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Festivals

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Stufstock Festival - Vama Veche (Romania)

Stufstock Vama Veche started in 2003 and it is ranked as one of the most important rock festivals in the south-eastern Europe. The festival is made every summer in late August, a week of rock music, film shows, drama, photography exhibitions, work-shops. Public success is very high, people present are receptive and enthusiastic because the festival is interactive and competent organized. The festival concerts take place until late at night, and it is accompanied by shows, openings of exhibitions, competitions, lectures, and reviews.

Radio Stufstock transmitted every day from the festival, in a rock-bohemian atmosphere, free from conventions, trying to contribute to the widest possible dissemination of the songs sung live. It's a free radio playlist, with professional and good music, created for Stufstock.

Each edition of the festival offers to a number of volunteers Stufstock across the country, which is involved in programs in ecology, but also in organization and dissemination of the festival. The festival is produced by the company Capricorn & Capricorn Productions and organized by the Association for Bio-Cultural Conservation of Protected Areas.

Exact location

Location: Vama Veche, Constanta County, Romania - 43° 45′ 0″ N, 28° 34′ 0″ E

Driving directions from to Bucharest to Vama Veche, Romania

Suggested route
E81 - 264 km, 2 hours 43 mins

Bucharest, Romania
1. Head toward Strada Ion Câmpineanu  south on Calea Victoriei Pass by Ing  (on the left) - 350 m
2. Turn left at Pizza Hut  onto Bulevardul Regina Elisabeta Pass by Banca Comercială Română  (on the right) - 350 m
3. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit  onto Bulevardul Carol I/DN2/E60/E85 Pass by Parcul Colțea  (on the right) - 300 m
4. Turn right at Gold Reserve Invest IFN  onto Bulevardul Hristo Botev Pass by Satya Com. Srl  (on the right) - 650 m
5. At Maelstrom Entertainment Web Design Bucuresti, continue onto Strada Matei Basarab Pass by Parcare cu plată  (on the right) - 180 m
6. Turn right at Panco Sa  onto Bulevardul Mircea Vodă Pass by Swedish Trade Council  (on the right) - 500 m
7. Turn left onto Bulevardul Unirii/E81 Continue to follow E81 Go through 1 roundabout Pass by Alpha Bank Romania Sa  (on the right in 650 m) - 1.8 km
8. Turn left at Spalatorie auto  onto Calea Dudeşti/E81 Continue to follow E81 Go through 2 roundabouts Pass by OMV  (on the right in 108 km) - 157 km
9. Continue onto A2 Go through 1 roundabout - 51.0 km
10. Keep left at the fork and merge onto A4 - 6.8 km
11. Take the exit on the left toward DN39/E87 - 230 m
12. Keep right at the fork and merge onto DN39/E87 Go through 1 roundabout Pass by Scoala Ion Borcea  (on the right in 1.8 km) - 4.3 km
13. Slight right onto Strada Traian/DN39/E87 Continue to follow DN39/E87 Go through 2 roundabouts Pass by Petrom  (on the left) - 30.7 km
14. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit  onto Strada Portului/DN39/E87 Pass by Cazare Mangalia Pensiunea La Sunai  (on the right) - 1.5 km
15. Turn right onto DN39/E87 Pass by Benzinărie  (on the right in 3.9 km) - 8.3 km
16. Turn left at Casa No Name  onto Strada Ion Creangă - 63 m
Vama Veche, Constanta, Romania


Folk You Festival - Vama Veche (Romania)

In a world that ignores their true talents and the kitsch is promoted everywhere, in an age where technology allowed anyone to become a singer at night, without needing a particular voice or even a bit of talent in such a time of music computer processed and "playback", Folk You! comes as a breath of fresh air for anyone likes good music. It wanted to be a "Project of the ecology of the spirit", an attempt to cleanse the souls of men, to encourage the people to express themselves exactly as sense, beyond the mediocre stereotypes that society imposes consumption.

Organized annually in Vama Veche, in summer, it brings together folk singers, and other artists who want to offer real public demonstrations of professionalism. The festival become extremely popular because it promotes ideas, being entirely directed against falseness. Designed originally as a folk event dedicated exclusively to connoisseurs, the event grows in popularity, covering a wide range of music genres and tastes. Among the most important artists who have played in this event include: Tudor Gheorghe, Florin Chilian, Zdob and Zdub, Mircea Vintila, Dinu Olarasu, Adrian Sarmasan, Laci Kovacs, Zoia Alecu.

The event is aimed at the general public, without restriction of age, participation being free. "Beyond any customs" is a hymn composed by Dinu Olăraşu. A hymn to freedom of thought and uttered in a spirit of absolute, which derives from this very freedom, their own limitations, their own laws.

