tv The Travel Show BBC News June 30, 2018 10:30am-11:00am BST
hello this is bbc news. the headlines. the nhs in england is proposing to rule out some procedures which are deemed ‘ineffective or risky‘. the 17 treatments range from tonsil removal to haemorroid surgery. tata steel, which owns britain's largest steel—making plant at port talbot, has confirmed merger plans with the german industrial group, thyssenkrupp. one of the uk's largest water firms warns people to conserve supplies as it makes emergency deliveries during the heatwave. the army will extend its stay in saddleworth on the edge of manchester to help keep control of moorland blazes which have been burning for six days. new figures obtained by the bbc show there's been a big rise in the number of uk citizens taking on the nationality of another eu country since the eu referendum. now on bbc news, it's time for the travel show. this week on the show: i'm in bulgaria to get an exclusive look
inside one of the most extraordinary abandoned buildings in the world. dora, it's... it's incredible. i discover an unusual way to go shopping in sofia. i'll take blue. and uncover treasures near the black sea coast. 0h! we are starting off this week in bulgaria's beautiful capital, sofia. this vibrant european city is the perfect place for a break, laid—back, affordable, and picturesque.
with its roman, byzantine, and ottoman sites, it's packed with culture and history. but for much of the 20th century, bulgaria was part of the eastern bloc, and under communist rule. as you walk the streets, you can find reminders of the communist era everywhere. one of the strangest is found at your feet. all across sofia there are shops called kleks sunk beneath pavement level. so these shops might seem really odd now seeing as they are close to the ground, but it is an interesting history. they were basements and bomb shelters. after the fall of communism, people needed to get resourceful. there was not much money going around and people had to use their basements to sell things. i'll grab some m&ms! it drops down another 2—3 metres there. he's got another step to step up to see me. blue or...
i'll take blue! after the iron curtain fell, kleks were some of the first private businesses in bulgaria, symbolising the country's move towards capitalism. recently, kleks have taken a modern twist, and many have become art galleries, restaurants, and even speak—easys. sl is a speak—easy bar in one of sofia's characteristic bomb shelter basements. you can see the thick walls because these are the remains and the basement is as it is. ok, ok, ok, this is cool. this is a typical bulgarian drink? yes, rakia is a very, very common drink in our region. but we want to have it in another usage, let's say, we want to have it in a cocktail. well, then sign me up for one rakia cocktail please.
enjoy. the perfect combination has tomato juice and spices. wow! oh, that's nice. there is an ongoing debate about how to make bulgaria's communist era buildings relevant for the 20th century. and today, i'm travelling to the centre of bulgaria to a place that's lain forgotten for decades that could become one of the most popular tourists draws in the entire country. with me is dora, an architect. she's an expert on the site. i'm excited. it has been a long time i have wanted to come here. wow, it's massive, isn't it?
at 70 metres high and 60 metres wide, buzludzha looks out over the balkan mountains. completed in 1981, it was built as an iconic national monument to glorify the nationalist party. it's here because this was the birthplace of the bulgarian socialist movement. this is powerful, powerful architecture. following the collapse of the regime, the building was abandoned, and later shut off to the public as it fell into disrepair. recently, the only people to have seen inside are a select group of photo—hungry urban explorers who have broke in illegally. this is a really big deal today. the travel show is the first international tv crew to be allowed through the front doors. we are very excited and lucky to be able to do so. are you ready? oh, wow.
here it is. me first? welcome. it's seen better days, hasn't it? definitely. it cost the equivalent of $35 million in today's money to build buzludzha. since it was abandoned, the years, they haven't been kind. dora, it's... it's incredible. there's some work to do, obviously, but it's still very impressive. look at this. 50 square metres of mosaic inscribed on top. there is the symbol of communism, actually, the hammer and sickle, you can see the workers below it. so there is a mosaic on the ceiling, but the entire perimeter is also covered in a mosaic. we have actually more than a thousand square metres of mosaic inside buzludzha. out of all of these, which one is your favourite?
