Bulgaria Now Podcast, my weekly show where I attempt find out more about Bulgaria. Leisure, Business, Politics and Bitcoin are the categories. Thank you for listening.
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#87 In Bansko, blessed by God and the queen of sex
Thinking of getting into the hospitality business? Takis has some of the wisest words I’ve heard for both existing and prospective restaurant and hotel owners.
Takis explains his passion for Bansko and for food how the philosophy and format behind the Gastronomy Festival, now in it’s 5th year from 4th November 2016 — has evolved. Of and there’s the little matter of his girlfriend, Natalia, being the “queen of sex”.
#86 Bansko after 25 countries in 25 months
Sarah Carter and her husband spend the summer in Bansko having visiting 25 countries in 25 months. Sit back and travel the world.
#85 Hello: Nice to meet you
Vasiliki has passion for the hospitality business. I stopped by at the Premier Gastronomy Festival PR event at the museum of contemporary art to learn more about her as the new general manager of the Ermia hotel group.
#84 I prefer this sort of lifestyle
Zina Sorensen an expat in Bulgaria (born in Denmark) set up www.bulgariawinetours.com to showcase wine in BG fo all wine lovers.
Sustainable wine and food tourism offers so much promise in BG. Zina has some great tips in this show. How do you make the most of your visit to a vineyard? How to seek out the most interesting wines Bulgaria has to offer?
#83 The Trump grumps, Hillary hilarity and Bokova knockover
Clive, Imanuel and Marcus and Lance talk politics. UN elections — err Bokova! Clinton and The Trump.
#82 Bulgaria’s back to school. Lots of chaos not much theory
Clive, Imanuel and Marcus all have children in Bulgarian schools. The English teacher who does not speak English. Yes, really! Communist uniformity and choices.
#81 A Lot Of Shouting Involved
Long time expat Imanuel Marcus joins me to talk about the business of music shows and festivals in Bulgaria. Tales of the demanding “talent”, some shouting and peculiar views of Bulgarians.
#80 Contempt For The Electorate
Politics in Bulgaria is like no other place. From hero to zero from Messiah to “who was that?”. Oh yes… it’s Clive Leviev-Sawyer — the political expert that tell us how it really is.
#79 An Entrepreneurial Playground In The Mountain: Coworking Bansko
CoWorking in Bansko is now here. Matthias Zeitler, Irina Pandeva, and their client Cynthia, talk to me about their new initiative for coworking space that is putting Bansko on the map for digital nomads. This is good news for anyone who needs a cool space to work whilst on a ski trip to Bansko. I’m looking forward to the opening party on the 15th December.
#78 Restaurant Week
Calling all fellow foodies. The team from Sofia Restaurant Week join me to talk about food and restaurants.
Is the once limited restaurant scene getting better? … errr Yes. But how much further have things got to go? Why is there still so much crappy service in Bansko and throughout Bulgaria? What’s holding back so many restaurants to improve their game? Listen to the show… and remember I’ll be calling out any scams I hear from in Bansko. Download the Bansko app to never miss a show and all that is happening in Bansko.
#77 No Smoke Without Fire
There’s no smoke without fire. What the hell is going on ion Bulgaria? Clive Leviev-Sawyer investigates. As so often is the case in BG, things are not as they may seem at first sight.
From Plovdiv’s warehouse to ducking bullets on the Black Sea coast. Mitko “The Eyes” survives six gun shots. Mafia wars continue — but no one ever gets caught. Clive takes a first look at the OneCoin story. Much more on this story to unfold over the coming months, me thinks.
#76 Bitcoin Baby
My new arrival this week. Tony bringing much joy. So, as a new daddy, I look to the future and wonder how money will look in 2030. He’ll be 14? But, best of all, this show is about saving you money. I saved 19% on my amazon order. And you can too. (it’s 100% legitimate of course). We talk about other ideas for saving money whilst using bitcoin in Bulgaria and, I hope soon, in Bansko – stay tuned for more. Please comment in soundcloud with anything you want to know or ask me a question.