Exact location

Location: Vama Veche, Constanta County, Romania - 43° 45′ 0″ N, 28° 34′ 0″ E

Driving directions from to Bucharest to Vama Veche, Romania

Suggested route
E81 - 264 km, 2 hours 43 mins

Bucharest, Romania
1. Head toward Strada Ion Câmpineanu  south on Calea Victoriei Pass by Ing  (on the left) - 350 m
2. Turn left at Pizza Hut  onto Bulevardul Regina Elisabeta Pass by Banca Comercială Română  (on the right) - 350 m
3. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit  onto Bulevardul Carol I/DN2/E60/E85 Pass by Parcul Colțea  (on the right) - 300 m
4. Turn right at Gold Reserve Invest IFN  onto Bulevardul Hristo Botev Pass by Satya Com. Srl  (on the right) - 650 m
5. At Maelstrom Entertainment Web Design Bucuresti, continue onto Strada Matei Basarab Pass by Parcare cu plată  (on the right) - 180 m
6. Turn right at Panco Sa  onto Bulevardul Mircea Vodă Pass by Swedish Trade Council  (on the right) - 500 m
7. Turn left onto Bulevardul Unirii/E81 Continue to follow E81 Go through 1 roundabout Pass by Alpha Bank Romania Sa  (on the right in 650 m) - 1.8 km
8. Turn left at Spalatorie auto  onto Calea Dudeşti/E81 Continue to follow E81 Go through 2 roundabouts Pass by OMV  (on the right in 108 km) - 157 km
9. Continue onto A2 Go through 1 roundabout - 51.0 km
10. Keep left at the fork and merge onto A4 - 6.8 km
11. Take the exit on the left toward DN39/E87 - 230 m
12. Keep right at the fork and merge onto DN39/E87 Go through 1 roundabout Pass by Scoala Ion Borcea  (on the right in 1.8 km) - 4.3 km
13. Slight right onto Strada Traian/DN39/E87 Continue to follow DN39/E87 Go through 2 roundabouts Pass by Petrom  (on the left) - 30.7 km
14. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit  onto Strada Portului/DN39/E87 Pass by Cazare Mangalia Pensiunea La Sunai  (on the right) - 1.5 km
15. Turn right onto DN39/E87 Pass by Benzinărie  (on the right in 3.9 km) - 8.3 km
16. Turn left at Casa No Name  onto Strada Ion Creangă - 63 m
Vama Veche, Constanta, Romania


Kavarna Rock Fest (Bulgaria)

Kavarna Rock Fest was first organized in the summer of 2006 and since then has become one of the major hard rock/metal festivals in Bulgaria. The initial name of the festival was Kaliakra Rock Fest after the picturesque cape Kaliakra which is located about 20 km away from the small town and the stadium where bands from all over the world play in August each year.

The festival is organized by the Municipality of Kavarna in cooperation with Joker Media and brings together fans from all over Bulgaria and the Balkan Peninsula who are eager to see their idols live. The focus of the festival is placed on hard rock, heavy metal trash and death metal music. Over the years some of the most renowned bands which performed at the Kavarna Rock Fest are Heaven and Hell, Motorhead, Manowar, Alice Cooper, Slayer, Scorpions, Dream Theater, Accept, Sonata Arctica, Tarja Holonen and many others.

Exact location

Location: Kavarna - 43°26′N 28°20′E

Driving directions from Sofia to Kavarna, Bulgaria

Suggested routes
1.    Route 4 and A2- 505 km, 6 hours 40 mins
2.    A1- 608 km, 7 hours 14 mins
3.    A2- 524 km, 7 hours 15 mins

1.    Route 4 and A2-  520 km, 6 hours 59 mins

Sofia, Bulgaria    
1. Head northwest on bulevard Tsar Osvoboditel/булевард Цар Освободител toward ulitsa Knyaz Aleksandar I/улица Княз Александър І - 180 m
2. Turn right toward bulevard Knyaz Aleksandar Dondukov/булевард Княз Александър Дондуков - 34 m
3. Turn right onto bulevard Knyaz Aleksandar Dondukov/булевард Княз Александър Дондуков - 1.7 km
4. Continue onto ulitsa Chereshovo topche/улица Черешово топче - 500 m
5. Continue onto bulevard Vladimir Vazov/булевард Владимир Вазов - 4.9 km
6. Take the ramp to bulevard Botevgradsko shose/булевард Ботевградско шосе - 290 m
7. Slight right onto bulevard Botevgradsko shose/булевард Ботевградско шосе - 3.4 km
8. Continue onto E79 - 8.0 km
9. Continue onto Route 1 - 550 m
10. Continue onto A2 (signs for Варна/Varna) - 73.1 km
11. Continue straight onto Route 3 (signs for Pyce/Ruse/Варна/Varna) - 1.4 km
12. Merge onto Route 4/E772 via the ramp to Sevlievo - 9.6 km
13. Slight right toward Route 4/E772 - 2.4 km
14. Continue straight onto Route 4/E772
Go through 3 roundabouts - 246 km
15. Turn right onto Route 2/E70 (signs for Варна/Varna) - 10.3 km
16. Continue onto A2 - 74.1 km
17. Take the exit - 400 m
18. At the roundabout, take the 4th exit onto Route 29 - 7.1 km
19. Slight right toward Route 902 - 13.3 km
20. Turn left onto Route 902 - 16.4 km
21. Turn left onto Route 9
Go through 1 roundabout - 28.4 km
22. Slight right (signs for Каварна/Kavarna/Русалско/Rusalsko) - 2.8 km
23. Turn right at Route 296 - 110 m
Kavarna, Bulgaria

