Tsvetana Pironkova From Plovdiv: The Next Famous Bulgarian?

Jun 29, 2010 No Comments by

Tsvetana Pironkova, from Bulgaria, beat Venus Williams at Wimbledon today. The 22 year old Pironkova was on fine form. For tennis fans, the signs were good for her before Wimbledon after she beat fifth-seeded, and former Olympic champion, Russia’s Elena’s Dementieva. But her Wimbledon result is more than tennis, it’s a little like the World Cup. it means a lot for native fans.

And I like that feeling.

I always support countries I know in sport. Today in the World Cup I wondered who to support — Spain or Portugal. Both countries hold wonderful vacation and paragliding memories for me.

Back to Wimbledon tennis today, I particularly relished the fact that a Bulgarian sports lady, Tsvetana Pironkova, will receive international acclaim. Berbatov and Petrov (Premier League footballers from Blagoevgrad and Vratsa respectively) will be joined by another media star in the form of Pironkova from Plovdiv, her home town. Good media publicity for Bulgaria — and a reminder that this EU country can beat non EU Turkey on price — especially as car hire and alcohol are cheaper in Bulgaria.

Plovdiv is reachable from Bansko via Velingrad. Allow over three hours for the journey through the Rhodope mountains. I would agree that Plovdiv is a more relaxed city than Sofia and its old Roman amphitheatre and old town make it a well worthwhile place to visit. Perhaps if you are attending the Bansko Jazz Festival, you can take more time to travel to Plovdiv. From Plovdiv it’s around four hours to the coast and my favourite seaside town, Sozopol. If you enjoy wine, why not stay at the Todoroff hotel, in Brestovitsa, 15 km from Plovdiv. Taking their wine tour seems a sensible way to spend some time.

Big sporting events dominate at the moment — but I am so pleased with that the Bansko Jazz Festival 2010 is receiving record media exposure. For example, Bulgaria today was voted the cheapest place to holiday. The holiday prices they quoted for Sofia seemed far higher than I would expect. Sofia has some incredible value — its 90 lv (around 0. 40 EUR) for a tram ride, cheap taxis around 5lv (2.5 EUR) for most trips around the city… upscale, and affordable bars and restaurants. But most travelers prefer Plovdiv for good reason. That old town, the remarkable Roman amphitheatre, the  wonderful promenade and low prices combine to make a trip to Plovdiv one I am sure you’ll enjoy.

What do you think about national Sporting success?  Can national stars help raise a country’s profile? Please let me know your thoughts.


About the author

I enjoy tech, apps, entrepreneurship, podcasting and collaboration with others. I love travelling as well as skiing, hiking, MTB, paragliding, cooking and good food.
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