The Italian pearl Tivoli

I spent one amazing week in Rome, full of surprises and unexpected joyful moments. Rome is my favorite European metropolitan city and my heart starts beating in the rhythm of Renaissance every time I am in Rome. But this time I discover the beauty of Tivoli – just 30 km away from the crowded Rome!

It is easy to go there – a plane to Rome and then you can find one day trips to Tivoli  or just go to the train station Termini (in Rome) and in 40 minutes you will arrive in Tivoli.

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Distance Rome – Tivoli

Tovoli is a small city with narrow streets which smell on coffee and delicious bread panini. The atmosphere is charming, harmonic and you can fall in love with Tivoli from the very first moment!

It has the most beautiful gardens I have ever seen. Villa d’Este and Villa Gregoriana – the masterpiece of many centuries. Both places are beautiful gardens which represents the scientific and creative achievements of thousands famous painters, physicist, architects, sculptors, and any other kind of аrt people. There is another ancient garden Villa Adriana but it is out of the city Tivoli. It should takes 1 hour to reach it. I read amazing reviews for Villa Adriana but I could’t manage to visit it this time. Amazing excuse to come back in Tivoli !

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Villa Gregoriana’s view to Tempio della Sibia
Villa Gregoriana's waterfall
Parco Villa Gregoriana

Villa Gregoriana is a funny way to spend amazing time and even to have your lunch away from the big city’s noise and vanity. It has crazy wild paths and waterfall. While walking Tempio della Sibia is wathing you from the top of the gardens. One of the ways to enter in Villa Gregoriana is from the side of Tempio della Sibia. The other way is across the bridge.

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Tempo della Sibia is ancient temple from Roman times located in acropolis of Tivoli, in the province of Rome. The temple is huge and well preserved and there is a nice restaurant nearby where you can eat delicious food and enjoy the beauty of both the temple and Villa Gregoriana. The restaurant has Michelin sighs for 2017, 2016, 2015 and the food here must be tested. Unfortunately during my stay the restaurant was closed.

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Villa d’Este is UNESCO World Herritage and it has been created before Christ. During the centuries many creative people has been building more and more beautiful masterpieces inside. It is very famous with its fountains. Villa d’Este is 4 hectares residential place and the best gardens to walk through! Some of the fountains are singing at fixed hours, other have light shows.

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Villa d’Este. This part of the park is dedicated to Rome city
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Representing the power of Rome city in Villa d’Este
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Villa d’Este is magnificent place to be!
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Villa d’Este has so much art inside!
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Beautiful fountain in Villa d’Este and unexpected rainbow!
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This part of Villa d’Este is dedicated to Piazza Navona in Rome
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Mather of Nature!

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Beautiful view of one of the towers in Villa d’Este!
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Crazy cave in Villa d’Este with a light night show
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Some of the fountains are with monkey’s faces and all are different…

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Is it romantic here?

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Travel Tip: Check the opening hours for both villas and plan in advance when what. If you have a day for both villas, better to do Villa Gregoriana first because usually Villa d’Este opens in a later hour. Between the two walks a lunch can be included 🙂 Home made pasta and pizza are always the best choice.

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While walking through the Tivoli’s streets searching for some souvenirs, I found Rocca Pia. Another well preserved historical sightseeing in Tivoli – the castle of the city with imposing structure and ancient architecture. The sightseeing of Tivoli can been seen from the top if you go inside. I enjoy Rocca Pia from the outside because of my time schedule. If you have experienced the Rocca Pia atmosphere from the inside, please share your excitements as comments 🙂

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Arco dei Padri Costituenti is modern arc in the center of Tivoli. Perfect place for snack or gelato. From this point you can reach all sightseeings of Tivoli in 5-10 minutes, you are close to the central streets where you can eat delicious homemade pasta and drink homemade wine.

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So start planning a trip to Tivoli! and don’t miss: Villa d’Este, Villa Gregoriana, Tempio della Sibia, Rocca Pia, city center and the small restaurants and bakeries. Feel the energy of Tivoli!

