Oblast Kyustendil

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  • Day80

    Spiritual mountains

    August 17 in Bulgaria ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Hiking day for a change. In order to beat the crowds who take the lift up to the mountains, we started our hike from our camp at 7am. 550m higher, we left the forest trails and came into a more mountenous area. Here, the 7 Rila Lakes hike started. We were surprised to see many people up there already, mainly elderly women who had slept in the hotel in the mountain. Luckily, there was a climb at the beginning of the trail, so we could overtake pretty much all of them within the first 15 minutes.
    Maybe 30 minutes later, we arrived at a meadow next to the "Kidney Lake" which looked like a popular picnic spot. Some 10-15 people had stopped there. We were a bit confused as most of them started to change into white clothes. At a closer look, we saw rocks on the ground, laid out in huge circles. We decided to wait a little and more and more people arrived from all sides, all wearing or changing into white dresses. One of the younger ladies told us in broken English they were going to dance in circles when we asked her what this was all about. As it got too cold to sit and wait, we hiked further up a mountain and half an hour later, the ceremony started and we could observe from high above. Probably about 200-300 people had come to participate in what's called "Paneurhythmie". It's some cult of a white brotherhood which takes place only some days in August in the Rila mountains. People follow some ritual dance practices, move in circles, dress in white, some musicians playing in the middle of the circles. For those of you interested, google it 😉
    However, we continued our hike along the lakes as it got cloudy already. Further away from the ceremony, we didn't meet any other people, so we could enjoy the nature. We also hiked all the way down instead of taking the lift, as we preferred to spend the lift money on lots of food in the hut where we could camp.
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  • Day78

    Into the Rila Mountains

    August 15 in Bulgaria ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    Cycling in a big city is never fun and we had to cross pretty much all of Sofia from Northwest to South which is 15km. At around 7am, the roads were still empty, so it wasn't too bad and we only had to struggle with the stop-and-go at traffic lights.
    Once out of the city, we stopped for breakfast and then climbed on a smaller road up towards the mountains. We passed really nice houses with an amazing view of the city. Unfortunately, most of those mansions blocked our view over the city 😕
    The smaller road was quiet busy as many people seem to use it for weekend drives. Herbert made friends with one of them who kept a distance of way less than a metre between his Mercedes S Class AMG and our bikes. When Herbert showed him the finger, the bolded gym guy of 2 meters with lots of tattoos pulled over, got out of his car and wanted to fight. Herbert just went on pedalling trying to signal him at the same time to keep a greater distance next time. Looking at Herbert's signs, the guy's face turned from angry to confused and he let off. And when he overtook again, he kept at least a meter of distance 😉
    The rest of the ride to Sapareva Banya was uneventful. The town is a bit touristy because of its mineral spas and a Geysir. But there's a fountain built around it, so it's not particularly interesting.
    Luckily, our campground has some roofs and indoor spaces as there were a couple thunderstorms in the afternoon. More lined up as well, so the night probably won't be quiet.
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  • Day79

    Relaxing in a mountain camp

    August 16 in Bulgaria ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    Our route for today was very short. Only 16km with an elevation gain of 800m. We could have cycled it yesterday, but as we don't want to hike with all the people on a weekend day, we took it easy. This way, we can go hiking tomorrow, when most of the locals are back to work.
    The morning was slow and we did not start riding before 11am. So our tent was almost dry after all the rain during the night. We had to climb straight away until we reached the "Lift to the 7 Lakes Hike". Here, we could pitch our tent next to a hut and relax the rest of the day. We also ordered chips with cheese, a bean and mushroom soup and an omelet with cheese from the bar. For some reason, the owners thought this is a weird combination, but we didn't mind.
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  • Day81

    Rila Monastery

    August 18 in Bulgaria ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Our day started with a great 30km downhill until we reached a bigger town to have breakfast. Afterwards, the more exhausting part started. We could follow some back roads at first, then turned into the valley of Rila.
    The valley is very scenic. The villages are full of vineyards hanging around most of the houses. On both sides, the mountains rise pretty high which leads to scenic views. We climbed about 600m with sweet tail winds until we arrived at Rila Monastery. It's probably the most beautiful monastery we've ever seen and it's in the middle of the mountains. Definitely a cultural highlight of our trip.
    We weren't sure where to sleep at night. On the way up, we had found some ok spots for wild camping as well as camping next to a hotel, but nothing was really convincing. However, about 1.5km behind the monastery, we found a campground in the middle of nature which we liked, so we pitched our tent. All afternoon and evening, we could hear the thunder in the mountains and even see the dark clouds. But so far, we've stayed dry. Let's cross fingers for the night!
    Funnily, where we are now is roughly only 6km away from where we hiked yesterday - as the crow flies. However, on the bikes, we had to cycle more than 80km and even descend to 400m above sea level in between.
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  • Day82

