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Today we visited a gorgeous, serene monastery in the lush mountains of Bulgaria. It was so nice to be in nature after spending an entire month just in cities. In addition to the great landscape surrounding the monastery, the architecture and decor of the structures was ...
... my weight in cheese over the past 3 days, the food would have been much better.
After dinner, I checked my wallet and was utterly surprised. I had pulled WAAAAY too much cash. I had thought that $50 per day for food, souvenirs, hostel, tips, tours etc would be just about right. I was far off as Bulgaria is much cheaper than expected.
So, we strolled down the main pedestrian boulevard to look for something useful to buy and use up the money. First, ...
... a few wooden steps followed by a stack of boulders, creating a tunnel you had to climb up through in order to pop out of the top! Only the most stick-thin person would be able to get through the hole without a bit of a squeeze. The girl at our hostel reception had told us that traditionally, people did this to bring themselves good luck; climbing through the hole 'cleansed' them of their sins. There was a large rock next to the hole we had emerged from, so naturally we ...
... So we visited one church and St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, and I must say it is very impressive. Near by they have a flee market, where we bought some souvenirs and took pictures with those cool Russian hats. Walked through Vitosha Boulevard and stopped in one of the cafes for lunch. You must try Bulgarian yellow cheese! Snacks, two beers each and main meals cost £34 for 5 people! With a short tour around Sofia over, we headed towards Borovets.
We hiked up to Ivan Rila's tomb. Had some time on our own with the ward who introduced us to the tame robins that flew on my hand.
Many Bulgarians come up to this place for religious reasons, leave whishes in the wall, fetch source's water. Interesting to see where the Orthodox Church leaves room for connectedness with nature. I however don't believe that Ivan slept in this cave for 7 years without even preparing himself a mattress.