Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Rhodopes at Sunset

Will, Georgi and I headed off into the Rhodopes on Sunday morning. After a stop at the "Wonderful Bridges" (I'll post about that later), we arrived in late afternoon, just enough time to grab some dinner and head into the hills to find a camp spot. The Rhodopes are the Appalachians of Bulgaria -- the softer, friendlier mountains. While they don't contain the sheer jagged peaks of the Pirins, or the alpine lakes of the Rilas, the Rhodopes are home to dozens of villages and gently rolling hills, along with innumerable hiking paths networking them all. While other mountains often make the postcards, ask most Bulgarians where they'd rather go, and they'll express a preference for the Rhodopes, with all the villages that remind them of their youth, the old-style architecture, and the traditional food. We drove through a town famous for its yogurt, camped outside a town known for its woodwork, and drove by countless roadside stands selling homemade honey, jam, and wicker baskets. The Rhodopes are both an outdoor and cultural experience, and we made the most of it.

Sunset light lived up to its billing, goldening the hills as we hiked to find a camp spot.

I took the picture above as Georgi and Will set up tents (below).

After they finished, the sunset looked more like this.

And the distant ridges like this. Remind anyone of the Blue Ridge?

And then we hiked out the next morning, by perfectly manicured fields and well-used wood sheds.


Anonymous said...

Nice, nice. peaceful, restful.
Thanks. JM

judy baker said...

Such a peaceful setting! The pictures take me there in my mind.

judy baker said...

Such a peaceful setting! Your pictures take me there.