    Monastère de Rila, une pure merveille

    September 6 in Bulgaria ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    C'est le plus grand et plus important monastère de Bulgarie. Fondé au 10eme siècle grâce au moine ermite St Jean de Rila.
    Les fresques datent du 19eme, elles sont superbes ! On vous laisse découvrir en images.Read more

  • Day39

    Bulgaria the beautiful

    August 8, 2019 in Bulgaria ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    Der Morgen begann gut gelaunt mit einem geschenkten aber dafür halb gefroren Pfirsich am Stausee..danach wollten wir so nah wie möglich an die mazedonische Grenze radeln um nach Möglichkeit Morgen in Skopje einzureiten..Bis dahin waren es von unserer Position noch 240km und 2600 Höhenmeter..Nunja, wenn man 10:30 lostingelt, nach 20km ne Stunde Kaffeepause macht und sich unterwegs nen Platten einhandelt (Babsi und Kevin wechseln sich fleißig ab), dazu noch 33° hat, dann kommt man halt irgendwie doch nicht so weit wie man eigentlich wollte..😅..Der Plan Skopje zu erreichen steht dennoch..Morgen wird also ein Monstertag..Maria ist schon ganz hibbelig vor freudiger Aufregung..endlich mal eine Herausforderung..😂..132km und knapp 1700 Höhenmeter..Höhenprofil in den Bildern..Ich bin gespannt, ob mein Körper das leisten kann, zumal es heute 41° in Skopje waren..🙈..well, trying is doing..Scheitern kann man unterwegs inmernoch..😁..
    Der Tag sonst war heute dennoch ganz nett anzuschauen..Die Berge haben es mir irgendwie angetan..Wer hätte das vermutet zu Beginn des Trips.! Für morgen sollte ich auf alle Fälle die Abstände zwischen den Dörfern besser im Blick behalten..Heute gab's mal ne 30km Zivilisationslücke und mir ging das Wasser aus..ein zuckersüßer, fotoscheuer Melonenopi war so freundlich mich vor dem verdursten zu retten und wollte mir auch noch seine kleinste Melone für den weiteren Weg schenken..hat ne Weile gedauert ihm freundlich zu erklären, dass ich keine fünf Kilo Wassermelone auf dem Rad über den nächsten Berg transportiere..Er gab sich irgendwann geschlagen, drückte mir aber noch ein Stück Honigmelone in die Hand, dass ich gut bis zum nächsten Ort komme..Ich mag keine Melonen..aber die heute schmeckte herzensgut..😊..
    Ich bin definitiv bereit für ein neues Land, aber ein bisschen Wehmut ist dabei..Bulgarien mit Land und Leuten hat mich zutiefst berührt und beeindruckt..
    Auf hoffentlich bald.!
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  • Day2

    Driving around Bulgaria

    February 9, 2019 in Bulgaria ⋅ ☁️ -2 °C

    Last night we've decided to lift to the 7 lakes, a pretty beautiful nature place at the mountains not far from Sofia. But, in arriving we got there's 2 hours trekking till the top and the weather won't let us enjoy to the view. Anyways, we're enjoying the ride! 🏔️🚘Read more

  • Day7

    Das letzte sammeln in bulgarien

    August 28, 2019 in Bulgaria ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    Bitte nicht wundern: wir ziehen in nicht-eu-Länder. Das Tracking wird wohl extrem verzögert sein (wir sind zu geizig eine extra simkarte zu holen, außerdem ist es auch mal ganz schön offline zu sein). Macht euch keine Sorgen! Wir werden den Einheimischen schon nichts antun. Bis später, morgen, übermorgen oder wann auch immer :) - ToniRead more

  • Day21

    Rila Kloster

    September 7, 2019 in Bulgaria ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

    Es gilt als eine der Hauptattraktion in Bulgariens Westen: das Rila Kloster.
    Dementsprechend viel war vor Ort auch los und wir parkten auf einem Parkplatz ein Stück entfernt.
    Nach einem kurzen Fußmarsch erreichten wir das Kloster und waren wirklich beeindruckt! Es war wirklich groß und kein Vergleich zu dem Kloster von gestern. Aber seht selbst!Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Oblast Kyustendil, Кюстендил

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