We are touring Bulgaria. We visited Sophia and from there visited the most important monastery for the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in Rila (thanks Steph), and the Boyana Church for it’s life like frescoes from 13th century, perhaps predecessors of early Renaissance art.
We also went to Veliko Tarnova to see where the Bulgarian Independence movement of the Middle Ages sprang. It is on the Yalta River and has fantastic fortifications on its rocky cliffs.
In all of this we found great difficulty as touring English speakers. We found a muddy road instead of rock churches at Ivanovski and Ruse on the Danube was anything but interesting.
Today, however, we had the best experience when we visited the Thracian Tomb of Shipka. The granite tomb was amazing, but even better was a young guide called Radoslav Petkov who tried with his very limited Engish to explain the history. Radoslav has just graduated in History and had been working for the Museum for a whole week. His explanations were wonderful and our ability to link this bit of history with the Egyptian tombs, the Hellenistic battles and the Roman conquers made today a winner. Thanks Radoslav!