 

2.    A1- 608 km, 7 hours 14 mins

Sofia, Bulgaria   
1. Head southeast on bulevard Tsar Osvoboditel/булевард Цар Освободител toward ulitsa Dyakon Ignatiy/улица Дякон Игнатий - 1.1 km
2. Continue onto ploshtad Orlov most/площад Орлов мост - 51 m
3. Continue onto bulevard Tsarigradsko shose/булевард Цариградско шосе - 11.4 km
4. Continue onto Route 8 - 400 m
5. Continue onto A1     207 km
6. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto Route 5 heading to Стара Загора/Stara Zagora - 6.2 km
7. Take the 66/E773 ramp to Богомилово/Чирпан  -  210 m
8. Keep right at the fork, follow signs for Бургас/Burgas and merge onto Route 5/Route 66/E773   
Continue to follow Route 5- 9.4 km
9. Take the ramp to Казанлък/Габрово/Pyce/Ruse - 500 m
10. Merge onto Route 5 - 11.7 km
11. Take the exit toward Ягода/Yagoda - 350 m
12. Continue straight - 14.2 km
13. Turn right toward Route 6 - 9.0 km
14. Turn left onto the ramp to Route 6 - 83 m
15. Turn right onto Route 6 - 75.3 km
16. Continue straight onto Route 6/E773 (signs for Бургас/Burgas) - 51 m
17. Turn right onto Route 7 - 100 m
18. Keep right at the fork, follow signs for Градец/Gradets/Котел/Kotel/7/Шумен/Shumen - 15.5 km
19. Turn right to stay on Route 7 (signs for Бероново/Beronovo) - 102 km
20. Merge onto Route 2 via the ramp to Варна - 500 m
21. Continue onto A2 - 74.1 km
22. Take the exit - 400 m
23. At the roundabout, take the 4th exit onto Route 29 - 7.1 km
24. Slight right toward Route 902 - 13.3 km
25. Turn left onto Route 902 - 16.4 km
26. Turn left onto Route 9
      Go through 1 roundabout - 28.4 km
27. Slight right (signs for Каварна/Kavarna/Русалско/Rusalsko) - 2.8 km
28. Turn right at Route 296 - 110 m
Kavarna, Bulgaria

 

3.    A2- 524 km, 7 hours 15 mins

Sofia, Bulgaria   
1. Head northwest on bulevard Tsar Osvoboditel/булевард Цар Освободител toward ulitsa Knyaz Aleksandar I/улица Княз Александър І - 180 m
2. Turn right toward bulevard Knyaz Aleksandar Dondukov/булевард Княз Александър Дондуков - 34 m
3. Turn right onto bulevard Knyaz Aleksandar Dondukov/булевард Княз Александър Дондуков - 1.7 km
4. Continue onto ulitsa Chereshovo topche/улица Черешово топче - 500 m
5. Continue onto bulevard Vladimir Vazov/булевард Владимир Вазов - 4.9 km
6. Take the ramp to bulevard Botevgradsko shose/булевард Ботевградско шосе - 290 m
7. Slight right onto bulevard Botevgradsko shose/булевард Ботевградско шосе - 3.4 km
8. Continue onto E79 - 8.0 km
9. Continue onto Route 1 - 550 m
10. Continue onto A2 (signs for Варна/Varna) - 73.1 km
11. Continue straight onto Route 3 (signs for Pyce/Ruse/Варна/Varna) - 1.4 km
12. Merge onto Route 4/E772 via the ramp to Sevlievo - 9.2 km
13. Turn left onto Route 305 (signs for Плевен/Pleven) - 20.4 km
14. Continue straight to stay on Route 305 - 31.4 km
15. Continue onto Route 3 - 97.3 km
16. Turn left onto Route 5 (signs for Ruse) - 7.1 km
17. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Route 51 - 49.1 km
18. Turn left to stay on Route 51 - 650 m
19. Turn right to stay on Route 51 - 1.7 km
20. Take the 1st right to stay on Route 51 - 48.5 km
21. Turn right onto Route 2 - 22.2 km
22. Continue onto A2 - 74.1 km
23. Take the exit - 400 m
24. At the roundabout, take the 4th exit onto Route 29 - 7.1 km
25. Slight right toward Route 902 - 13.3 km
26. Turn left onto Route 902 - 16.4 km
27. Turn left onto Route 9   
Go through 1 roundabout  - 28.4 km
28. Slight right (signs for Каварна/Kavarna/Русалско/Rusalsko) - 2.8 km
29. Turn right at Route 296 - 110m
Kavarna, Bulgaria   

