StrandjaBlog - picture taken in Strandja Nature Park, Bulgaria

Strandja’s Amazing Forests | Strandja’s unieke bossen

Forests are among the most biodiverse habitats on the planet. But not all woodlands are the same. read more…

Strandja Forest Honey| Strandja Bos Honing

When you see the beautiful, flower-rich meadows that are still common in many places in Bulgaria, you will not be surprised to hear that Bulgaria has a high reputation as producer of honey of excellent quality. Moreover, most of the honey in Bulgaria is produced as a hobby or as a part time business, so most producers put a lot of care and effort in producing a beautiful product. read more…

Firewood from Strandja | Brandhout uit Strandja

Our firewood for winter has just arrived. Ten cubic metres of oak from the forests of Strandja. That is a big pile of wood… read more…

Cycling through the Strandja mountains | Op de fiets door het Strandja gebergte

Many people we meet cycle through Strandja park. The Strandja mountains are very good for cycling, because an asphalt road (albeit with some holes in it that for some reason never get repaired) goes through the park from the Black Sea coast all the way to the border with Turkey. And many people continue from there to Istanbul. read more…

Permaculture in Bulgaria | Permacultuur in Bulgarije

One of the principles of permaculture is to avoid tilling the soil. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly it takes a lot of energy to move so much soil. Secondly, and more importantly, disturbing the soil, especially inverting it, destroys its natural fertility by destroying organic matter and structure. read more…

Shower in the sun | Douche in de zon

In the North West of Europe not many people I know of take solar showers. However, in Bulgaria it is quite common to heat your water by sunlight. Many people here have a solar water heating installation on their roofs, and there is also the oldfashioned system consisting of just a black-painted barrel on the roof. We brought a pair of camping solar showers from the Netherlands in anticipation of the beautiful Bulgarian weather. And today we tried them out. read more…

Houston, we have a problem

OK, the Bulgarians warned us; don’t feed any cats, because they will be coming back for more! But we did have some leftover yoghurt.  And the white and tabby cat was a very sweet and hungry thing. The result is that now after a week she had a surprise for us. read more…

Poisonous things | Giftige dingen

Some things in the garden are more welcome than others. Things such as butterflies and kittens make you very happy. But what when you find Bulgaria’s most poisonous snake in your back garden? read more…

Fire-dancing in the Strandja Mountains | Vuurdans in het Strandja gebergte

A large fire in the village square slowly burns down into hot coals. It has been raining a little and mist floats into the valleys surrounding us while the sun fades. More and more people gather round the burning coals. Suddenly, the music that has been going on for the last hour pauses and everything becomes silent for a moment… Then singing starts from behind the church and a small procession of Nestinari starts walking through the crowd. read more…

Rhododendron ponticum – you love it or you hate it | Rhododendron ponticum – een haat-liefde verhouding

While working in the South-West of England in nature conservation, I came across the plant Rhododendron ponticum quite often. In England, it is grown in many gardens for its beautiful flowers. Unfortunately, it has the nasty habit of escaping and invading the surrounding native woodlands. read more…