Today is the main day of this trip: Rose Festival.
We are scheduled to leave hotel for Kazanlak at 6:45 am; as such, I took a quick breakfast at 5:30 am then Sayonara Plovdiv.
Bulgaria has rich soil so the country’s self efficiency is high.
Bulgaria imports food only during winter.
I can see many farms at the road side.
Kazanlak is famous for production of poppy, lavender and rose.
This is lavender farm, looks nice in purple.
The type of Rose suited for extracting rose oil is Damask Rose.
Bulgarian believes Damask Rose was brought by Thracians.
On the other hand, some claim Damask Rose was brought by Turkish/Ottoman.
This theory is also supported because production of rose oil was industrialized during Ottoman Empire.
Rose requires rich soil, enough sunshine and balanced humidity.
Due to above requirements, roses are commonly planted at winery grape yards to alert soil condition.
To produce 1kg of rose oil, it requires 3,000 roses; 1 drop requires 120 roses.
Once rose oil was traded equally as gold.
No wonder it’s precious.
Rose is national flower of Bulgaria.
This morning, we departed early for rose picking.
It is better to pick roses early morning to keep better/stronger fragrance.
Rose oil is commonly used as one of ingredients for major brands’ perfume to keep lasting fragrance.
Rose oil is also used as an ingredient for cosmetics because of its performance: anti-aging, antibacterial effects, moisturizing and even good for applying insect bites.
It is also used for supplement: kidney stone, constipation, etc.
When we consume rose jam, we need to be easy with it; it might force you to go to toilet often! hahaha
I bought rose oil, hand cream, jam and lokum for myself.
I can enjoy rose picking, shopping and even watching Bulgarian Folk Dance at Ethnographic Complex Damascena, Kazanlak.
Bulgarian Folk Dance and songs.
We moved to the Rose Festival Parade.
This parade started in 1903.
The total population of Kazanlak is about 50,000, but over 100 buses of tourists visit the town for Rose Festival.
They are Queen of Rose.
This parade is heart warming because it is obviously hand-made by local community.
At last, all of us (local people and tourists) dance together.
We had BBQ for lunch,
Drinks are included. Yeah!
After lunch, we visited Shipka Memorial Church, also known as Memorial Temple of the Birth of Christ.
On the way to Veliko Turnovo, we stopped by at one of parking areas to try pure water buffalo yogurt with local honey.
Both yogurt and honey are so rich and delicious that I would recommend to try it.
We arrived Veliko Turnovo and checked in at Hotel Meridian Bolyarski.
It has a tremendous view.
We had dinner at hotel restaurant.
We also enjoyed live music while eating and chatting.
We had a good time at our table.
After dinner, we went for a short walk; this town is very peaceful.
It’s been a long day.
I soaked my body to rose bath to unwind my tired body.