Sunday, March 28, 2010

Plana Planina

This weekend, the Hiking Club took a trip to Plana Planina, about an hour by bus from Sofia. For the first time, we were on a route that no club members had taken before, so we got to practice using map and compass when, time after time, two roads diverged in a wood. Since they were all pretty much less traveled, we really couldn't go wrong. The great part about hiking in Bulgaria is the ease with which you can get to great hiking locations and the relative absence of people there. During our 8-hour hike, we saw three people. This hike felt a little like a British amble, as we traipsed over open expanses of countryside, only descending into trees at the very end. This wasn't a well-marked trail with shelters and campsites; it was more like a simple walk through Bulgaria.

En route, we passed several old trees that were marked on our map as points of interest. This one provided a nice resting spot for all 12 of the kids on the hike.

We had 70-degree weather and bright sun for much of the day. The wild flowers took full advantage to poke through their winter dress.

This abandoned house is literally built of sticks.

Toward the end of the hike, we made a side trip to a monastery, peacefully set on the hillside. It was immaculately cared for, and the friendly monks inside replenished our dwindling water supply.

We weren't allowed to take pictures inside, but you get an idea for the tranquility of the place from the doorway.


Anonymous said...

Such great photos! Sorry I missed that hike. I _love_ the photo of all the students in the tree. That should go on our club logo or a T-shirt or something.
-Jeff J

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jeff.
Exquisite flowers -- tantalizing open door. One of my favorite posts.JM