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Palamartsa and Its People

 

Palamartsa was built on ancient settlements over 300 years ago.  It is classed as an agricultural and self sustainable community. The original village is over 2000 years old and is currently being un-covered before our eyes; many artefacts are being found daily.

 

Archaeologists had satellite imagery done recently and it is the largest ancient settlement found in the northern province of Bulgaria, so you can imagine there is a lot of excitement going on in the area.

 

It had over 3000 inhabitants up until about 15 years ago but when the communist era ended the villagers fled and moved to the city’s and took advantage of the freedom they never had.

 

A lot of Bulgarians are realising that the city’s and towns are not a place of freedom and are slowly coming back to re-populate the village.  More recently still some expats have moved in who are integrating into the traditions and lifestyle, the local people are more than happy to help make their new neighbours part of the Palamartsa life.  Even down to teaching about animal husbandry, gardening, preserving food, cheese making and making excellent wine.

 

It is now home to around 600 people, all coming from a true Bulgarian descent this gives the village its dreamy spacious feel and peaceful charm, although in the mornings and at the weekend it has a exciting bustle to the streets and cafes where people meet to talk about their day.

 

The villagers are very proud of their land and homes.  They are very traditional and have many festivals each year for the harvests, seasons, wine making, name and religious days.  There is also a singing and dance group (see pic) in the village who have won competitions all over Bulgaria, and regularly travel to different countries to perform.  But living in Palamartsa we get to see them at every festival and event.  Even though there are many festivals throughout the year every day is a special day in Palamartsa.

 

Every day you will see them taking their donkeys and carts to the bountiful fields to get their produce and do a hard days work, many still cut the animal feed with traditional scythes and ALL produce their own wine and rakia.

 

The streets are lined with various fruit and nut trees which include, peach, mulberry, walnut, hazelnut, cherry, apple, pear, nectarine, quince, apricot, and plum.  Every tree in the village is either edible or has some other purpose.  They can be picked and eaten most of the year round, and anyone can eat them.  And as there is so much surplus there are many very happy animals here.

 

Every day you will see geese, chickens, ducks, cows, sheep and goats roaming around the streets, they all know where their homes are and take themselves to bed at night.

 

The village is also well known for its amazing honey, and because of the abundance of flowers and blossoms each year from the gardens meadows and trees, every season brings a new and tasty flavour.  

 

Did you know that the original bacteria for Yoghurt (Kiselo mliako) which is said to have curative properties was originally found in the oak forest that backs onto the village, these spread back over 20 kilometres so it is a very special location for yoghurt bacteria hunters.  Recently Japanese tourists made a visit to the forest to take some bacteria back to Japan to replicate it, but unfortunately the Japanese climate did not take to it.  Yoghurt is probably one of the first things you learn how to make within the village.

 

Palamartsa has 5 bars, and all of them sell snacks and bits and bobs needed for everyday life.  There is a lovely restaurant/shop where Yulianna cooks great Bulgarian food, and mostly on the house if you pop in on a Sunday lunchtime.  And a village centre shop which to be honest looks like a bit of a dumping ground but has everything you could possibly need from that urgently needed saucepan to a packet of fresh yeast, Svetana who serves you here is always very helpful and also supplies you with freshly squeezed milk if you ask nicely.

 

Fresh water is in abundance, its free, tasty, clean and healthy.  There are over 6 fresh water springs which run 24hours a day 365 days a year.  You will see the locals filling up bottles of it daily, some even wash their cars with it!  The geese of the village can usually be found at one of these taking a dip.

 

There are lots of eco trails being set up around the village towards the lakes and forests, there is so much to discover and explore and the views are unbelievably beautiful when exiting the village.  There are tomb trails, cave trails, mountain bike adventures and more, something for everyone and every age.

 

 

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