Sunday, September 14, 2008

Seven Lakes

If you look at the gray ridge in the background, you can discern the profile of a man lying down. His forehead starts just left of center, and then you can easily see his nose, mouth, and chest.
The crew -- excellent tour guides and even better food providers.
The first lake.
This is the fifth lake, which is the largest of the group. No worries -- you'll see Lakes 2-4 in a second.
The fifth lake from above. You can see the wind sweeping toward the bottom. The last picture was taken from the bottom right of this one.
Waterfalls on the way to the sixth lake.
The first through fourth lakes from above the sixth.
The first lake again, this time on the way down after a rainstorm. You can see a faint rainbow rising from the right hand side of the hill behind the lake.
The next morning, I took a little walk back up to the ridge from the lodge, and was impressed by this image.
Finally, we're all heading back down into the clouds.

This past weekend, I was invited to go to the Rila mountains (near the Rila Monastery of an earlier post) with an ACS faculty member and her family and friends. It was a breathtaking ramble over wind-swept plateaus, highlighted by the famed seven lakes of the Rila Mountains. There are actually many more, but these seven are notable for their size and accessibility, and the trail ascends steadily, as you climb from one lake to the next, each feeding the previous one, until you get to the seventh, and can see the others splayed out below. Because you can seldom see more than the single lake which you are hiking by, getting to the top has a cumulative effect that is quite rewarding -- kind of a, "Holy cow, look what we just did!" feel to it. Needless to say, I can't wait to get back. It's only an hour and a half from Sofia, but feels a world away.

The family with whom I went (Tony from ACS, her husband and daughter, and their friends) were fantastic hosts, feeding me with a what seemed like a grocery store's supply of Bulgarian fare: meatballs, sausages, chicken, cheese (feta and the nebulous Bulgarian "white"), tomatoes grown by Tony's mother, eggplant dip, and all kinds of other goodies. They also bought me a map of the area, claiming it was tradition. Really, I think they just knew I'd be back and wanted to encourage it. We stayed overnight at a lodge, where we dried off after being soaked by an afternoon shower, and hiked down Sunday into the morning clouds. Many thanks to Tony, Nazco, and everyone else for taking me along.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Brett, the pictures and commentary made a measurable difference in my evening. Thank you for doing this entry! JM