 


Spirit of Burgas Fesitval (Bulgaria)

"Spirit of Burgas" was first organized in the summer of 2008 but has gained large popularity despite its young age. This is the largest and most impressive musical event in Bulgaria following the rules and standards of Europe and conforming to the true definition of a festival. And the true festival is not only a sequence of concerts, held by various bands on one or two stages but a special happening at a special place and point in time.

"Spirit of Burgas" means not one but several stages, various music styles: rock, reggae and ska, jazz and blues, hardcore and punk, ethno, trans, techno, drum & base and more, some of the most attractive names from the world’s musical stage, many of whom visit Bulgaria for the first time, high quality Bulgarian original music, played and sung by its creators, a festival town full of attractions with bars loaded with cold beer and fresh food, it has its own camping grounds where you can rest from the high powered musical marathon.

But most importantly – all of this is happening on a carpet of the finest sand and the most spectacular views in the World – the large shining moon reflected on the waters of the sea below a rain of stars, some coming from the august night sky and some of the stages of the festival.

"Spirit of Burgas" is the festival without rain, mud or dust but only soft sand, the warmth of August and the waves of the sea, the shrieks of the gulls, thousands of smiling people happy and relaxing…in short a party without an end!

Considering its young age, this festival has won quite a number of nominations and considerable praise.

Exact location

Location: Burgas, Bulgaria - 42° 30′ 0″ N, 27° 28′ 0″ E

Driving directions from Sofia to Burgas, Bulgaria

Suggested routes
1.    A1  - 411 km, 4 hours 57 mins
2.    A1 and Route 6   - 428 km, 4 hours 56 mins
3.    Route 64, A1 and Route 6  - 423 km, 5 hours 25 mins


1.    A1  - 411 km, 4 hours 57 mins

Sofia, Bulgaria
1. Head southeast on bulevard Tsar Osvoboditel/булевард Цар Освободител toward ulitsa Dyakon Ignatiy/улица Дякон Игнатий - 1.1 km
2. Continue onto ploshtad Orlov most/площад Орлов мост - 51 m
3. Continue onto bulevard Tsarigradsko shose/булевард Цариградско шосе - 11.4 km
4. Continue onto Route 8 - 400 m
5. Continue onto A1 - 207 km
6. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto Route 5 heading to Стара Загора/Stara Zagora
7. Turn right (signs for Загоре) - 900 m
8. Turn right - 160 m
9. Turn right - 6.0 km
10. Turn left toward Route 57 - 7.4 km
11. Turn right onto Route 57 - 4.6 km
12. Turn left - 11.9 km
13. Turn right - 350 m
14. Turn left - 3.3 km
15. Turn right toward Route 66 - 400 m
16. Turn left toward Route 66 - 300 m
17. Turn right onto Route 66 - 41.6 km
18. Take the ramp onto Route 6 - 32.3 km
19. Continue straight onto Route 6/E773 (signs for Бургас/Burgas)
Continue to follow E773 - 33.0 km
20. Continue onto A1/E773 (signs for Бургас/Burgas) - 34.9 km
21. Continue onto Route 6 - 8.5 km
22. Slight left onto Route 9
Go through 1 roundabout - 2.8 km
23. Turn left onto ulitsa Odrin/улица Одрин - 62 m
24. Keep left at the fork - 450 m
25. Continue onto ulitsa Hristo Botev/улица Христо Ботев - 550 m
26. Turn left onto ulitsa Knyaz Boris I/улица Княз Борис I - 91 m
Burgas, Bulgaria

 

