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A great place to go: Plovdiv! Once you're here, just follow the crowds and you'll find yourself in the midst of great convivial Bulgarian hospitality . excellent food and drinks, lively music, beautiful girls and . well, you get the idea. It is just not possible to mention one or two favorite clubs, restaurants or bars. The biggest crowds are on the wide pedestrian shopping street in the city's center, but on every side street you'll find charming restaurants with great food and prices that will stretch your dollars farther that you ever thought possible.

A friend and I had a great dinner of salads, potatoes and meat plus coffee and beverage for $3.50 USD total. In two years, I have experienced very few disappointments in Plovdiv.

You won't go wrong at the restaurants in the hotels, but you will miss a tremendous opportunity if you fail to set out down a side street and let your nose lead you to a great "mehana" (barbecue) and your ears will find the way to good entertainment. Our early "beer festival" gets underway next week and it's gonna be great! The Plovdiv markets are bursting with the first of this year's locally-grown produce. Last week we enjoyed beautiful sweet juicy strawberries at the peak of perfection! Fresh strawberries, sprinkled with a little sugar and cold, thick Bulgarian yoghurt! MMMMmmm! And now the dark red (black) cherries are just beginning to appear. The Plovdiv region is the heart of all Bulgaria's fresh produce; our restaurants are never lacking for fresh fruits and vegetables to serve. Grown here, the produce is fresher and less expensive . it is no wonder that food quality and prices in Plovdiv restaurants is better than any other city in Bulgaria.

Take a tour of Plovdiv at Plovdiv City Guide; there are more than 300 photos of this modern, yet ancient city. Plovdiv's history goes back 6-thousand years! Thracian ruins are preserved for scholarly or casual examination. Hotel rooms are cheap and plentiful; $48 per night in standard modern hotels right in the heart of the city. Plovdiv gave a great reception to Pope John Paul II at the end of May; he was more enthusiastic and lively during his meeting with our young people than at any other time during his latest East European tour. His visit in Sofia (our capital) was not at all the same. There is truly something special about Plovdiv.

We offer a free newsletter to those interested in learning more about our unique city. You may subscribe on the web site. Richard Zastrow, Manager Plovdiv City Guide .

By: Richard Zastrow

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