Get your skates on: Sofia and a number of Bulgarian towns will be offering Festive Season holidaymakers the chance to take a whirl around ice rinks.
In the Bulgarian capital city, the now-traditional ice rink close to Ariana Lake is expected to open some time in early December and remain in operation till around March, depending on weather conditions.
The rink, covered by a large purpose-built tent, accommodates about 200 skaters and is open 24 hours a day.
Other places in Sofia offering ice-skating include the new Sofia Ring Mall and the Paradise Centre Mall, both with indoor artificial ice rinks. At Paradise Centre, where the rink is open from 10am to midnight, 30 minutes on the rink costs six leva, 60 minutes eight leva and unlimited time 11 leva. The skates are part of the price.
At the Black Sea coast, Varna after inaugurated a seasonal ice rink in Nesavisimost Square in 2013, Bulgaria’s other coastal city, Bourgas, has announced plans to open an ice rink at a new square near the Alyosha monument, opening date December 6 – the official holiday because it is the feast of the city’s patron saint, Nicholas.
A number of smaller towns in various parts of Bulgaria have caught on the ice-skating trend.
Pazardzhik has announced plans for one, to be open from early December, in Konstantin Velichkov Square. According to the municipality, the rink will be 250 sq m.
Stara Zagora will have a 400 sq m ice rink, open from December 5 to January 5, daily from 10am to 8pm. Admission will be free and skates will be for hire.
Gabrovo is opening an ice-skating rink in the Orlovets sports hall on November 30. An hour on the rink will cost five leva and skate rental three leva for 30 minutes. Opening hours will be from 10am to 10pm. The rink will be able to accommodate up to 120 people, the municipality said.
Gorna Oryahovitsa is to open an ice rink on December 7 in front of the town’s Summer Theatre. Admission to the 200 sq m rink will be three leva for adults, two leva for pupils and skate rental will cost two leva.
In Plovdiv, however, anyone hoping to get in some ice-skating in Bulgaria’s second city this winter is in for a disappointment: the rink that opened in the city in the past two years will not be repeated this year, local media said.
(Photo: Tom Pickering)