over there, the people defeating a dragon. and the dragon represents capitalism, the monarchy, and fascism, all the enemies, and it's defeated by the communist people. when the monument opened, thousands came from all over the country to marvel at its beauty. there were sound and light shows and talks from well—known communist artists and poets. one person who remembers that time well is bedros. he and his father were the official photographers for the building. bedros, you were here and you saw this room and this building at its best. what was that like? really, all that's left is mosaics and the mosaic on the ceiling.
here and here, the rest. all of this white is now gone. and what do you feel seeing what it has become? time could be running out for buzludzha. if the roof collapses, the walls will go too, and the building will be lost. there is now an urgent debate about what exactly to do with the monument. those who remember the repression and hardships of the communist era
would like to see it destroyed. others want it restored to its former glory. but dora is working on a proposal to preserve it as a museum and a place to discuss the past. it was built to glorify the communist idea. we do not want to do that nowadays. we just want to know the history and to understand why it was built. but if we keep it intact and leave the symbols in their present condition, i think it will be much more powerful and meaningful for the next generation to understand. it'll be a symbol of much more than what it was. communism. more a symbol of the ups and downs and rollercoasters of bulgaria and what it went through. there is no doubt it is a powerful, controversial, and iconic building, and so it feels worthy of preservation in whatever form for me.
but it ultimatley is down to bulgaria itself to decide how it remembers its past going into the future. sofia has some great fancy restaurants, but if you're looking for bulgarian food a little more close to home, this is the spot for you. this is the outskirts of sofia. she has been serving traditional bulgarian food for over 30 years. it is like grandma's kitchen in here. if there was one dish that everyone visiting bulgaria should try, what is the dish? sign me up. that sounds amazing. i will get one pacha. pacha is served all year round, hot in the winter and cold in the summer. and here it is.
it looks like... it looks like ice cream. it's extremely rubbery. so... it is quite chewy with mystery crunches in the middle, and very garlicy, but melts in your mouth. it is actually kind of good. still to come on the show. simon's here with tips on copenhagen on a budget and how to find the best beach breaks in croatia. and i head to the black sea to meet a team making some amazing discoveries. so stick with us for that. there we go.
if you are travelling to bulgaria, here's one tip for getting around. hey! can you take me to central station please? so, one thing that's very important to know in bulgaria is this flick of the head, it means yes, and this means no. it's a little confusing, but a must—know tip if you come here. let's do it! welcome to the slice of the show that tackles your questions about getting the best out of travel. coming up, my advice on coastal croatia, and cheap stays in copenhagen. but first, if you're planning to drive in france this summer, be warned that 400,000 kilometres of secondary roads, the speed limit is being cut from 90 to 80 kilometres an hour. there is no grace period,
so from the july i, fines are being imposed. someone has to pay for all the new signs. next, robert coomber is taking his family to croatia for the first time this summer. he asks... of all croatia's fine coastal cities, my favourite is split. metropolitan life thrives amid the ruins of the fourth century palace of the roman emperor diocletian. split has a perfectly good city beach, but if you want to be a little quieter, head for the islands. an hour offshore by ferry, the island of solta is picturesque and charming. and at the end of your stay in split, take a trip to the port of trogir, from where it is just five minutes
by road to the airport. next, owen peek has been invited to a wedding in new york, and he wants to combine it with a trip to havana. but, he says... i have since seen myriad confusing advice about travel between the two countries that have had historically frosty relations. we are uk citizens and appears to be regular flights, and all of the rules i've seen so far suggests that you cannot travel to the us from cuba for tourism, even if we are not us citizens. owen, your confusion is understandable because the rules on flights between the us and cuba keep changing. until one year ago, many individual tourists could fly from america to cuba on what was called a people to people basis. that has now stopped and if you are a person subject to usjurisdiction — which you are if you are a foreign visitor in america — you are not allowed to routinely use those flights.
