A Quick Tour Through Bulgarian History

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A quick tour through Bulgarian history

The beauty and history embedded in Veliko Tarnovo motivated me to learn more about Bulgaria’s history. Over 5,000 years ago, Thracians were the first major civilization to show up in Bulgaria. The Romans took over in the first century, establishing places like Plovdiv. In the seventh century, the Bulgars, who were descendants of people from Central Asia (near Iran), migrated to Bulgaria. They mixed with the locals and, in 681 AD, carved the first Bulgarian state out of a part of the Byzantine Empire. After a few hundred years, the Byzantines reconquered the land, but they felt the need to poke out the eyes of 15,000 Bulgarians first.

Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Francis Tapon
Francis Tapon is half Chilean and half French and he was born and raised in San Francisco, California. He's been to over 80 countries, but he keeps coming back to this magical city because he loves earthquakes.

He spoke Spanish at home, French at school, and English everywhere else. He can get by in Portuguese and Italian, barely survive in Russian and Slovenian, and speak a few other languages.

Francis has an MBA from Harvard Business School and co-founded a successful Silicon Valley company that did robotic vision. He left his technology life to walk across America four times. He has thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail, and in 2007, became the first to do a round-trip on the Continental Divide Trail. In 2009, he was one of the finalists for the California Outdoors Hall of Fame, which "features nominees who are world-renowned for their skills and who have helped inspire thousands of others to take part in the great outdoors."

Francis has written a couple of travel books including The Hidden Europe: What Eastern Europeans Can Teach Us and Hike Your Own Hike: 7 Life Lessons from Backpacking Across America. He also produced a 77-minute video about his CDT Yo-Yo.
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2 Responses to A Quick Tour Through Bulgarian History

  1. Molly Burke Kirova August 8, 2012 at 10:43 pm #

    Isn’t that pic of the ancient capital, Veliko Turnovo? If I have one piece of good advice to travelers in Bg, it is to SKIP Sofia, which was bombed flat at the end of WW2 and has little charm. Do the Black Sea in high season only if you can tolerate drunk Brits, Russians and Germans. VT, Plovdiv, Belogradchik and of course *my* wonderful Danube are far better bets.

  2. Francis Tapon
    Francis Tapon August 11, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

    You’re right Molly! It is Veliko Turnovo. And I agree with your recommendations too!

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