Bansko Royal Towers
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- Room service
- Swimming pool
- Free High-Speed Internet
- Fitness/Health center
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... common issue here?! Shopping done, we set our sights on a monastery that we think is the most famous one and head to the hills. The drive was quite incredible winding through mountains between tiny villages as the temperature dropped and the rain set in. What seamed like Hundreds of people were lined along the highway selling jams and honey's - kinda wishes we had some Bulgarian to purchase - before we dropped down to ski valley. Pretty crazy ...
... br> Philippi's second claim to fame was the visit in 49/50 AD by St Paul, founding the first Christian church on European soil. Two later basilicas on site were visited. St Paul was imprisoned here for preaching about Christianity. His prison area was viewed.
The guide Mary was good but could have streamlined some things. Instead of sitting the group down for another lecture, walk and talk or, if the ultimate venue has no shade, give a shorter version. She ...
On the way home, Andie declares it's pub crawl time so we pulled into this low ceilinged pub, for want of a better description. It was essentially someone's rather large lounge room, with an open fire in it and a Bulgarian version of Days of our Lives on the TV screen. As far as pubs go, this one had a wide variety of drinks. Well, it had beer. It was room temperature but cheap, straight from the crate on the floor to your table in 3.2 seconds. At 1.20 ...
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.
We tried to venture over from the lift station to Ivan Vazov Hut. We knew that the hut is open and we had food for self-supply with us. There was quite some new snow lately unfortunately after a snow-meagre winter. Later the day bad weather came in that was forecasted to sustain for the following days. All in all reasons for us to buy a ticket on the lift down again and postpone the Rila mountain crossing to a later date.