A visit from across the oceanHolding a basket with rosa damascena

We always welcome people who are interested in the Bulgarian Rose Valley to visit us and take them on a little tour around Panicherevo. As we did with Montez, a young entrepreneur from New York, who has her own cosmetics line Taitu’s Botanicals. Her short weekend trip was for the sole purpose of getting to know the Rose Valley and learning more about the  essential rose oil. With such limited time we felt honoured that she chose to visit us. We showed her our fields and while picking some rose blossoms together talked about everything we knew about the tradition. Taking a short trip to Kazanlak afterwards, we had a walk around the premises of the Rose Institute and visited the small Rose Museum nearby. After enjoying dinner together, we luckily (Peak season due to the Rose Festival!) found a hotel in Stara Zagora for her to spend the last night before she took off to New York again.

New friends from Catalonia

Just after saying goodbye to Montez, we welcomed Pam and Arturo from Catalonia. Knowing from their website Destilart.cat that they are involved in growing aromatic and medicinal plants, we were curious to learn about their venture as well. Arturo was into plants through and through, smelling and feeling them where ever we stopped. It was a real joy to see such excitement. We walked around our rose fields and showed the nearby lavender fields. Having their own copper distillery, they were interested in seeing a local distillery for essential rose oil, so we took them to the Damascena Ethnographic Complex near Skobelevo. They had just built a brand new distillery that was open for visitors. Not only do they show the “modern” way of distilling essential oil, but they have an interesting selection of old “alembic” distilleries and other equipment from back in the days. With our stomachs empty after a day of walking and talking, we ended our day with dinner in Kazanlak.

Our German ancillary workers

Last but not least, we had Anna and Julia, friends from Berlin, help us for a few days on the rose fields. While they thought they would come for rose picking, the roses where already almost finished blooming.  So, only the first morning they got a mere impression of what it is like during picking season. And they got a taste of it.

Rose picking

The next days, harder work was on the agenda…weeding in between the roses.  Slowly, but surely we worked our way through the first rows, realizing soon, that we are nowhere near being able to finish one field. So we left it at that for now, and turned our attention to more fun things…like riding a tractor. 

Weeding the rose plants

Happy workers on the rose field

Thank you all for joining us this season!