Have you lived in or visited Bulgaria? Tell us about it!

Samokov, BULGARIA (Europe) — January 2018 — The name of the town I grew up in is Samokov. Samokov is a small town in Bulgaria, about 40 miles outside the capital city of Sofia. It is situated in the basin of Rila Mountain which is the highest mountain on the Balkan peninsula. We are about a 20 min drive to one of the biggest winter resorts in Bulgaria. The biggest Bulgarian river flows through our beautiful town also. But the most famous thing about our town is the potatoes. The town of Samokov is the biggest potato producer in Bulgaria.

I loved living there from the time I was born until I was 25. Oh those were the best years. Even though some of them were during turbulent times in history in other parts of the world. I lived there while Bulgaria was under the communist reign of the Soviet Union, some even considered us a part of the USSR, we technically weren’t, but we did have the same president for 45 years! I remember going on vacation to Germany when I was 10 and my dad telling me about what’s on the other side of the wall. I remember that wall falling down some years later and the new beginning for all the Eastern European countries. All of a sudden there wasn’t enough food in the stores, almost overnight. We had to get up at 5am and go line up in front of the grocery store, waiting for hours before they open, just to buy milk and bread. Rations were imposed, there wasn’t enough to go around, people that came late didn’t get any. It was hard times for a couple of years.

The weather in our town was perfect growing up, not too hot and not too cold. Summer only lasted about 2 months, and most of the time temperature didn’t go above 85 F. Winter was the longest. It started snowing in October and there was almost always snow still on the ground in April. But they were mild winters, where everything was covered in snow, looked like winter wonderland, and everyone enjoyed it. Especially kids. We went sledding and skiing every chance we got. We built snow forts and had snowball fights. But the longest season of all was Fall. With it’s many sunny days it was my favorite time of the year. And now, 20 years later, if I could I would return and raise my children there. Sadly it’s been more than 10 years since I’ve been able to visit.