Iglika Palace Hotel
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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 ...
... came with the church when it was built a looooong time ago. It hasn't been restored. Over top, the second layer is also ancient, but was put on when the church expanded. Because St. Nicholas was the local patron saint at the time, the king had the artist paint lots of pictures of him. I just can't get over how different Santa Claus looked before Coke got to him and closer to the time he actually lived.
However, St. Nick, and many of the other saints on ...
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, ...
... called Black Cat, the food was delicious and the portions really generous, so one portion for 2 is enough depending what you ordering. And once again, the hospitality is very warm.
On our last day, we missed our skiing class as some of us partied with a bang till 8 am and there was no way we could make it at 9am for a class! So half day wasted, we went to pay and apologise to our instructor for no show and you can imagine he wasn't happy. Part ...
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.