Bulgaria is located in southeastern corner of Europe and covers an area of 42,685 square miles (the approximate size of Tennessee). It is nestled between the countries of Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia and Romania. The Black Sea coast resting on the eastern side and the Danube River running along much of the northern border.
The Bulgarian landscape and climate offer enormous variety and diversity. Two main geographical features that bring such complexity are the vast mountains ranges and Black Sea coastal area.
The Black Sea holds many natural wonders. The south coast offers white sand beaches. The north coast, dramatic coastal cliffs speckled with bright, bold wildflowers. The swampy river estuaries of the Ropotamo and Kamchiya rivers are rich in subtropical vegetation and home to water-snakes, native and migrating birds, insects, fish and other wildlife.
Four main mountain ranges dapple the entire topographical landscape.The rugged Balkan range runs across the entire central portion from west to east. The higher Rila and Pirin, a compact group of mountains to the southwest and the Rhodopes are to the south. The highest peak is Musala Ridge (9,700 ft) and is located in the Rila Mountains.
The rugged mountain ranges harbor some of the most unspoiled wilderness in all of Europe. Inhabited by spectacular wildlife such as wolves, bears, eagles, beautiful high altitude lakes and meadows of wildflowers where butterfly clouds flutter by in bursts of color and movement.
The Danubian Plain is to the north of the Balkan mountains and is an area of rolling hills and fertile farmland that flourishes with plant and animal life near the vast Danube river system. The climate is temperate allowing vineyards to thrive. This area produces some of the country’s best wines. Broad fields of sunflowers provide glorious displays of color in the summer. Harvested for their oil, an important crop for Bulgarian farmers. While the eastern most part of the plain is the principal wheat growing region for the country.
The Valley of Roses, framed by the Balkan mountains to the north and the thickly forested Sredna Gora hills to the south is another amazing wonder. It is a lowland trough comprising of three neighboring valleys. Named after the rose plantations which for centuries have supplied Bulgaria’s rose oil industry (which is one of the largest in the world). The roses are grown in the villages of Karlovo and Kazanluk. The crop is harvested as soon as the blooms appear in late May before the oil evaporates. The valley also offers lush vineyards, fruit orchards and meadows laden with spring wild flowers.
Sofia, the capital is the largest city and the hub for political, economic and cultural life. It is located on the western side between northern, central and southern Bulgaria with the looming presence of Mount Vistosha on the horizon.
Bulgaria’s weather is very complex. There are two overlapping climate zones. Continental from the north and Mediterranean from the south. This brings plenty of sun from June through September with reasonable sunshine all year.
Late spring to early fall brings high levels of humidity and rain fall. Rain is especially abundant in the mountains. In the north in high areas the winter months yield a great deal of precipitation in the form of snow. The Black Sea Coast and south have less rain in general.
The coast avoids extreme hot or cold. High areas are cooler all year round while the valleys can become stifling hot in the summer and icy cold in winter. Sofia is more temperate as the mountains prevent icy winter winds from Russia and with the higher elevation the temperatures in the summer are cooler.
From white sand beaches, unspoiled wilderness and mountain ranges. To valleys covered in rose plantations, fields of golden wheat and sunflowers, fruit filled vineyards and plentiful farmland. The strong contrast between the bustling city life to the quiet and quant villages and countryside where life and time seem to stand still. This is the rich beauty, the treasure to behold, all found in the small, humble country of Bulgaria.
Though we have not yet stepped foot on Bulgarian soil, this beautiful land has captivated and captured our hearts. Our hearts which are open and waiting to welcome and fully embrace, one amazing God-given beauty, our Bulgarian daughter.
[This post is part of the Heart for Bulgaria series. An overview of our research on the country of Bulgaria.]
We are keeping busy in this season as we work on adoption paperwork, required education and fundraising plans. We have felt the need to pull our resources in and keep our family life as simple as can be possible with four small children. It has been hard to balance homeschool, work and other activities but thankfully with summertime schedules this is becoming easier to accomplish.
On thing we are working diligently on is organizing and facilitating a yard sale. This will take place Friday, July 18th and Saturday, the 19th from 7:30am-12pm (both days). We are also encouraging our neighborhood to hold their own yard sales to add to the fun. All money raised from our families sale will go towards our adoption and any items remaining will be donated to varies charities.
We would love for you to join in our efforts in three ways:
By donating any items that are no longer needed and may be taking up valuable real-estate in your closets, attic and garage. We will be accepting donations anytime between July 1st and July 17th. Please contact us if you are interested in donating.
Come and shop our yard sale. Our well loved, no longer needed items might be your next great find and spectacular deal. There will be gently used baby things, kids toys, activities, clothing, household items, bikes, furniture and much, much more. We will also have a lemonade stand and baked goods for sale. We would love to have your support and see your familiar, friendly faces.
Pray, pray and than pray some more. We need it and with prayer all things are possible.
Thank you for your continued prayers, support and encouragement. We feel it. We can clearly see God paving our way. When we are at a low and feel less than motivated God sends us some sort of encouragement from a friend or family member. It is in these small reminders, His provisions that we feel more confident in our calling and our strength is renewed. We are than able to press further on to the goal that He has set before us.
Stay tune for my next post where we will explore the Ancient History of Bulgaria. It may be more than a week between my postings so please be patient with me. With everything going on, my creative juices are sluggish and time more limited (if it wasn’t already).
In love and grace,