Barry Zwick /
This is a dark, fascinating and, unfortunately, forgotten country, an Iowa-sized Balkan beauty with snow-capped mountains and lush green fields. It is here that the undeniable forces of the New World Order meet a stubborn Old World speed bump defined by donkey carts, shepherds, a sclerotic and often corrupt governing bureaucracy and an economy that, for the most part, lags behind its old Eastern Bloc brethren.
Don't come to Bulgaria if you're looking for some glossy European elegance interspersed with Starbucks and all those Western, touristy accoutrements that make travel so comfortable and reassuring.
-- Tim Jones
Pictured: Alexander Nevski Cathedral in downtown Sofia.