Veliko Turnovo – the Kyoto of Bulgaria
Veliko Turnovo has become one of my favorite cities. It was my first visit but the beauty and energy of the place won me over. It is a small town (population about 150,000) that has grown about the bend in the Yantra River. The buildings of the town are built on the top of a steep slope. So, you have a beautiful view of the river and surrounding mountains from almost everywhere in town.
Veliko Turnovo is a college town. Our students will be visiting the University of Veliko Turnovo there. It is a perfect place for walking around. You can feel a youthful energy in the air. The streets are lined with shops and restaurants. Many of them have views of the river. From others you can see Tsaverets, the impressive castle that overlooks the town.
We were very lucky because we visited the town on March 3rd, Independence Day. On that day there was a special sound and light show. At around 7:00 pm, we joined hundreds of other people in the street below the castle to watch the show. Loud rhythmical classic music played while green, red, blue, and yellow lights dance around the castle grounds. Actually, it started snowing while we were watching. The snow fall really added to the experience. Each time a camera flashed, the sky was filled with white specks of gently falling snow flakes.
I hope you all have a chance to visit Veliko Turnovo some day. I know that I am already looking forward to the next time I can.