Dutch vlogger Leon: "When I’m in Bulgaria I have an unearthly feeling"
published on 9/20/20 7:25 AM
Photo: Facebook /Leon de Leeuw
His passion is to travel alone in Bulgaria in search of authentic experiences, because he believes that our country is imbued with spirituality. For 28-year-old Leon de Leeuw, Bulgaria is love at first sight.
The young Dutchman first visited Bulgaria during a tourist tour of Eastern Europe. Today, 6 years later, he is still here. He has settled in Sofia, he works here and most of all, he travels. His curiosity takes him to the abandoned places of Bulgaria, where life has not changed significantly in recent decades. "These journeys lead me in the direction of real life such as it was 100 or more years ago. This is unique for Europe!”, says Leon in fluent Bulgarian.
He claims that he likes the meetings in the countryside the most, because the people there are warm, cordial, and well-mannered. And more: "There is spirituality in Bulgaria. It can be found in many places - in the mountains, in the small monasteries. These are magical places!”
Watch the video - the interview with the Dutch vlogger Leon de Leeuw, in which he shares his impressions of Bulgarians and the emotions that his travels in Bulgaria evoke. The movie has Bulgarian subtitles, which can be translated automatically from the settings.
People who love travelling also love sharing. Leon's vlog on YouTube has many followers, mostly foreigners.
In it he uploads videos from his travels in the mountains and villages, from his meetings with the local people and most of all - his thoughts on Bulgaria, its nature, architecture and customs.
"I do not see only one Bulgaria, I see many different Bulgarias! Because there are stark contrasts here, especially between life in cities and the countryside!” Leon says.
But what is it that draws him to the poorest, wildest, and most remote places? And can ruin and sadness be beautiful?
"There is beauty! You understand that time flies. And time does not stop for anyone. Even for the stones! They are lifeless, they have no feelings and yet they show you that even they have a story, that they want to tell you something without being able to! ”
Leon also materialized his love for the country in the online book The Abandoned Buildings of Bulgaria, containing 150 photos with explanatory texts, as well as in his novel Darko about a fictional character from the town f Lovech, who secludes himself in the mountains in search of himself. The Dutchman is also the author of a collection of essays and a collection of poems dedicated to Bulgaria.
He admits that he is fascinated by the Rhodope and Rila mountains, the village of Zlatolist with its old church and the tomb of St. Stoyna, by Shipka peak in the Balkan Mountains and an entire host of other places imbued with spirituality and melancholy.
"While travelling in Bulgaria I have a feeling – I would even call it unearthly!. To see how life goes by… And despite the contrasts, despite the beauty and even the hideousness sometimes, you realize that nature will always prevail, and time will continue to flow,” Leon de Leeuw concludes.