December 17, 2011
0076 BULGARIA (Varna) - The Stone Forest
As neighbors we are, even if some Latins and others Slavs, Romanians and Bulgarians had much in common throughout history, whether it's about the closely related ancestors (Dacians and Thracians), about the migratory that often passed through both territories or have settled on them, about the influence or domination firstly Byzantine and then Ottoman and eventually Russian. In Romanian Dobrudja (and not only) live also Bulgarians, Vlachs still live south of the Danube... The Romanians have mountains (Carpathians), shore to the Black Sea and access to the Danube, the Bulgarians have mountains (Balkan and Rhodope), shore to the Black Sea and access to the Danube. True, we clashed with each other, for example in the Balkan Wars or in WWI, but which neighbors don't argue from time to time?
As Romanian, for two things I envy the Bulgarians: the pickled cucumbers and the Stone Forest near Varna. The second is depicted in the postcard sent me by Fidel (thanks, pal). Located near the village Slanchevo, about 25 km away to the west from the city of Varna and The Black Sea Coast, Pobiti Kamani (the Stone Forest) consists of several groups of stone columns between 5 and 7 metres high and from 0.3 to 3 metres thick (hollow and filled with sand), which look like they are stuck into the surrounding sands, hence the name phenomenon.
There are a number of theories regarding the phenomenon's origin, divided into two: organic and mineral origin. If the first claims that the formations are the result of coral activity, the second explain the phenomenon with "the prismatic weathering of the rocks, the formation of sand and limestone concretions, or lower Eocene bubbling reefs. Based on field observations and a petrographic and stable isotope geochemical study, evidence now exists that these structures represent an exceptionally well exposed paleo-hydrocarbon seep system (strongly depleted carbon isotope signatures of the dominant low magnesium calcite cement)." Well, it's still studying.
About the stamps
First stamp on the left is part of the New Christian Church in Bulgaria definitive set, issued on September 1, 2000, and designed by Ivan Gazdov:
● St Atanasii (0.22 лв)
● St Climent Ohridski (0.24 лв)
● Sveto Uspenie Bogorodichno (0.50 лв) - it's on this postcard
● St Sunday in village Nedelino (0.65 лв)
● Uspenie Bogorodichno 2 (3.00 лв)
● Uspenie Presveta Bogorodica (5.00 лв)
The second one belongs to the set Gold Artefacts from Panagyurishte, issued on November 15, 1999, and designed by Maya Cholakova:
● 0.02 BGN
● 0.03 BGN
● 0.05 BGN
● 0.30 BGN - it's on this postcard
● Head-shaped jug (1.00 BGN) - it's on other postcard
sender: Fidel Angelov (direct swap)
sent from Sofia (Bulgaria), on 28.11.2011
photo: Boyko Kalev, design: Vlado Prangov