The origin was here

The origin was here

[Apr. 2022] On our second day in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, we planned to go to the Bachkovo Monastery, a tourist attraction in this neighbourhood.

The day before, we learned that there was a bus at 11 o’clock at the tourist information centre, so we went out in time.

McDonald's in Cyrillic characters seen in Plovdiv
even McDonald’s was in Cyrillic characters

We went down the main street of the old town, Saborna, where the hotel is located, walked down the Knyaz Aleksandar I street, which we walked the day before, to the central square, and from there we walked along the large street of the new town, Ivan Vazov street.

The bus station for buses to Bachkovo Monastery is the Rodopi bus station near the train station across the railway tracks.

There is another bus station named Yug in front of the railway station, but be careful as it is not here.

The day before, I remembered Novi Sad in Serbia while walking along Knyaz Aleksandar I street, but on this day I thought that Ivan Vazov street looked like some streets of Kyiv in Ukraine.

Since both are Eastern European cultural area, it is natural that they are similar, but after all, I realized that one of the reasons why I remember those towns was that the characters that jump into my eyes were Cyrillic characters.

And vaguely wondering why the Russian Cyrillic script jumped over Romania and entered Bulgaria, but then I remembered that it originated in Bulgaria.

when I first visited this country on a tour, I stayed overnight in the town of Hisarya and I happened to come across a Culture Day festival associated with the invention of the Cyrillic script.

As I reviewed, the Cyrillic script was developed from the letters created by the Greek missionary brothers Cyrillic and Methodius, but it was the disciples of the brothers who developed and established it, and the place was Bulgaria.

It’s about the 10th century.

the underground passage in Plovdiv
the underground passage with the East European feel

From here, the use of letters spread to Slavic Orthodox countries.

According to online information, Romania originally used Cyrillic script, too, but in the 19th century, the nationalist movement increased and replaced it with Latin script.

When we first visited Kyiv, I remember seeing the statue of the brother who invented the Cyrillic script.

Well, now, we arrived at the railway station.

From here, we didn’t know how to get to the other side of the track, so we got stuck for a while.

Rodopi bus station in Plovdiv
quite nice and new bus station

We asked the person at the ticket office inside the station and found out that we needed to go through the underground passage.

The appearance of retail shops lined up in this dimly lit small underground mall created a strong Eastern European feel.

The bus station we arrived at looked quite nice and new.

However, the bus that we had heard departed at 11 o’clock actually departed at 11:30.

At the bus ticket office, my husband said “return ticket” several times, but it was completely ignored and we were given a one-way ticket with the seat reservation.

the minibus to Bachkovo Monastery parked at the bus station in Plovdiv
the minibus to Bachkovo Monastery was full

The price was 6 Lev (about 3 euros) per person.

It was a minibus, and people lined up so we lined up together, but after a while I realised that people with tickets could get in without queuing.

This small bus was full.

Almost no one wore a mask.

According to my husband’s investigation, Bulgaria has a low Covid infection rate but a low vaccination rate, too.