Around the World in 18 Barbers’ Chairs

From Bulgaria to Vietnam, Shawn visits barber shops around the world.

Kalofer, Bulgaria: A Story of Life, Lavender, & Lace

“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” Bill Bryson Arriving in what was to be our home away from home inContinue reading “Kalofer, Bulgaria: A Story of Life, Lavender, & Lace”

The Snowflake-Like Lace of Kalofer, Bulgaria

In the shadows of the Balkan Mountains in Central Bulgaria, residents in the village of Kalofer have been making lace for more than one hundred years. The artisans initially drew inspiration from traditional Belgian patterns, but over time they developed their own designs, evoking images of ephemeral snowflakes, and silk-like spiderwebs. In Bulgarian, the lace is known as КалоферскаContinue reading “The Snowflake-Like Lace of Kalofer, Bulgaria”

The Roses of Bulgaria

In May and June, residents of Bulgaria’s Rose Valley harvest the area’s roses, filling baskets with magnificent pink and red petals, which are then distilled and turned into rose oil for the cosmetic industry. Bulgaria produces the bulk of the world’s supply. When you consider that it takes approximately 2,000 to 4,000 kgs. (4,000 – 8,000 pounds) of roseContinue reading “The Roses of Bulgaria”

The National Revival Architecture of Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Along Plovdiv’s winding, cobblestone lanes you’ll encounter fine, jewel-toned homes epitomizing Bulgaria’s National Revival architectural style. These mansions are decorated with stained-wooden shutters and trim. The buildings are also embellished with flourishes that depict peacocks, flowing ribbons, and flowers.

A Lesson in Making Yogurt in Kalofer, Bulgaria

One of our favorite things about Bulgaria’s tasty cuisine is its yogurt, which is appreciated worldwide because of its health benefits and creamy texture. The people of the Balkans have been making yogurt for more than three millennia. Lactobacillus Bulgaricus, the bacteria responsible behind Bulgaria’s prized yogurt, is enjoyed as far away as Japan and China. In fact, Bulgarian yogurt dominatesContinue reading “A Lesson in Making Yogurt in Kalofer, Bulgaria”

Celebrating International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day, a commemorative day that’s celebrated in different ways throughout the world. In some countries, the focus is on women’s accomplishments, whereas in others, it is a day to merely show gratitude towards women.