Bul­garia: King­dom of Roses

Beijing (English) - - CONTENTS -

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.

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