“There is a proverb that says” Once you become legionnaire for a day you stay a legionnaire for life”, says Georgi Lozev, a Bulgarian who proved that this proverb is absolutely true. For nearly 4 years Georgi was part of the French foreign legion. In his words this was not an ordinary military service but an honor for life. Everything began with his passion for travel and new adventures. His mother, who is an anthropologist in the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences used to take him at archeological excavations when he was very young. This has made an influence on his decision to study geology at the Sofia University of Mining and Geology right after he graduated the French language school in the Bulgarian capital. At his first trip to Western Europe in 1995, when he visited France, he happened to be at the reception centre of the legion of Marseille and had the chance to see with his own eyes what this military structure can give to a person. He later returned to Bulgaria to graduate, but he had already decided what to do in future. Thus in 1996, when Bulgaria was in deep crisis he decided to try his luck in France.
“In 1996 I sold my bike and left to France with just a rucksack on my back. I joined the French foreign legion. This legion like geology gave me the chance to travel around the world. It was very hard of course as I had to deal with the severe discipline in the army. However I had the chance to visit countries where I could never go as a civilian. I crossed the whole Sahara desert from Chad to Libya. I was also in Gabon and Congo, in other words in places where the regular tourist does not usually go”, says Georgi.
He celebrated the year 2000 under the Eiffel tower as a civilian, full of hopes for a new life in the Town of Love. Destiny had other plans for him though. Not long after he began work in a company for maintenance of gambling machines, Georgi found himself in Barcelona. Later he was sent to Nicaragua. Initially he had to stay there for 2 weeks only, but his stay there lasted for 3 whole months. The reason for that as always was a woman. Now Georgi has been living in the capital Managua for nearly 11 years, where he works and looks after his two young daughters. In 2009 he steps in the Bulgarian book market with an interesting heading” Me, the legionnaire”. The book came as a result of his promise to write one when he was still in the French legion. It describes his own adventures, difficulties and successes in the French foreign legion and reveals information about this professional army. Now Georgi Lozev presents his second book in Sofia. The book is titled” Following the route of the Mae” The book is dedicated to 2 phenomenal journeys. The first one was to the ancient town Copan in Honduras, near the border with Guatemala and the second one was in Mexico.
“I started this book as a project for travel notes. The first part which I finished in 2009 describes the journey to the town of Copan with my friend Georgi Raikov, which started on March 31 2008. Later on during a journey with ex-legionnaires to Mexico I decided to write about this one as well and create a whole new book. Two photographers also took part in the creation of this book. The first one is my friend from my early years Georgi Raikov, who is a dental-mechanic and a motorman. He came to me in Nicaragua to ride bikes. His bike broke down though and then we left on one bike to the town of Copan. In the second part of the book I used photos taken from Doctor Allen Burdon, who is a cardiologist. He is a chair of the association of the former legionaries in Marseille and was the photographer of our group, which organized the journey from Acapulco to Veracruz, when we visited places as Monte Alban, El Tahin and the town of the Gods- Teotiwakan.”
“Following the route of the Maya” is a book, where personal memories are mixed with stories of an ancient nation, who lived in the past. “This book is addressed to all Bulgarians, who want to join me in this journey. It is full of personal impressions as well as with studies of various theories”, Georgi Lozev goes on to say. In the book he comments on the popular calendar of the Maya and tries to give answer to the speculations that this civilization had predicted the end of the world.
“On December 21, 2012, a very long cycle of 5 125 years will end. However no proof was found that the Maya predicted the end of the world on this day. It is just the end of the full cycle of the solar system around the center of the universe and will give the start of a whole new cycle, which according to the Maya people will determine the destiny of Mankind. The most important advice they gave us is to remember that we are bound up with nature and are a part of it, says Georgi Lozev.
His next journey will be to the town of Tikal, which is one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centres of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. The town is hidden in the tropical forests in Northern Guatemala.” I want to mark the end of their calendar there. Perhaps my next book will be dedicated to Nicaragua, because Bulgarians have shown great interest in this country, says Georgi in conclusion.
Translated by: Kostadin Atanasov