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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 ...
I left the hostel and went in search of breakfast, but it was still too early for the street stands of bakeries to be open. I was so hungry, I even noticed that McDonalds, Burger King, and Dunkin were even all closed. I headed towards the tour meeting place, Alexander Nevski cathedral, sure that something would be open. I was out of luck.
I walked around the cathedral, saw where all the tours met, and then tried again to go find food.
At one point, I saw ...
Rila Monastery is worth every superlative I can muster!
The journey there was a smooth one through the mountains south of Sofia. We went in a minibus organised by our hostel; a group of young Japanese guys were with us. We had eaten a large breakfast, and on the journey we shared a very large sweet bun, so we didn't need any more food until we'd got back to Sofia.
Originally we were going to be visiting a special cave which lies beyond the monastery first, ...
... 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.