Motorists planning to travel long distances in Bulgaria for the four-day Unification Day long weekend from September 6 to 9 2012 were urged to get on the road as early as possible given expected intense traffic on routes to the Black Sea coast and to Bulgaria’s borders with Greece and Turkey.
Tickets at bus stations were expected to be in short supply and state railways BDZ announced that it was providing 110 extra coaches on trains from capital city Sofia to the seaside and other major cities and towns in Bulgaria.
The Interior Ministry said that checks had been carried out in places where people were expected to gather in large numbers.
September 6, Unification Day, commemorates the uniting of Bulgaria and the short-lived country of Eastern Roumelia, created by the Treaty of Berlin in 1878 and joined to Bulgaria in 1885. Eastern Roumelia was part of the saga of the ending of Ottoman Empire rule of Bulgaria.
Eastern Roumelia’s capital city was Plovdiv, which is why the focus of annual celebrations of unification is that city, and Eastern Roumelia also included the towns of Pazardzhik, Kurdjali, Haskovo, Sliven, Stara Zagora, Karnobat,Yambol and Bourgas.
In Plovdiv, urban transport management said that public transport would be partly suspended in areas in the centre of the city from 6.45pm to 9.30pm on September 6 2012 because of official celebrations.
Plovdiv’s official programme for the day includes the annual Unification Marathon from 9.30am to noon, a church service at 10am led by Bulgarian Orthodox Church Plovdiv Metropolitan Nikolai, a noon brass orchestra concert in Stambolov Square, a concert by the band Akaga at 6pm in Stambolov Square and at 8.30pm, a solemn ceremony in Unification Square.
(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)