2. A1 and Route 6  428 km, 4 hours 56 mins

Sofia, Bulgaria
1. Head southeast on bulevard Tsar Osvoboditel/булевард Цар Освободител toward ulitsa Dyakon Ignatiy/улица Дякон Игнатий - 1.1 km
2. Continue onto ploshtad Orlov most/площад Орлов мост - 51 m
3. Continue onto bulevard Tsarigradsko shose/булевард Цариградско шосе - 11.4 km
4. Continue onto Route 8 - 400 m
5. Continue onto A1 - 207 km
6. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto Route 5 heading to Стара Загора/Stara Zagora - 6.2 km
7. Take the 66/E773 ramp to Богомилово/Чирпан - 210 m
8. Keep right at the fork, follow signs for Бургас/Burgas and merge onto Route 5/Route 66/E773
Continue to follow Route 5 - 9.4 km
9. Take the ramp to Казанлък/Габрово/Pyce/Ruse - 500 m
10. Merge onto Route 5 - 11.7 km
11. Take the exit toward Ягода/Yagoda - 350 m
12. Continue straight - 14.2 km
13. Turn right toward Route 6 - 9.0 km
14. Turn left onto the ramp to Route 6 - 83 m
15. Turn right onto Route 6 - 75.3 km
16. Continue straight onto Route 6/E773 (signs for Бургас/Burgas)
Continue to follow E773 - 33.0 km
17. Continue onto A1/E773 (signs for Бургас/Burgas) - 34.9 km
18. Continue onto Route 6 - 8.5 km
19. Slight left onto Route 9
Go through 1 roundabout - 2.8 km
20. Turn left onto ulitsa Odrin/улица Одрин - 62 m
21. Keep left at the fork - 450 m
22. Continue onto ulitsa Hristo Botev/улица Христо Ботев - 550 m
23. Turn left onto ulitsa Knyaz Boris I/улица Княз Борис I - 91 m
Burgas, Bulgaria

3.    Route 64, A1 and Route 6 - 423 km, 5 hours 25 mins

Sofia, Bulgaria
1. Head southeast on bulevard Tsar Osvoboditel/булевард Цар Освободител toward ulitsa Dyakon Ignatiy/улица Дякон Игнатий - 1.1 km
2. Continue onto ploshtad Orlov most/площад Орлов мост - 51 m
3. Continue onto bulevard Tsarigradsko shose/булевард Цариградско шосе - 11.4 km
4. Continue onto Route 8 - 400 m
5. Continue onto A1 - 126 km
6. Exit onto Route 64 toward Хисаря/Hisarya/Karlovo/Карлово - 38.7 km
7. Turn right onto Route 641 - 9.2 km
8. Turn right onto Route 6 - 54.2 km
9. Exit onto Route 6 toward Сливен/Sliven/E773/Бургас/Burgas - 101 km
10. Continue straight onto Route 6/E773 (signs for Бургас/Burgas)
Continue to follow E773 - 33.0 km
11. Continue onto A1/E773 (signs for Бургас/Burgas) - 34.9 km
12. Continue onto Route 6 - 8.5 km
13. Slight left onto Route 9
Go through 1 roundabout - 2.8 km
14. Turn left onto ulitsa Odrin/улица Одрин - 62 m
15. Keep left at the fork - 450 m
16. Continue onto ulitsa Hristo Botev/улица Христо Ботев - 550 m
17. Turn left onto ulitsa Knyaz Boris I/улица Княз Борис I - 91 m
Burgas, Bulgaria

Info for tourists

Related video:
https://vimeo.com/45624879


Festival of the Rose in Kazanlak (Bulgaria)

Every first week of June, in the city of Kazanlak is celebrated the Rose Festival. In 1903 the citizens of Kazanlak celebrated for the first time the Rose Festival, dedicated to beauty, flowers and charity. They collected things for poor families, orphans and old people. They organized rich expositions of flowers and roses, and organized hiking to the Shipka Monastery. They made special cards with views from the Rose Valley. Today the program of the Festival is still very interesting and the visitors have the opportunity to witness the coronation of the Rose Queen and the traditional rituals of rose-picking and rose-boiling, re-created in an authentic atmosphere with good spirit, songs, dances and carnival parades.

Young girls and boys, dressed in traditional costumes greet the guests and decorate them with garlands of rose petals, offer them banitsa, rose jam, rose liquor.

After the festivities comes the festival parade, in which the most attractive are the participants in the International Folklore Festival, which is made during the same time.

Oil-bearing roses are of a big importance for the tourism in the Kazanlak region, world known as the Rose Valley. This plat was imported from the Middle East 300 years ago and is used for the production of rose oil since then.

