gift.