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France: On The Road

Paris, the city of love and a thousand other clichés, still holds a certain mystic. But no matter how many written words this great city has commanded - however familiar this town may appear - Paris will always remain an enigma, a magnet for millions of visitors from around the world.

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Full Name French Republic
Capital City Paris

547,030 sq km
211,208 sq miles

Population 60,400,000
Time Zone GMT/UTC +1(Central European Time)
Daylight Saving Start last Sunday in March
Daylight Saving End last Sunday in October
Languages French (official)
Religion 86% Roman Catholic, 8% Muslim, 2% Protestant 1% Jewish, 3% unaffiliated
Currency Euro (Euro)
Electricity 230V 50HzHz
Country Dialing Code 33


Why Bulgaria

Because no other European country offers better value for your money!.Located in South Eastern Europe, Bulgaria is bordered by Greece and Turkey to the South, Romania to the North and Macedonia and Serbia to the West. Its Eastern Border is formed by the beautiful Black Sea Coast. A country of outstanding natural beauty the environment remains unspoilt and is incredibly varied. A relatively small country, a few hours drive will take you from the snow covered central Pirin mountain Ranges to the long sandy beaches of the Black Sea coast.Forming the heart of several of ancient histories greatest civilizations Bulgaria's rich culture is reflected in a vast number of architectural treasures.

Only Greece and Italy have a greater number of historical monuments. Throughout the country you will find ancient Greek sites, Roman amphitheatres and Byzantine churches. The country is home to 160 monasteries, 36 cultural centres and 40,000 listed archaeological monuments. Seven sites have achieved a coveted place on the UNESCO world heritage list.What is the cost of living in Bulgaria?
Bulgaria is said to have one of the lowest costs of living in Europe. A wonderful meal for 2 including wine will rarely exceed around £7.

00 GBP. The cost of a 10 minute journey in a taxi will only be about £1.00 GBP.

Cigarettes cost just 40p per packet and a day out in a museum or the theatre will cost just a couple of pounds. A quality beer will cost 25p!.Quality of life
First time visitors to Bulgaria are surprised by its diversity and its stunning natural beauty.

For years a real effort has been made to preserve the country's rich and unspoilt flora and fauna. As a result, Bulgaria is ecologically one of the purest countries in Europe, with exceptionally clear air and water resources. There are 7 national parks, more than 3000 protected natural sites and 17 bio-spherical reserves (the greatest recorded number in Europe). There are also 419 protected animal species and 63 protected types of plant.Not only is the quality of life in Bulgaria good, but the cost of living is one of the lowest in Europe.

A meal for two, made from locally grown and organically pure products and including a bottle of nice wine will rarely cost you more than six or so pounds. A quality beer will cost 40 pence!.The Black Sea Coast of Bulgaria (Map)
The 380 kilometres of beaches are amongst some of Europe's cleanest and safest. Many of them have been awarded prestigious "Blue Flag" status.

The region enjoys average summer temperatures of between 25-30 degrees. The season extends from April to October. Coupled with the renowned low cost of living it is easy to see why the Black Sea coast provides and an ideal summer destination ? and is surprisingly easy to access from an ever increasing number of European Airports.Even though the Black Sea coast is an established tourist area, with resorts such as Sunny Beach attracting tourists since the late 1950's, it has recently become one of the fastest growing summer tourist destinations in Europe. So fast growing in fact that last year demands for tourist beds outstripped supply by 20%!.

Bulgaria is said to be the fastest growing holiday destination for 2004 and at least 200,000 Britons were likely to visit the summer resorts this year - nearly double last year's total. Next year three new major UK tour operators will also be offering summer holidays in Bulgaria.The Bulgarian winter resorts (Map)
Modern Borovets is one of the largest and increasingly popular winter resorts in the Balkan region. It is situated on scenic northern slopes of the Mousala Ridge in the east of the panoramic Rila Mountains. The resort lies huddled in thick pine forests some 1390 meters above sea level.

The area has a long history ? attracting people to ski here since as early as 1896 ? taking advantage of the many pistes which rise to a staggering 2,600m!.The resort is a perfect place to enjoy excellent facilities off pist as well as on the snow. Many restaurants are clustered around the well appointed and superbly equipped major hotels, making dining a real pleasure with an endless array of contemporary and traditional eating places available. Borovets is the perfect place to relax and provides many other recreational opportunities throughout the year.

The climate is considered to be healthy, enjoying beautifully clean air, mild winter temperatures and of course mountains of snow! Usually the slopes at Borovets are covered in snow from mid December through to April.Borovets is also easy accessible- 12 minutes of first class road connects it with Samokov, the most sizeable town in the area. Sofia is just 45 minutes away. There is a regular bus transport into Samokov every 30 minutes and excellent links from there to the capital.Bansko is considered by many to be Bulgaria's number one ski resort.

It has the most modern ski facilities in the country and is a well-established destination for winter sport enthusiasts from all around the world. The town of Bansko is located 925 m. above sea level, and its ski slopes vary in altitude from 2000 m - 2600 m above sea level. It is some one hour from Sofia, but only 10 minutes from the bustling town of Razlog. Bansko has developed into a favorite ski & snowboard destination, but also boasts unique architecture, has many historically significant sites nearby, as well as beautiful scenery and countryside for miles around.

During the recent years a multi-million Euro investment in a brand new state of the art skiing area has been made by Yulen, the company that is the licensed to provide the facilities within the Bansko skiing resort area. Furthermore, Bansko enjoys plentiful snow and therefore the season stretches from early December through to May! The longest season of any Bulgarian resort! During the last couple of years the resort has seen a massive investment in new prestigious hotels and recreational facilities .A brand new extension to the resort area also includes holiday apartments adjacent to the central hub of the Gondola and ski lift system.

Both Bansko and Borovets have bided for 2014 Olympic.


By: Jolis Eltilib

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