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Tupavica waterfalls, Serbia

I had the chance to visit water pearls of Stara planina, located in Serbia – Tupavica.

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Stara planina is the longest mountain in Bulgaria but also has amazing places in Serbia!

You can have a very nice walk there and it’s close to Pirot and Nis in Serbia.

The nature is calling you , the nature gives you hugs and energy.

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People are so warm and friendly. Take your friends also and the atmosphere will be so fresh and crazy!

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Attention: The food is just amazing, delicious, natural, homemade with love.

Tupavica waterfalls in Serbia are perfect for one weekend trip, so don’t wait and take the road!

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Kavaci – Bulgarian Black sea

The sun is up and the summer is coming soon here in Bulgaria. There are amazing Black sea beaches and summer spirit everywhere!

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Do you remember my story for Sunny beach. Now let me take you in a place where the story is the opposite – it is relaxing area, beautiful, exciting wide siren beaches.

Here we are – Kavaci, region Burgas. It is between Burgas and Sozopol – so it is really reachable destination on the Bulgarian Black sea.

Destination Kavaci on the Black sea

There is a forest around to decorate the camping area of Kavaci. The subject of protection here is the rare Pontic white dunes and the characteristic sand-dunes.

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The name of the district Kavaci originates from the word “kavak” which in Turkish means the poplar, and is so named because of the poplars that grow in the area.

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Laying on the beach, drinking cocktail, reading a book… And watching the seagulls’ dance in the air… sounds like a paradise and it is possible! Kavaci. Black sea! Bulgaria!

I was there in September, so my pictures are a little bit different from the usual summer pictures. But I think the beauty of the place is so obvious. Follow me!

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Kavaci is famous with the camping area but also have four stars hotels around. Absolutely for everyone destination!

I like the area because it’s calm and I can practice sport activities on the Black sea beaches here (That’s why I decided to go in September), I can stay alone and just breathe. And of course there are beach bars in Kavaci for the time when your summer party spirit will get wild.

I’ve never seen anything more beautiful than the sea before storming!

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Can’t wait to visit this summer the Bulgarian Black sea!

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Are you ready?

When in Merida with messy hair

Merida is the capital of the autonomous community of Extremadura, Spain. The city sits proudly on the Iberian Peninsula just 174 miles (280 km) southwest of Madrid.

Destination Merida

Merida can be reached by plane to Madrid and from there rent-a-car/ train or bus. Merida is also very close to Portugal and the trip can be combined with some places in Portugal.  Check my amazing experience in Lisbon here.

Unique region with strong Roman influence. Over time, the Extremadura region was held under Christian, Moorish and Portuguese control – marvelous mix of cultures and spirits in Spain!

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When I was there sometimes I had the feeling I am in Rome but the Spanish language always turned me back in the reality.

Let me start with the most visited part of Merida, Spain – Mérida Theatre – one of the oldest archaeological sites in Spain. The ticket is less than 10 EUR, so it is a must to go there when you visit Merida, Spain.

20150204_112615Roman Theatre is one of the most Roman places in Merida. It is built in Emerita Augusta (the old name of Merida, it means the Army of Augustus), located in the archaeological ensemble of Merida, one of the largest and most extensive archaeological sites in Spain. It is World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Beautiful wide stage and so much Roman spirit around. Behind the stage is a garden area surrounded by columns. It makes me feel a part of the past. I had so much fun around!

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While trying to find some place to eat, I found The Temple of Diana – Perfect Roman style under the Extremadura sun.

20150204_121600.jpgAn old couple joined our group for a walk around the Roman ruins and they gave us more information about Merida.

10690184_880889398600702_6043211934728796442_nAcueducto de los Milagros, another extraordinary example of Roman masterwork, is the ruins of the Roman aqueduct bridge – great place to sit and relax with a drink.

Another bridge which connects Merida with small village area around is the Roman Bridge of Merida – Puente de Lusitania. It is nice to crossed it and have amazing view from there. Perfect time to take some photos.

I spent some time in the village area around Merida and the nature was so beautiful!