Exact location

Location: Kazanlak – 42.617° N, 25.4° E

Driving directions from Sofia to Kazanlak, Bulgaria

Suggested routes
1.    A1 - 266 km, 2 hours 49 mins
2.    A1 and Route 6 - 233 km, 2 hours 55 mins
3.    A1 and Route 56 - 243 km, 3 hours 5 mins


1.    A1 - 266 km, 2 hours 49 mins

Sofia, Bulgaria    
1. Head southeast on bulevard Tsar Osvoboditel/булевард Цар Освободител toward ulitsa Dyakon Ignatiy/улица Дякон Игнатий - 1.1 km
2. Continue onto ploshtad Orlov most/площад Орлов мост - 51 m
3. Continue onto bulevard Tsarigradsko shose/булевард Цариградско шосе - 11.4 km
4. Continue onto Route 8 - 400 m
5. Continue onto A1 - 207 km
6. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto Route 5 heading to Стара Загора/Stara Zagora - 6.2 km
7. Take the 66/E773 ramp to Богомилово/Чирпан - 210 m
8. Keep right at the fork, follow signs for Бургас/Burgas and merge onto Route 5/Route 66/E773   
Continue to follow Route 5 - 9.4 km
9. Take the ramp to Казанлък/Габрово/Pyce/Ruse - 500 m
10. Merge onto Route 5     26.6 km
11. Take the ramp to Казанлък/Kazanlak - 350 m
12. Merge onto Route 5 - 2.2 km
13. Continue onto bulevard Knyaz Al. Batenberg/булевард Княз Ал. Батенберг - 140 m
Kazanlak

 

2.    A1 and Route 6 - 233 km, 2 hours 55 mins

Sofia, Bulgaria   
1. Head southeast on bulevard Tsar Osvoboditel/булевард Цар Освободител toward ulitsa Dyakon Ignatiy/улица Дякон Игнатий - 1.1 km
2. Continue onto ploshtad Orlov most/площад Орлов мост - 51 m
3. Continue onto bulevard Tsarigradsko shose/булевард Цариградско шосе - 11.4 km
4. Continue onto Route 8 - 400 m
5. Continue onto A1 - 126 km
6. Exit onto Route 64 toward Хисаря/Hisarya/Karlovo/Карлово - 38.7 km
7. Turn right onto Route 641 - 9.2 km
8. Turn right onto Route 6 - 43.1 km
9. Take the exit - 240 m
10. Turn left toward bulevard 23-ti Pehoten shipchenski polk/булевард 23-ти Пехотен шипченски полк - 750 m
11. Slight right toward bulevard 23-ti Pehoten shipchenski polk/булевард 23-ти Пехотен шипченски полк - 350 m
12. Continue straight onto bulevard 23-ti Pehoten shipchenski polk/булевард 23-ти Пехотен шипченски полк - 1.4 km
13. Continue onto bulevard Knyaz Al. Batenberg/булевард Княз Ал. Батенберг -120 m
Kazanlak   


3.    A1 and Route 56 - 243 km, 3 hours 5 mins

Sofia, Bulgaria   
1. Head southeast on bulevard Tsar Osvoboditel/булевард Цар Освободител toward ulitsa Dyakon Ignatiy/улица Дякон Игнатий - 1.1 km
2. Continue onto ploshtad Orlov most/площад Орлов мост - 51 m
3. Continue onto bulevard Tsarigradsko shose/булевард Цариградско шосе - 11.4 km
4. Continue onto Route 8 - 400 m
5. Continue onto A1     133 km
6. Take the exit toward Раковски/Rakovski - 350 m
7. Merge onto Route 56 - 16.0 km
8. Turn left - 10.5 km
9. Turn right toward Route 56 - 6.4 km
10. Turn left onto Route 56 - 41.8 km
11. Turn right - 2.1 km
12. Slight right toward Route 608 - 15.4 km
13. Turn left onto Route 608 - 3.4 km
14. Continue onto bulevard Rozova dolina/булевард Розова долина - 1.1 km
15. Turn right onto bulevard Knyaz Al. Batenberg/булевард Княз Ал. Батенберг - 120 m
Kazanlak

Info for tourists

Related video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPkAPIMevLM

Videos about Kazanlak, Bulgaria:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZnYv-GT9EY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3oasguz_3o
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofepVRzJz7U


Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling (Turkey)

The historical "Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling" is the oldest wrestling festival in the world which has been continuing since the first contests in 1357 in Rumelia. Since 1924, bouts are held on the Sarayci island near Edirne.

"Kirkpinar Oil Wresting", which has been bounded with a tradition of almost 650 years, hosts persevering contests for a week, with the active participation of media, folk-dance groups, millions of spectators, artists and statesmen both from Turkey and all over the world, and with a varying array of activities every year.

In 1964, the mayor of Edirne, Tahsin Sipka, signed an act that the Edirne Municipality was responsible for the organization of the Edirne Kırkpınar. That same year, mayor Sipka made the Edirne Kırkpınar a municipality service. During a year, about 300 different oil-wrestling games are held in Turkey.