#75 Terry Kyle: On Moving A Tech Business To Sofia
Terry evaluates many countries before deciding on Bulgaria. His business employs thirty people in the centre of Sofia. Non corporate fun style.
Entrepreneurship, animals and a fascinating take on life. Unmissable content for anyone interested in setting up a business or looking to move a business to Bulgaria.
#74 Interview with Imanuel Marcus and Justin Chapman of Foreigners And Friends
Foreignersandfreinds.com is the new website from Imanuel Marcus and Justin Chapman, so I was keen to get to know more about them and their new venture. I ask them about how they ended up in Bulgaria.
I learned about their experience of censorship on a Facebook Group. Guess what? That annoyed them so much they started their own website.
#73 Bitcoin Entrepreneurs, And Brothers, Joshua And Zachary Harvey. From The USA To Bulgaria. Part 1
Bitcoin BTM Entrepreneurs Joshua And Zachary Harvey of www.lamassu.is share their life’s journey with your host, Lance Nelson. Listen to their incredible story which takes them from guitar retail business in Israel to the influence of the New Hampshire Free State Project.
Listen to how their long time involvement in the Bitcoin community from the days when BTC was at $4! They meet others in New Hampshire decide on building a Bitcoin ATM. A Bitcoin ATM (“BTM”) is a great introduction to Bitcoin. The excitement of others at seeing this new BTM, at a New Hampshire Libertarian conferences, creates a wow moment and buzz about their BTM product. CNET, Reddit, Twitter and other news outlets played a key role in showing the world how easy and fast Bitcoin is when used in conjunction with a BTM.
What follows helps shape their views on the USA. OMG!! A “police state” it’s not the best regulatory environment for Fintech. When a friend finds himself foul of hyperactive law enforcement leads to an imaginary “Breaking Bad” arrest.
The reasons why they ultimately chose to move to Bulgaria are thought provoking and intriguing.
#72 Virtual Reality And Oculus Rift With Momchil Alexiev
Ever wondered what the fuss is all about with virtuality reality? So dd I until this show. Momchil Alexiev, entrepreneur, and Virtual Reality film maker gives an insight to the future. I experience the Oculus Rift on the show — and see that the future may have just arrived. How can virtual reality help our lives? How can film makers make the most of this technology? This and much more in this week’s podcast.
#71 Community And Knowledge Interview With Mihaela Savova Of 1Hub
Mihaela Savova, co-founder of 1Hub is my guest Rebecca and Henk Ovebeek of Bulgaria Now sponsors, aidos.bg join me as we learn more how a co-working spaces are helping entrepreneurship in Bulgaria. Watch out for more content on a new co-working space in Bansko soon.
#70 Summer Travel Tips. The Special Guests Episode
Where are the hidden gems to travel to in Bulgaria this summer? Are you sure where will suit you and your family this summer? Should you visit Serbia? John Murray, Nasko Tonchev, Nikolai Mitev join Rebecca and I to share the places we know and enjoy.
#69 Travel Tips The Summer Special Episode
Where should you to travel to in Bulgaria this summer? Can you find the best of the Black Sea coast? Which hidden gems await you this summer? My co-hosts, Rebecca Richardson, Eric Halsey, Philip Walsh and I answer these questions and more in the second Bulgaria Now Podcast summer travel special.
#68 Hilda Kazasyan Talks About Her Life Of Music And Food At Egur Egur
Hilda Kazasyan is my guest. She is a renowned Jazz singer and owner of Armenian Egur Egur restaurants in Sofia, Bansko and Sozopol as well as Studio 5 Jazz club in Sofia. Hilda talks to me about her passions for food, her views of communist times and her mission in life.