Something I missed to visit because I did’t have enough time – National Museum of Roman Art – Museo Nacional de Arte Romano. My friends strongly recommend it as a very arty place.

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Do you like circus? If yes, then Roman Circus (Circo romano) in Merida, Spain is waiting for you!

anfiteatro-romano-meridaIt is ruined Roman circus used for Chariot racing – so exciting and very dangerous for the racers in the past, spectacular for watching.

Tip: don’t miss the local Jamón ibérico (Iberian ham) in Merida, Spain. The food is delicious! Taste sangria!

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Spent at least one whole day walking around the city Merida to feel the energy. Enjoj Spain!

Take the road!

Transilvanian sky in Brasov, Romania

For centuries the Romanian city Brasov has been gateway towards the South and East. The Harvard professor Samuel Huntington used the term “The Clash of Civilizations” for Brasov.

I see for the second time in my life the name of the city “written” in the mountain. The first time was in Los Angeles.

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The Old Town of the city still reminds us for the Medieval battles. The Old Town had been fortress. This can be seen from the top of the Mount Tampa, one of the crazy things to do in Brasov. The Mount Tampa is an easy way to „climb“ the mountain and to have the best view on the top. It takes around 14 minutes in both directions to go on the top and back.

IMG_20170305_114153-EFFECTSYou can be lost in The Old Town of Brasov and start thinking you are in Italy not in Romania. Sorry for the comparison, but I really see a lot of common things between Romanian and Italian and the languages are closed enough so they can understand each other perfect!

The long pedestrian street in the heart of The Old Town of Brasov is beautiful and can take you directly in front of the Cathedral on the main square – Council Square of Brasov. For all tourist there are plenty of bars, restaurants, coffee bars. I am in love with the main square of the Romanian city Brasov. I can stay here with hours just to drink coffee and be grateful for the moment!

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The Old town of Brasov has green areas and relaxing zones, so it is really nice to have time for the city, not to be in a rush there!

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The night life is interesting, it is a nice mixture between Balkans and Western Europe spirit. I had delicious dinner in Brasserie Brasov on the Council Square. Check it at tripadvsor here: Brasserie Brasov. During the dinner there was incredible music. The decors on the floor and on the roof are kind of religious and at the same time very beautiful. The style inside is medieval and modern, perfect combination. The place is so unique and I strongly recommend it!

TIP: Don’t expect the spirit of the Old Town to be outside of the Old Town. After going out of the Old Town of Brasov, you are in a big Romanian city – crowded, dirty, a lot of people in a rush. Better plant to spend the night in The Old Town, there are small boutique hotels with breakfast included on a fare prices.

This destination can be combined with the Castle Bran, the castle of Dracula. Also close is the Castle Peles. Unfortunately I couldn’t manage to visit these castles as my travel was just for a weekend, but this is a sweet excuse to go back and to look for more adventures in Romania again.

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Take the road!

Under the Transilvanian sky – Carpathians miracle

There are million reasons why I love travelling. I believe it’s a way of living. Travelling is education and love!

Once in a plane I’ve had the perfect moment to see the Carpathians from my window!

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It’s one of the most inspiring flights I’ve had. I felt like a bird and I felt freedom.

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Such a beautiful view and such a wonderful life!

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It’s pleasure to share with you Carpathians miracle.

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I had the feeling I am not in the sky but in the ocean!

Life is great! Buy the trip you want and go to explore the unique world!!!

Sibiu is watching you!

May be you already have checked my expression of the beautiful city Sibiu in Romania.

I have a night story here and I found my favorite clothing store Gossip Tree.

I am in Sibiu (Romania) again and while walking on the streets I have the feeling the houses stare at me, the trees follow me and I have some invisible eyes on my back every time.

I will not explain more with words, just with pictures.

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Sibiu is watching you! Did you get the same expression?

Chepelare & Pamporovo- the Bulgarian pearls of Rodopi mountain

The ski season is open and all mountains are beating with the rhythm of millions people’s hearts!

Bulgaria has beautiful mountains which are waiting to be explored. Compared to other European ski resorts the prices are really good.

