“GAIDA” – гайда (BG) gaita (E) cornemuse (F) cornemusa (I) Doodlesack (G) doodlesaek (NL) bagpipe (GB)
kobza (PL) duda (CZ) duda (H) cimpoi (R)
An ancient musical instrument probably originating from India which spread amongst numerous nations of medieval Europe. In main EU countries this archaic instrument is being made of standardized prefabricated materials while in Bulgaria the “bag” is a whole sun-dried sheep(goat)skin which needs constant care (sheep fat or olive oil lubricant). BG-GAIDA has a specific odor which may de-motivate willing-to-start –learning amateurs but the hoarse voice of its music brings a feeling of eternity.
Artisan handicraftsmen offer BG-GAIDA at different size and various price sometimes corresponding to the quality of the instrument. Self-teaching book and notes for BG-GAIDA as well as private teachers offered at prices lower than in Western Europe.
Today’s Bulgaria has 111000km2 and ab.8 ml. people between Danube river, Black sea and Greece.
New comer to NATO (2003), EU (2007) and SCHENGEN (2012). Rich archeology and history since Thracian, Roman and Bizantian times. Statehood under the name Bulgaria since 681 AD.
Being easy to carry (and hide- during times of oppression) GAIDA has become the main folklore instrument of Bulgarians and one of their national symbols. PR pride is the “Voyager” US message to alien civilizations containing the sound of BG-GAIDA.
Recommended arrival: flight to Sofia or charter (low cost) to Plovdiv. By car from Greece (ferry from Italy).
The ancient EU-mountain (20% in Greece 80% in Bulgaria) with average height 1500-2000 m.
Legends claim mythical Orpheus was born there. Saint Nikita first taught the local Thracian tribe the Holy Bible as early as the 5th century. SKIING RESORTS (20thDec.-30thMarch) Pamporovo and Chepelare.
The Rhodopi GAIDA has unique (‘kaba”) hoarse voice different from the sound of BG-bagpipes in the other 4-5 folklore regions of Bulgaria. The Rhodopi GAIDA is as imminent to any local party or restaurant as the salt to the traditional “whole-sheep-on-the grill”.
“GAIDALAND” SHIROKA LAKA (800 people)
A picturesque stone roofed village in the heart of “Gaidaland” Rhodopi . 200 years old stone&wood houses built during Ottoman rule. Orthodox tradition and history based on sheep breeding and white wood logging.
UNESCO projects for protecting the architectural and folklore heritage. Ethnographic museum. Orthodox church built for only 38 days in 1834. Native house and monument of famous Ecumenist, Head of BG-Orthodox church and Savior of BG-jews (1943) Ekzarh Stefan. National school for folklore music and dances.
CARNAVAL – each first weekend of March. BAGPIPE FESTIVAL-each first week end of August.
Recommended arrival: From airports Sofia/Plovdiv – rent-a-car or ordered ”Gaida Inn” transfer.
Via Krichim-Devin or via Asenovgrad-Pamporovo. From Sofia: 3h. From Plovdiv: 1 ½ h.
From Greece (5 h. by car): via Thessaloniki-Drama-Dospat-Devin or Thessaloniki-Xanti-Zlatograd-Smolyan.
“Gaida Inn” transfer from Thessaloniki at option.
SKI-SEASON: Dec.20th – March 30th. Ski transfers to chairlifts: PAMPOROVO (7km) CHEPELARE (15km).
Long run ski marathon each second week end of March.
MINERAL WATER SPA for couples: Mon-Friday – 8km. RUSSIAN BATH: (to open 2014.)
MOUNTAINEERING (trekking) bikes. May-October. Guides with mules. BEAR&BIRDS WATCHING.
HUNTING: Wood goose April/May . Photos
Product quality TM for authentic Rhodopi Mtn. hospitality & food. Membership at privileged pricing.
"GAIDA Inn” SHIROKA LAKA: Authentic Rhodopi Pansion since 1804. Just in the center of the village.
On the 1-st floor: 200 years old tavern (fireplace) for 15, large kitchen-fully equipped for private use. On the second floor: 5 double rooms renewed 1995 (with shower/WC at each). Separate beds in No 1,2 & 4= Large family bed in No 5. “French bed” for 2 in No3. option for extra bed in No 2 & 5.
Price: EURO 25 per room. The whole pansion:EURO 110 per neight.
“GAIDA Hut” SOLISHTA: Family Studio in a tiny little village (30 people+ 5 cows) only 4 u;s away from “Gaida Inn”. Fully equipped with kitchen box, shower/WC, 2 balconies. View to Perelik Range. EURO 25 per night. Beneath the studio- authentic bakery (1928) today a tavern for 6. Drag ski lift (Jan-Febr.) 300m.
“GAIDA CARAVAN” SOLISHTA – A 8x3 m movable home for 4 with WC/shower, kitchen and air conditioner. Just across the street from “Gaida Hut” Euro 20 per night.