but fortunately that rule only applies going from the us to cuba. so i would suggest that you fly out to havana, then to new york, then back home, and you should not encounter any problem. now here's a question from philip gilliam. we are a family of three going to denmark in august. the accommodation seems to be a bit of a nightmare. it seems very expensive in copenhagen, so i was wondering you could help us. we are struggling to get anywhere at a reasonable price. accommodation prices in the danish capital are challenging. i reckon for corresponding prices in other european cities, you typically pay 50% more to stay in copenhagen. fortunately the youth hostel network offers a lower rate and high standards. in general, the lower you go from the city centre, the lower the coast. you might also want to consider spending some of your time
across the bridge in malmo in southern sweden, where, in my experience, hotel prices are significantly lower than copenhagen. if i can help you with your travel enquiries, please get in touch. just e—mail firstname.lastname@example.org. i will do my very best to find you an answer. from me, simon calder, the global guru, bye for now and see you next time. welcome to varna on bulgaria's beautiful black sea coast. this is bulgaria's summer playground. besides enjoying the beach, if you are a little bit more adventurous, you can go beneath the surface and discover what is hiding. we're meeting a group of divers here today and they're taking us out on their boat.
hey! nice to meet you. you too, you too. welcome on board. today i'm heading out with diver svetlo ivanov and his team. he's promised to show me a shipwreck just a few miles off the coast. the black sea got its name not from its colour but by its reputation for being a very dangerous sea to cross. below us there is an uncomfortable number of ship tracks, and that's a draw for divers and tourists from around the world. svetlo and this fishing boat actually have a special connection with the wreck. today we are going to a ship which was discovered six years ago and it was discovered by accident, this fishing boat brought back with the nets. the boat that we are on now, it was fishing, the nets snagged, and they found the shipwreck we are going to. we went down there and we found it. the water here in the black
sea can be very cold, so a thick wetsuit is vital. it's a magical experience descending down and suddenly seeing the shipwreck appearing. this particular ship is a cargo ship called the swift. it is thought that it was british made in 1884 and sank in unknown circumstances in 1933. ships in the black sea are far better preserved than in other seas like a mediterranean. the black sea is actually more like an enormous lake that funnels into the mediterranean through the bosphorus, creating conditions that keep the wrecks intact. it is incredible down there.
you first go under and you see all these incredible moonjellies, the white jellyfish, just floating around you. and that is all you see for about the first minute as you are pulling yourself down along the line. and then all of a sudden the shipwreck looms out of the green depths. but it was incredible down there. there are countless shipwrecks to explore along the black sea coast. mostly they are from the last 100 years or so. but i have arranged to meet a group of bulgarian underwater archaeologists who are making some ground—breaking discoveries that are farfar older. nayden prahov is part of the centre of underwater archaeology in bulgaria. they have been working all across the black sea, but today they are planning to explore a site at the bottom of lake varna, just inland. diving in bulgaria, i did not picture it being just next to this, here.