#67 What We Know Now We Wish We Had Known Before
Should you adapt or fight the Bulgarian culture? Is public transport up to snuff? My co-hosts, Rebecca Richardson and Eric Halsey discuss things they wish they had known, but they now know. This episode 67 has top tips for anyone visiting Bulgaria for both business and vacation.
#66 Timely Release Wagons
Will your business have to employ a minimum of ten Bulgarians? Can the train station be found? Can BDZ translate signs? Will Bulgarians living abroad have room to vote? Familiar tales of f*wittery, news, festivals and more in episode 66.
#65 Be Careful When You Unzip
You’ve found your Bulgarian partner and you’re here thinking of your new business venture. What could possibly go wrong? Quite a lot actually. Since 1998 Koos Jan Schouten has lived in Bulgaria, and I get to chat to the expert. Not only is Koos a fun guest, but he’s the wisest guy I know.
#64 Making The World A Better Place With Bitcoin
Can Bitcoin give power to the people as they form decentralised organisations? Why will banks look different in the future? Can Bitcoin and the Blockchain render notary services a thing of the past? Are we heading for a fairer future? Vladimir and Nikolai help me analyse the future of monty. Bitcoin is “the internet of money”.
#63 Iam Bitcoin
A close look at Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto (not Craig Wright) with Nikolai Mitev - a fellow enthusiast. This technology could change so many things. Also listen to episode 63 on Bitcoin — part of a regular look at what is going on in Bitcoin.
#62 Veso Ovcharov The Red Bull Paragliding Pilot Who Is Flying The Earth
Veso is one of the most proficient paragliding pilots in the world. Immensely talented and someone who lives his life in the present. And to to the max. From real hardship listen to Veso who follows his passion.
#61 A Bansko Special; Taboo at Sing Sing’s Eli and Donny Talk Music, Bansko and Party
I am a huge fan of Eli and Donny of Taboo, for about six years. One of the best evenings entertainment in Bansko is in Sing Sing. So I was super keen to hear about how they got into music what they like. Joined by finds, and fellow groupies Vanya and Ivanka we chat, and they sing, their way through this must listen to discussion recorded in the lobby bar of the Kempinski Grand Arena in Bansko.
#60 The Year In Review
A look back at 2015 and a look ahead to 2016 — The Ski Season is here.
#59 Food For Thought
A round up of Eric and I’s favourite places to find food in both Sofia and Bansko. Smokey Mountain Bar and Grill is looked very promising but also The Fish Cormer for real fish ‘n chips from Krassi and Rossi.
#58 R&E a.k.a. Rumanetsa and Enchev; The Jagermeister House Bansko Apres Ski Bar
R&E a.k.a. Rumanetsa and Enchev, the famous and very funny Bulgarian hi-hop and rap duo, talk about about their new Jaegermeister House apres ski bar in Bansko. The Romanian (Adrian) and Georgi (George) describe their concept for the apres ski bar they want. Also info on the Passage building and how to win one of 100 discount cards.
#57 The Thanksgiving Episode – a special edition
Eric Halsey and I talk about travels to Istanbul, Cyprus, Plovdiv, Bansko. Beer news… New Bulgaria craft beers; Aiylak and Blek Beer. We talk about how native advertising and especially podcast native advertising deliver an effective solution for advertisers. We talk a little about Bitcoin (the blockchain), its role in building trust and how it relates to marketing and advertising. New places to check out; e.g. Social Cafe, SoHo, Christmas market. Happy Thanksgiving to our US friends. For the rest of us, it’s a taste of what’s to come.
#56 Top Wines at the DiVino Taste 2015
With 66 wine producers, there were some familiar and new producers. But the standard, like every year here in BG, goes up. Mitko Nikolov, one of Bulgaria’s most respected wine tasters, and I taste a huge number of wines. We choose, and talk about, our favourites.
Our selection includes out value for money winner, Villa Yambol Chardonnay at under 5 leva a bottle. PixelsSauvignon Blanc 2015 at 10.49 leva. Our red wine selections are dominated by Korten…. the Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah impressing us all.