Until 1975, there was no time limit to wrestling in Kırkpınar. The pehlivans would wrestle sometimes one, sometimes two days, until they could establish superiority to one another. Wrestling games would go on from 9am until dusk and the ones that could not beat each other would go on the next day. After 1975, wrestling was limited to 40 minutes in başpehlivan category. If there is no winner within these limits, the pehlivans wrestle for 15 minutes with scored recorded. The ones that can score points in this last period are accepted as the winners. In other categories, the wrestling time is limited to 30 minutes. If there is no winner, 10 minutes of score wrestling follows.

The enthusiasm, which is brought to life by headwrestling and other forms of wrestling contests, as well as the performances of the "Janissary Band" and local and foreign folk-dance groups throughout the contests, turns "Kirkpinar Oil Wresting" into a traditional festival.

Exact location

Location: Edirne, Turkey - 41°40′N 26°34′E

Driving directions from  Ankara to Edirne, Turkey

Suggested route
O-4 and O-3 685 km, 6 hours 42 mins
This route has tolls.

Ankara, Turkey   
1. Head north on Kızılay Myd toward Ziya Gökalp Cd - 9 m
2. Continue onto Atatürk Blv - 1.9 km
3. Turn left onto İstanbul Cd - 850 m
4. Keep left at the fork - 1.2 km
5. Keep left at the fork - 270 m
6. Keep left at the fork and merge onto Fatih Sultan Mehmet Blv - 3.6 km
7. Continue onto Atatürk Orman Çiftliği Köprüsü (Fatih Sultan Mehmet Blv.)     550 m
8. Continue onto Fatih Sultan Mehmet Blv - 6.4 km
9. Continue onto Fatih Sultan Mehmet Blv (İstanbul Yolu) - 3.8 km
10. Continue onto Fatih Sultan Mehmet Blv - 5.5 km
11. Continue onto İstanbul Yolu - 2.1 km
12. Take the ramp on the left onto Ankara Çevre Yolu (Kuzey Çevre Yolu)/O-20/E90 - 1.6 km
13. Keep right at the fork and merge onto O-4
Partial toll road - 399 km
14. Continue onto İstanbul Çevre Yolu/E-80 - 3.3 km
15. Continue straight onto O1-O2 Çamlıca Bağlantısı - 3.2 km
16. Continue onto Çamlıca Girişi-K13 (İstanbul Çevre Yolu) - 3.6 km
17. Merge onto O-1 - 16.6 km
18. Continue onto O-3 - 9.1 km
19. Merge onto E-80
Partial toll road - 167 km
20. Slight left to stay on E-80
Partial toll road - 51.9 km
21. Exit onto Lalapaşa Yolu/D535 Continue to follow D535 - 2.7 km
22. Turn right onto Büyük Fırın Sk - 450 m
23. Turn left onto Muradiye Bayırı - 190 m
24. Slight left onto Mimar Sinan Cd - 69 m
25. Take the 1st right onto Saray Yolu - 40 m
Edirne/Edirne Province, Turkey

Info for tourists

Related video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muljd2y3t-4

Videos about Edirne, Turkey:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_CSAHoviq0
http://www.mojoscooters.com/videos/video/vkNx6tS3IO0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-et8vxTy9f0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piNakxDNfxg


Art Gene Festival (Georgia)

The Art Gene Festival is amongst the most attractive and popular festivals held in Georgia. The annual festival usually starts in June-July encompassing the regions and finally ending up in the traditional environment of Open Air Museum in Tbilisi, which in turn houses different dwelling and ethnographic utensils collected from 14 ethnographic regions of Georgia.

The Art Gene Festival is an initiative of the Georgian NGO “Union of Art Gene”, formed by a group of people whose mission was to identify problems associated with traditional and folk culture and find ways to solve them. The Art Gene group consists mainly of artists and musicians.

In 2003 the group began its initial investigations into the existence of the remaining indigenous Georgian art forms, including folk music, which has been passed down from generation to generation forming an integral part of Georgian life. The Art Gene Group travelled throughout all of the regions in Georgia, investigated over 100 families, who were known to maintain their strong traditions and whose activities were then filmed and recorded on the spot. Most of them were selected to participate in a Gala concert at the first Art Gene festival in Tbilisi in 2004, where they performed in front of a large audience, have been recorded live for further archival purposes and to produce and publish CDs.

In 2004 the main profile of the festival was Crafts, which was organized after extensive expeditions throughout Georgia, giving the group an insight into the huge potential within this field for many years to come. The Art Gene Group found some unknown craftsmen and blacksmiths, who are still practicing indigenous methods of their craft, thought previously to be extinct. The result of 2005 research was the publication of a book “Masters of Georgia’s Traditional Crafts”, which catalogues the work of artisans working within different fields of crafts throughout Georgia and provides their contact details to encourage commissions from the readers. The book aims to address such sensitive issues as migration and potential tourism development so much needed in rural areas, to keep these artisans interested in continuing their work for their future prosperity.

