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Dutch Princess Laurentien receives double Invitation to the Eastern Rhodopes

Dutch Princess Laurentien van Oranje received two invitations to visit the Eastern Rhodopes. The Princess was attending the official opening of the European Mobility Week in Sofia, where she was informed about the New Thracian Gold initiatives.

First invitation came from the Eco club, the junior partner of New Thracian Gold (NTG). The Princess was fascinated by the beauty and unique biodiversity of the Eastern Rhodopes as shown in the presentation of Rado, Mitko, Georgi, Sanie, Sofia, Hrista, Ivo and other young volunteers  of the Eco club. Their presentation was on 15 September during a children’s workshop on nature protection. The “guide” in the Eco club’s imaginary journey  was Mr. Finney, the main character in  Princess Laurentien’s children book “Mr. Finney and the world turned upside down”. Princess Laurentien’s book is about sustainable development and nature protection. "The message of our presentation matched to the message of her book - nature is valuable, we need to preserve it and more people have to realize it”, Radoslav Petkov sayd. Princess Laurentien and the kids who joined the workshop enjoyed with great interest the imaginary journey and were fascinated by Mr Finney’s  encounters with Mr. Haberlea Rhodopensis and his friends the Rhodope lilies, with Mr. Salamander and His Majesty the Imperial eagle, with Shorthorn Rhodopean Cattle, Karakachan horses, wild Tarpans and many other inhabitants of the Eastern Rhodopes. At the end of their presentation, the junior  Ecoclub presented a collage of photos about the Eastern Rhodopes to the princess. 

The next day, the Princess received a second invitation from the team of New Thracian Gold. At NTG desk at Sofia’s Mobility Week, the Princess, the Dutch Ambassador Karel van Kesteren and many guests tasted organic and local products of the Eastern Rhodopes - honey, einkorn bread, tahini, grapes, apples, nuts, wine ... Laurentien especially liked the very delicious mix of tahini and honey and received a jar as a gift. Princess Laurentien and Ambassador Van Kesteren also received NTG’s Tourist guidebook and Culinary guidebook to the Eastern Rhodopes . In a short speech the Princess complimented the project: “it is important because it helps to protect the environment, but it is also smart because it supports the people in the region to start new economic activities”. Visitors to NTG desk were offered information about biking tours and about the Trans-Rhodopean Long distance biking and hiking route, which will be opened in October.

In the evening of September 16th, Princess Laurentien got the opportunity the see the Eastern Rhodopes once again, although from a distance. Team leader Frank Zanderink presented the New Thracian Gold project, the Eastern Rhodopes and its economic potential at a special meeting of the Dutch business.

Princess Laurentien is also Special Advisor for Rewilding Europe. One of the goals of the Rewilding Europe programme isto rewild 1 million ha (10,000 km²) across 10 places in Europe covering different regionsin 2020. A few months ago, the Eastern Rhodopes were selected to the short list of the potential candidates for Rewilding Europe.


See here photos about the Eco club presentation and herephotos of Princess Laurentien and other official guests at the  NTG desk during the opening of the European Mobility Week in Sofia.


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