Today is Day #7––the final day of the tour. It came up so quickly, and here we are! To start out the day, Yolanda Liras called us forward into the Light in Spanish. We’ve heard a participant call in the Light in a different language each day, including English, Bulgarian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Hebrew!
We took a bus ride to our main activity, visiting a Rose Distillery called Damascena. It was a long journey, and we spread the Light all along the route. (Imagine a bus full of MSIA Light bearers doing se’s and bringing a vibration of love to the land.)
As we arrived at the distillery, at the entrance were the most beautiful bathrooms of the whole trip! Very important if you’ve been traveling for numerous days. Marble counters and floors, and wood doors, and super clean.
Then, we began our tour. Roses are abundant in Bulgaria; in fact, the country’s rose oil make up almost 70% of the world’s supply. We learned about the process of rose production from a lovely young tour guide. The roses are picked early in the morning, and distilling rose petals to rose oil takes place in big barrels designed to extract the oil from other components of the flower. Water is added, the mixture is heated, and more!
We walked the grounds, enjoyed the gardens and swans in the lake, peeked at the amphitheater (the distillery is based near an ancient Roman City), and then sat down to lunch. Each of us received a number of gifts at our place, including rose water, rose liquor, and honey with rose. A nice touch!
At that point, our lovely tour guide Costanza gave us a bit more time to shop and explore the complex before heading back to Sofia. The shop was full of rose and other essential oil products, from sun screen to face toner and lotion. Costanza gave pointers on how to use the products and the rose’s healing properties, such as helping to relax the body.
On the way back, we stopped at a quaint old town, Koprivshtica. This was a time to get a coffee, walk a bit and enjoy the ambience. The National Festival of Bulgarian Folklore takes place there every five years to support amateur musicians. As it turns out, during our visit a group of young dancers were entertaining the crowd and passersby in the main square. It felt like we were there to bring them––and those watching––the Light and love of the Traveler.
Another claim to fame of the town is that our very own Hristina designed the garden running through it! Hristina is a talented landscape architect, in addition to planning Traveler tours. 🙂 The gardens were truly lovely and designed full of peaceful greenery.
Then, it was time to get back on the bus for our last leg of the journey. As we drove back to the Grand Hotel Sofia, John acknowledged Hristina for all of her work to plan this amazing tour of Bulgaria. He expressed how all of us wish Hristina many blessings physically and in the Spirit. And, he thanked all of us for being here on the trip with him. We did three “Hip Hip Hoorays”!
The gratitude continued. We appreciated Costanza and our bus driver for their incredible service, and Hristina presented Constanza with a gift from all of us. And, Hristina also gave her thankfulness to each of us for showing up and sharing our love with her, the community and the land. She said that this was simply a foundation for the MSIA work she envisions creating in Bulgaria (yay) and welcomed John and Leigh back anytime.
The peace and calm of Hristina as she spoke was beautiful to experience. It was a testament to the joy of serving the Light action that was taking place here, in this beautiful place––what an honor to participate in the tour. She excited all of us with her vision for MSIA community and it was a blessing to listen and hold the Light.
We wrapped up the evening with a celebration dinner to connect and of course eat delicious food! We talked, ate, and really just enjoyed one another. One neat thing is that at one point, John’s table held hands and called in the Light, and at that moment, the background song in Our Song of Love began playing! (Our Song of Love is a prayer from John-Roger that’s used at some of our events, such as PAT trainings.)
We hugged and said our goodbyes. That wraps up the formal tour, with the exception of a “goodbye for now” breakfast in the morning. And some of us will be continuing on for one more evening tomorrow––an open seminar with John Morton for the Bulgarian community. And so the work goes on.
Baruch Bashan to all, and thank you for sending the Light and all the ways you were participating with us. God bless the Bulgaria community and all our spiritual family!