Let’s explore Rodopi mountain – there are legends, spirits, skiing, traditional dishes, traditional dances and beautiful nature!

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From Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, to Pamporovo and Chepelare ski resorts it takes around 3 hours and a half to reach the heart of Rodopi mountain.

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It’s another world out there!

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There are plenty of hotels and houses you can stay in Pamporovo and in Chepelare. The prices in Chepelare are cheaper compared to Pamporovo. No matter where you will decide to stay, you definitely should explore the skiing in both areas!

Pamporovo – this is the official site . For the beginners there are really good Bulgarian teachers who can show you the first steps in skiing.The ski slopes are green (for all tourists), blue (for beginners), red (for advanced) and black (for professionals) – so the mountain is for everyone! The slopes are wide and good for skiing. The lifts and all facilities are in a good condition.

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Pamporovo is well-known Bulgarian ski resort. The tower “Snezhanka” is the most popular tourist peak. From the top there is a breathtaking view of the Rodopi mountain. In clear weather even Stara planina mountain can be seen. On the tower “Snezhanka” you can take a rest, drink hot drinks and eat.

 

Be brave to feel the spirit of Rodopi mountain, feel the energy of all the people, drink a cup of tea with rum and speed up yourself!

It is an excellent way to spend the entire day in the mountain and be on a new place all the time. Your breaks will be surrounded by friends and delicious food – definitely try traditional dishes – patatnik, kachamak, Bulgaraian beans, vine leaves stuffed, fruits. Taste the traditional Bulgarian wine! The Bulgarian kitchen is a legend!

Chepelare – next destination for skiing. Here is the official site. “Mechi chal” has its own lift and slopes with different difficulty. Everyone is welcome! The ski slopes are really nice and long, wide and one good advantage – not so crowded as in Pamporovo.

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On my walk in the city center of Chepelare I found one beautiful frozen pine tree in the middle of the river 🙂

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A good hotel where you can stay in Chepelare is Rodopski dom. They have and spa which is the perfect combination with the skiing all day 🙂

 

There are traditional pubs with folklore music and amazing food, so you can have really interesting night life 🙂

Enjoy Rodopi mountain!

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Between The Old town and The Lower town in Sibiu – Gossip tree

It’s been one amazing day in Sibiu, Romania!

The city is more alive than ever. From a week lots of strikes against the new government’s laws! Good job, Romania!

But this is another story. And my story is happening every day between the Old Sibiu Town and The Lower town of Sibiu –Gossip tree!  Just click on the name and you will see the location.

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Let’s enter the story and go directly into the Wonderland!

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The store collects beautiful unique cloths and jewelries from 40 Romanian designers from Sibiu! Everything is arty and you feel like the cloths are telling you stories…

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I love home made nice creative style and this shop is full of this!

It smells like home and the music makes me feel like I want to start painting… or at least to create something beautiful!

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If you have the chance to visit Sibiu in Romania, this shop is exactly for you. You can have amazing gifts or also you can add something really beautiful and different in your wardrobe!

The Gossip Tree Boutique facebook page is here. I have more good news for you. You can contact them and make your order online and they might be able to send you what you want 🙂

I have the feeling this will return as my practice 🙂

And most but not least the lady in the shop is charming and can make your day. One of the few people who really loves her job!

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10 Alternative ways to stay excited in Sofia(Bulgaria) during the winter

Well, I live in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, and here now there is some snow and minus temperatures. So nice cold winter weather!

I do have a lot of fun during the winter and I am very happy to share with you 10 alternative ways to stay cool and excited when outside is minus 20 degrees.

Let’s discover Sofia!

  1. Painting and drinking wine at the newest hit in Sofia – Rosso

Have you heard about this place? It is painting and wine bar in Lozenets, Sofia. Rosso. Charming atmosphere, nice people and so much art on this place!

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You can paint your best picture while drinking wine.

During the whole time an experienced painter is helping you. His explanations and ideas are so good, so no matter how “unarty” you think you are, you will have really nice picture to take at home.img_20161229_213436

Rosso has a facebook page and you can trace their events. Also check the locations in the facebook page. It’s really fantastic place to go and relax creatively!

