Bulgaria

Posted by Ellen

This year in Philadelphia, spring is coming ridiculously late, but it's coming. One sign that gives us high confidence in spring's imminence involves the tips of the crocus stalks, which are just now beginning to poke their way up out of the cold, wet ground. They'll be blooming soon, maybe within the week.

In the high meadows of Bulgaria's Rila Mountains, tallest peaks in the Balkan Peninsula (2925 m), spring always comes late, and crocuses don't bloom till the middle of June. This picture was taken two springs ago on June 19, 2012.

To catch the bright red glow on the ridge rocks, photographer Evgeni Dinev had to climb up here the day before, hauling up a tent, tripod, and all his camera gear. He snapped the shot at sunrise.

Posted by Ellen

The Moorish-style synagogue in central Sofia, Bulgaria, was built in 1909, when it served as the religious and cultural center for a Sephardic Jewish community of about 20,000. Today, the congregation numbers about 50. Bulgarian Jews were not executed by the Nazis, but almost all left for Israel after the postwar Communist takeover.