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Border by Kapka Kassabova PDF Printable Version E-mail

Border by Kapka Kassabova

Barry Williamson
Spain, February 2017

The Guardian reviewer wrote: “This is a marvellous, personal account of the border zone between Bulgaria, Turkey and Greece, from the Ottomans to cold war menace and beyond.”

Not very far from Camping Sakar Hills in southeast Bulgaria, this is an area we know well, cycling and walking in the Rhodope Mountains. This well-written book gives a fresh, insightful and very informative account from an author who grew up in southeast Bulgaria in the days of the communist regime.

In our comment on the review in the Guardian, we wrote:

“This is a border area we first passed through in 1989, cycling from the UK to Istanbul. At the Turkish border were long queues of what were called 'Bulgarian Turks' pushing their possessions in carts, being expelled into Turkey. There was another long queue of Mercedes and BMW cars in the opposite direction: Turkish Gastarbeiter returning to work in Germany! We have been back into that intriguing corner of Europe many times since, not least exploring its Thracian history.

The Pomak Ceremony mentioned in the photograph's caption would be the circumcision of the little boy with the crown - a prince for the day.”


The book is available in paperback from the Guardian Bookshop or from Amazon which also sells a Kindle edition.


There are many more recommended Books for Travelling on this website in the section we call Ramblings.