The Architect’s Apprentice

November 23, 2014

SinanElif Şafak’s latest book “The Architect’s Apprentice” is a fabulous story about the life and work of Turkey’s Michelangelo – the architect Mimar Sinan who in his long life has created more than 300 major structures – mosques, schools, mausoleums, aqueducts, bridges, palaces, hamams, etc.

“Christians, Jews Muslims, Zoroastrians and people of myriad faiths and creeds lived under the same invisible dome. For the eye that could see, architecture was everywhere…

Destroying a bridge was easier than building it, it takes time, skill and patience to create, yet only moments to demolish.”

Camondo Steps

November 21, 2014

The Gaudí-esque neo-baroque and art-nouveau staircase known as Camondo Steps contributes greatly to the chain of contrasts in Istanbul. Built by a prominent 19th-century Jewish Galata banker – Avram Camondo who was an exceptional philanthropist. Worth the walk around the Galata street labyrinth. Istanbul – full of surpises!


Camondo Steps – Istanbul

Çırağan Palace

November 21, 2014

This unique jewel in one of my favourite cities – Istanbul – Çırağan Palace Kempinski (former Ottoman palace,) on the magical Bosphorus feels as it looks. Grand and spectacular!


Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul


La belle et la bête

November 14, 2014

The French Film Festival – 14 to 30 November 2014 – starts in Sofia with Christophe Gans’ La belle et la bête  (2014). Beautiful cinematography and character designs. Fantasy atmosphere and mystery of the Beast’s origin. La Belle – beautiful and brave. Moving story of love and commitments. Absolutely worth seeing.

The Best of Me

November 13, 2014

The Best of Me (2014) – a sad movie, a bit cliché at times, however with a message on issues such as design and purpose in one’s life very romantically rendered.

Amanda and Dawson met as teens but life forced them to part for 20 years. Encounter through the passing away of a mutual friend and numerous vicissitudes of fate.

Marie Antoinette Golden Chariot

November 4, 2014

This restored  unique historical exhibit – the golden chariot which has belonged to Queen Marie Antoinette – can be found in the Museum of History in Sofia. King Ferdinand had received it as a wedding gift from his mother Princess Clémentine of Orléans, daughter of the French King Louis Philippe. Amazing craftmanship.


The golden chariot of Queen Marie Antoinette


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