so what brings us to this particular location today? for most of the divers, it will not be a perfect site to dive — exciting, interesting, attractive — but for us, it will be beautiful. it is thought that in this unlikely location was a bronze age settlement. today, the team is looking for evidence. the diversjump in, they give the ok symbol, they get handed the dive flags to make sure that no boats close to them. like nayden said, it is his first time on this site. i know the feeling of being on a site the first time when you do not know exactly what you are going to find, especially in a situation like this, where they are looking for a rtefa cts, thousands of years old. the team here, together with the centre for maritime archaeology at the university of southampton, and experts from across the world, have recently made some groundbreaking discoveries thousands of metres under the sea. they have uncovered what is thought to be the world's biggest cache
of artefacts from greek, roman, ottoman and byzantine periods. thanks to the conditions here, incredible details have been preserved, even coils of rope. it goes to show howjust to make just how important the black sea has been for seafaring over the ages. after almost an hour underwater, the divers resurface. they have found something special. wow. so we have bone. this is like rock, though. this is really old. maybe bronze age, early bronze age. but we found big posts, some 30 centimetres in diameter. which means people did live here in the bronze age. yes. that is a big find, then. we were not sure if we would find something and i was so happy when i saw these wooden posts protruding from the
silt, from the mud. i just can't get over the fact that right next to trash there is all of this treasure just hidden from the eye. just a few metres down. it is only a few metres. and there are all these things from the bronze age just laying around. it is amazing. not many finds, but significant finds. yeah! some of the team's other findings are shown in museums along the black sea coast. we are just arriving back to shore. when i woke up this morning i did not think i would be able to hold something that normally belongs in a museum in my hands. that is it for this week, but next week we have a food fiesta for you asjo tries her best to beat the italians at their own game at a pizza eating contest in naples. and ade goes vegan in london for a day. this is good. a tour bus around london eating food
that will keep us around forever. so try to catch that again if you can. a reminder that you can follow us on social media. but from me and the team here bulgaria, goodbye. hello there. more hot and sunny weather on the cards today. of course it has been causing problems for some. the wildfires viewed from space a couple of days ago with a plume of smoke extending from the fires across liverpool, birkenhead and out into the irish sea as well. looking at the weather picture over the last five days we have had exceptional heat.
we've had five days where temperatures have exceeded 30 celsius somewhere in the uk and we are probably going to do the same both today and also tomorrow as well. mind you it has been for some of us quite a cloudy start to the day. notice how that cloud has been shrinking away. we will have clear skies before long and that is the way the weather is going to stay to take us through the afternoon. not really a cloud in the sky for most of us. quite fresh across parts of north—east england and eastern scotland. temperatures in the low to mid 20s, feeling very pleasant. the hottest weather will be towards the south—west of england and wales, temperatures pushing into the low 30s in the very hottest areas. so another hot one coming up for sure. as we look at the weather picture overnight tonight we might see a bit more of that cloud forming across eastern areas of scotland, eastern england and maybe northern ireland later in the night as well. temperature wise we're looking at lows of between ten and 16 degrees in towns and cities and then looking at tomorrow, subtle changes in the weather forecast.
this low pressure near france is going to just push a risk of some thunderstorms in to south—west england. so there's the chance catching a few downpours here during sunday. otherwise any morning cloud tending to melt away. perhaps the odd spot of rain for the far west of scotland but otherwise it is a dry picture with lots of sunshine. with south easterly winds developing through the day that is going to be dragging in humid air from the continent so particularly across england and wales it will feel more humid than the weather has done in the last week. and it is going to be a hot one, probably one of the hottest days we have seen so far in this hot spell in london and you could see temperatures getting up to around 32, 33 degrees in the hottest areas. so there or thereabouts being the hottest day of the year. looking at the jet stream into next week, we still have this split pattering with one branch going up towards iceland and another going towards the mediterranean. we are stuck underneath the area of high pressure. that is what has been causing this dry, hot and sunny weather and we will see more of that to come in the week ahead. most of us staying dry,
a few isolated showers, and staying on the hot side. that's your weather. you are this is bbc news. the headlines at 11. patients in england may no longer be able to have some procedures that are deemed ‘ineffective or risky‘. new proposals mean treatments ranging from tonsil removal to haemorroid surgery will be offered to fewer people this is not financial. certainly from our perspective it is about safe and appropriate care of patients. tata steel, which owns the port talbot plant, has confirmed merger plans with germany‘s thyssenkrupp. one of the uk‘s largest water company‘s urges people to conserve water, as it makes emergency deliveries during the heatwave. the army will extend its stay in saddleworth to continue to tackle moorland blazes which have been burning for six days. also coming up — the world cup moves into the knockout stages. france prepare to take on argentina for a place in the quarterfinals