The Festivals staged modern and traditional folk music concerts, held exhibitions and sales of folk handicrafts, traditional medicine and cuisine and held folk games to promote national heritage in the capital and regions. To attract the younger generation to see traditional music the festival staged popular rock concerts towards the evenings and developed certain patterns of jamming sessions with folk, modern music and dance, which proved to become one of the trademarks of the festival.

Every year the organizers chose a new theme for the Festival. Their motivation is to give each annual Art Gene festival its own distinct profile but keeping aspects of the previous one, thus giving the festival a wider scope every year.

The Art Gene Festival proved to be one of the most successful, self-sustained and highly attended festival in the South Caucasian Region, with growing numbers of supporters from both the local and international community.

The Festivals participants from over the years have been from different ethnic minorities in Georgia and from countries such as Chechnya, Ingushetia, Ukraine, Turkey, Latvia, China, Japan, France, and UK, making the Art Gene Festival an International event.

The Festival is attended by all generations since it covers the widest range of cultural activities including: arts, crafts, folk music, modern music, blacksmithery, tannery, jewellery, cloisonné enamel, apiculture (beekeeping), basket making, knitting, kilims, weaving, sewing, embroidery, “gobelin”, cloth and felt making, musical instruments, pottery and ceramics, carpentry and stonemasonry, wood carving,  culinary, traditional medicine, martial arts, dance, etc. generally putting an emphasis on the fields of activity which are still part of daily life, in all the versatility of different ethnic groups existing in Georgia.

The founders of the “Art Gene” wish this Festival to be associated with such values and feelings as: true traditions, family, compassion, humor, devotion, respect, hospitality, responsibility, healthy criticism, freedom, faith and love. By celebrating these traditions, values and feelings, the Festival serves as an antidote against the intruding globalization and contributes to maintain age old traditions and national identity. 

www.artgeni.ge
Images: © Art Gene

Exact location

Location: Tbilisi, Georgia - 41°43′0″N 44°47′0″E

Info for tourists

Video about Tbilisi, Georgia:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZ6j6jqU79M


Vardavar Festival (Armenia)

Although now a Christian tradition, Vardavar's history dates back to pagan times. The ancient festival is traditionally associated with the goddess Astghik, who was the goddess of water, beauty, love and fertility. The festivities associated with this religious observance of Astghik were named “Vartavar” because Armenians offered her roses as a celebration (“vart” means “rose” in and "var" mean "rise"), this is why it was celebrated in the harvest time. As for an ancient legend pagan Godess Astghik had spread love on Armenian earth by pouring water from roses.
 
Vardavar (Transfiguration, Brilliance) is one of the most favorite, joyful and noteworthy holidays in Armenia. After adopting Christianity this holiday had some changes and now days it is celebrated as a holiday devoted to the well-known event of the Christ's transfiguration, when he appeared to his disciples on the Mount Tabor in his brightened appearance. According to some specialists, Vardavar holiday is also related to the Flood and the Noah's decent from the Ark.  Vardavar was celebrated by starting pilgrimages to the sanctuaries and saint waters situated on the well-known mountains.

During the holiday's celebration the people were gathering the wheat-ears in the fields and took them to the church for blessing to keep the fields away from the hail and damages. Girls were collecting multi-colored bouquets of flowers (especially bunches of a yellow flower called "vartiver") and have been furtively throwing them to the gardens and yards of their relatives and neighbors. They were also knitting bunches from the wheatears, so called khachburs.
        
Vardavar is a very festive and brilliant holiday: young people lighted fires and met the dawn dancing shurjpar (round dance) around them. The dances were accompanied with songs, plays and jokes. In the morning girls visited all the houses and were given presents for the bunches of flowers thrown to their yards. In the mountainous places, fairs, picnics, joyful performances and plays of tightrope walkers were organized.
         
The most remarkable and important tradition of Vardavar holiday was the ceremony of making the pigeons fly. The pigeons grown up during the whole year especially for Vardavar holiday were flying in the sky admiring the audience and especially their proud keeper-trainers.     

Another very marvelous and interesting ceremony of Vardavar, as we already mentioned, is the tradition of pouring water on each other, which is preserved till our times. From morning till night all the people both young and old, men and women, children and adults, friends and strangers, collect water in their pails and other pans and spill water on each other. Nobody is offended by. On that day, the people are merry, friendly and kind. For the children and teenagers this is the most expected and favorite holidays in the year.

Exact location

Location: Yerevan, Armenia - 40°11′N 44°31′E

Info for tourists

Related video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-zyokWny0w

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