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Takin’ it easy’: Plovdiv, Bulgaria

I took a bus from Ankara, Turkey, where I was living, to Plovdiv, Bulgaria once. Why? Why not? I hadn’t met anyone who had been to Plovdiv and didn’t know much about it, so I thought I would go. And, I did. It was a lovely town, really. The old section has some wonderfully restored houses that have been turned into little museums, restaurants or hotels. People were friendly despite the noticeable presence of neo-nazi groups in town who used graffiti to spread their message and could easily pick up white pride shirts, stickers and buttons in a number of stores. That part was weird, I won’t lie to you. But I did like the place.

Plovdiv had a small town feel, was European on the one hand, with strong Ottoman Turkish influences that gave it a Middle Eastern flair on the other. Beautiful mosques and old churches stood side by side in seeming harmony, both treated with a sense of historic¬†reverence.¬† It had it’s rougher edges, too, which gave it character. Corruption and poverty are big issues there and you could see the gap between the rich and the poor, but also a growing middle class who shopped in the main shopping district and hung out at the increasing number of international brand name coffee houses.

It was just a cool place to check out, somewhere I never imagined I would end up, but feel richer for having visited. I wish I had a few more days to spend there to explore, but I feel like that after visiting any place I have been. There is never enough time to experience it all.

Teodor Stoyanov: “Takin’ it easy on a friday afternoon…

This is a short film about the city of Plovdiv, the second largest city in Bulgaria and my home town. Unlike Sofia, (the largest) people here live a calm life and are not in a constant hurry and stress. A perfect place for living and raising children.

This was shot on the central street of Plovdiv in 2 hours, between 6pm and 8pm, the light was perfect for filming. Shot on a Conon 5D Mark II with a Canon 70-200mm f.4 and a cheap photo tripod.

Edited in Sony Vegas 8 Pro”