  1. Karting

Sofia Ring Mall has indoor karting and you can drift yourself! If you are a group of friends, they can organize a competition and wake up your sport spirit! The karting has challenging runways so be careful!

  1. Skiing/ exploring Vitosha mountain

The best thing you can do during the winter is to go and celebrate the snow. Sofia has a big advantage as an European capital –  it’s close to Vitosha mountain.In fact, Sofia is the only one European capital with a mountain really near to the city center! So if you do skiing, go to feel the mountain. If not, you can always learn. At least there is a fantastic paths you can have a fresh walk.

For skiing in Vitosha mountain more info check here

For just nice walks – Vitosha mountain again is the right place. It’s no more than 30 – 40 minutes far away from the city center of Sofia!

After the beautiful walk/ skiing it’s strongly recommended to eat in guesthouse “Moten” as the food is one of the most delicious and represents the Bulgarian traditional kitchen.

  1. Karaoke

Yes, You can do it! How about some cocktails with friends and after that you can sing together your favorite songs. I can recommend one cozy place in Student city area. Student city is a place especially for young students, there are plenty of bars, discos, caffees. If you want to party, this is where most of the people in Sofia regularly go.

Let’s go back to the karaoke night. I recommend – Sound Wave. Really nice modest bar for everyone! Find them here.

They have a big big list of songs which can be sung, so no way to have a bad night there.

It’s a rock bar so it’s time for headbanging!

  1. Spa

In Sofia, there are plenty of hotels where you can swim and relax the whole day.

I recommend Victoria Spa in Ramada hotel. The facilities are nice, it’s clean and the pool is huge, which is important if you want to swim. They have relaxing area, two saunas, steam bath, big pool and pool for kids, Jacuzzi, massages, fitness and group sport activities.

More information you can easily find on their site.

  1. Escape rooms

Entertain, friends, thinking, new challenge, secrets… Yes, all these you can feel if you try some of Sofia escape rooms. It is a room where you and friends need to discover, explore and find the answers of puzzles from different areas. It helps you also to develop your team building skills.

The full list of all escape rooms in Sofia can be found here, so don’t wait and book your new challenge!

No matter of your nationality almost all escape rooms in Sofia have English versions.

  1. Boom! Burgers N Steaks

Why not having an amazing burger, specialized exactly for you. Find the place here in the city center of Sofia. You can arrange the perfect burger for you, they have plenty of combinations. Boom yourself with a burger!

If you overeat, you can always have a nice walk on the main Sofia boulevard Vitoshka. It’s a really charming area, one of my favorite for a walk.

Check also and St. Alexander Nevsky Bulgarian Orthodox cathedral in the city center of Sofia.

  1. Latino dances

Well, this is one of my passions. It’s being more and more promoted recently. There are organized classes by reputable dance schools. My school is Salsa Ritmo and I believe they are the best!

My teachers – Tedy & Mitko, become the 4th in the world this winter in bachata style! Check Salsa Ritmo’s site here and choose a class! They also have a facebook page with news and exciting Latino events.

Also there are plenty of places to go just for salsa party dancing. They are very social latino events, you can meet really interesting people and burn some calories, while having fun!

I have two favorites for Latino parties in Sofia:

  1. Kango jumps

Well, let’s jump into the world of Kango jums. It is recently very popular in Sofia to try this sport activity. I really enjoy it. It is a mix of cardio and burning exercises on a loud music. The feeling is refreshing and you can stay slim and feel beautiful! Almost in each neighbourhood of Sofia there are Kango jump facilities. Be crazy, cool and fit with Kango jumps.

  1. Ice skating

Well, one of my favorite activities during the winter. Actually you can practice them only when it’s winter. Ice skating in Sofia is available for you on many places. Check the list here thanks to two amazing travel bloggers and sisters. Their site is fascinating.

My favorite ice skating places in Sofia are the Winter Palace (it is in Student city, Sofia) and Ariana lake ( in the city center of Sofia).

Love the winter! Do you?