Bulgaria has a three-day weekend from May 24 to 26, opening with the public holiday on Friday celebrating Slavonic Language and Literature and closing with the country’s European Parliament elections on Sunday.
A third feature of the long weekend will be numerous school-leavers’ prom balls in various cities and towns, as well as at resorts at the seaside and in the mountains.
Those seeking a breakaway rather than a trip to the ballot box will face a largely cloudy, rainy and sometimes stormy weekend, going by weather forecasts.
Rain, cloud and periodic thunderstorms are forecast for Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna and Bourgas for May 24. On the day that will feature open-air public celebrations of the day of Saints Cyril and Methodius, umbrellas may come in handy.
The “Code Yellow” warning of potentially dangerous weather has been issued for 16 districts in Bulgaria for May 24 because of forecast thunderstorms and rain.
The 16 districts are Bourgas, Gabrovo, Haskovo, Kurdhzali, Pazardzhik, Plovdiv, Razgrad, Rousse, Shoumen, Silistra, Sliven, Smolyan, Stara Zagora, Turgovishte, Veliko Turnovo and Yambol.
For Bulgaria’s four largest cities, maximum temperatures on May 25 are forecast to be in the range of the low to mid-20s degrees Celsius. At the Black Sea coast, rain is forecast for Varna and Bourgas, while Sofia and Plovdiv are set to see sunny to partly cloudy weather.
May 26, European Parliament election day, will see partly cloudy weather in Sofia with a high of 24 degrees Celsius, Plovdiv with a high of 27 and some cloudiness, Varna with a high of 24, partly cloudy with some light rain, and in Bourgas, partly cloudy weather.
Increased traffic is expected at exits from major cities as the three-day weekend begins.
Bulgaria’s Road Infrastructure Agency said that on May 23, from 2pm to 8pm, and on May 26, from noon to 8pm, vehicles of more than 12 tons would be banned from using motorways and the country’s busiest roads, to ease traffic of cars.
As the prom balls, the Interior Ministry said that it had carried out checks on places where celebrations are to be held. Police had held meetings with heads of schools and private security companies.
In Sofia, a total of 128 schools will be holding celebrations, many in the central city area.
Anticipating that many Bulgarians will travel over the long weekend, Bulgarian state railways BDZ said that it had provided an additional 8000 seats on trains travelling on main lines.
Trains that will have additional capacity, there and back, include Sofia-Varna and Sofia-Bourgas, as well as the trains from Sofia to Stara Zagora, Svilengrad and Vidin.
In some cities and towns, a ban on the sale and serving of alcohol during voting hours on the May 26 election day has been decreed. These include Plovdiv, Dupnitsa, Dobrich and Shoumen. A ban has not been announced for Sofia.
(Photo: David Rosen Photography)