First week in Bulgaria (Video) Πρώτη βδομάδα στη Βουλγαρία (Βίντεο)
Bulgaria is a country that impressed me a lot so far. I surely didn't expect to see all this natural beauty and welcoming spirit of the people.
During my stay, I've visited the most important cities of Bulgaria and I rode on the Rhodope mountains and Rila mountains enjoying the amazing scenery and the hospitality of the people.
I visited Plovdiv (Philippoupolis) which is the capital of Arts of the country. So many academies are scattered around the old city, and while walking music coming out from the buildings fills the streets.
You can see art everywhere around the Old town.
Plovdiv is a city that moves in very slow rhythms and the life there is just amazing.
The cafeterias are full of people all the time and you can see that everyone is taking their time when doing something or going somewhere.
I had the chance to meet with Maria, from Couchsurfing, and she gave me a tour of the city mainly to little bars and small cozy pubs. I also enjoyed some Kamenitsa beer and a glass of traditional Rakya.
In Plovdiv you will see statues of the most important figures of the city of the past decades.
You will enjoy the architecture of buildings in the Old town, as well as old churches that date back to the Ottoman period.
The church of Constantin and Elena was built outside of the walls of the city because during the Ottoman period it was forbidden for religious symbols to be shown.
It is a must that you go up to the hills surrounding Plovdiv. Very famous is the hill near the Old city, where a fortress used to be.
The Hill with the soviet statue of Alyosha is facing towards the city as if it is guarding it.
I left Plovdiv to go explore the Rhodope mountains. There's all kinds of green on those mountains, and even snow in some areas of high altitude. One third of Bulgaria is covered by forests and, admittedly, that is a huge amount. Most of these forests are spread on the Rhodope mountains.
I was looking for the "Devil's" bridge. The myth says that, because would collapse repeatedly during its construction, the Worker had to sacrifice his wife to the devil for the bridge to be completed. It was part of the old road connecting the Thracian territories with the Aegean coast.
Trigrad Gorge in Rhodope mountains is just amazing. It's a 7km long canyon that leads to the "Devil's throat" cave.
The cave is one of the largest in the country and it is said that it has the biggest main hall of all the caves in the Balkans, and as well the highest underground waterfall in the Balkans.
I camped by the road, having lake Dospat as a view. When you travel on Rhodope mountains you will notice hundreds of small huts, like shelters, next to natural springs. Close to these huts, which are spread all over the mountains, you can find natural springs.
Some of them bear a small sign indicating that it's allowed to light fire. These small huts are used for picnics and rest stops, but I just found one and just slept inside. You will be able to see a lot of locals doing this around lake Dospat and that is because they are fishermen and they take advantage of them for the night.
I moved to Rila mountains passing from villages and very bad roads. The roads in Bulgaria are crazy bad. You should be aware of potholes at all times.
My first stop in Rila mountains was Rila Monastery. Is the most famous and most visited monastery in Bulgaria. It was founded by the hermit Ivan of Rila in the 10th Century.
The seven Rila lakes are the most visited group of lakes in the Balkans. I miscalculated the altitude of the lakes, so I found them frozen and I couldn't see all of them unfortunately because the snow was 50cm tall and I had to make a climb of about 400 meters.
I managed to climb 260 meters up to the first lake.
Enjoy the Video!
Η Βουλγαρία, αν και δεν το περίμενα, με έχει εντυπωσιάσει πάρα πολύ μέχρι στιγμής. Σίγουρα δεν περίμενα να δω τόση πολλή φυσική ομορφιά μαζεμένη, και φυσικά οι ανθρώποί της είναι πολύ φιλόξενοι και βοηθητικοί.
Στη διάρκεια της διαμονής μου επισκέφτηκα τις σημαντικότερες πόλεις στη μακριά ιστορία της χώρας και οδήγησα στα βουνά της Ροδόπης και της Ρίλα απολαμβάνοντας τα καταπράσινα τοπία και την φιλοξενία των ανθρώπων
Επισκέφτηκα την πόλη του Πλόβντιβ. ή αλλιώς Φιλιππούπολη. η οποία είναι η πρωτεύουσα των τεχνών της χώρας.
Υπάρχουν πάρα πολλές ακαδημίες σκορπισμένες στην παλιά πόλη. Καθώς περπατούσα στα δρομάκια μπορούσα να ακούσω μουσική μεσα από τα κτίρια των ακαδημιών.
Η τέχνη είναι παντού στην παλιά πόλη του Πλόβντιβ.
Ο κόσμος στη Φιλιππούπολη κινείται αργά και έχει ένα χαλαρό τρόπο ζωής.