Monday, August 12, 2013

My Beautiful Bulgaria: Part I, Vratsa Mountain: Ledenika Cave, Borov Kamak Waterfall, Cherepishki Monastery

I suddenly realized that I have never written about the beauty of my country. And it is indeed one of the most beautiful countries in the world. There is so much to be seen - chose any direction and our nature will amaze you - green forests, proud mountain peaks, sea cost with golden sand, rivers, lakes, plains... Added to that its specific geographical location, small wonder that for centuries it's been the target of so many conquers. Bulgaria is beautiful throughout the year: covered in the winter white, spring's green, summer's sun and blue sky, autumn's gold... I know I won't be able to write about all the marvelous places there are, or even I've been in Bulgaria, but will try at least to keep track on my most recent visits.
And so I start with a weekend long travel in Vratsa Balkan when I visited Ledenika cave, Borov Kamak waterfall, Cherepishki monastery.
Borov Kamak (literally translated in English “Pine stone”) is a 63 metres high waterfall. It took as a few hours and almost 11 km hike to get to there from the hut we stayed in. 11 km to get back, so 22 in total for a day. But as there wasn't much climbing, I hardly noticed it.

On the second day we visited Ledenika cave and Cherepishki monastery.
Ledenika's entrance is 830 m above the sea level. It has impressive karst formations, like stalactites and stalagmites, dated thousand of years. The cave is about 300 m long and has 10 separate halls. One of them is called the "Concert hall" and often the Vratsa's symphony orchestra is conducting concerts there. Professionals say that the acoustic there is better than the one in the Milan's La Scala.  Only 30-40 mins long though, as it's freezing cold inside (-7C to -15C). There is a legend, that says that if you pass through a very narrow passage, all your sins are to be forgiven. I did pass through it so I guess I've just started anew :-p
On our way home we visited the Cherepishki monastery "The Assumption of Virgin Mary". The monastery was built during the reign of Tsar Ivan Shishman (1371 – 1395). A legend says that the name of the monastery (Skulls Monastery) came from the bones of those, who died in the battle between Tsar Ivan Shishman and the Ottoman soldiers in the end of the 14th century. In the end of the 16th century St. Pimen Zografski restored the monastery. There is an area in the monastery, dedicated to the national poet Ivan Vazov (1850 – 1921), who got inspiration by this place for many of his books.


Anonymous said...

Interesting. Isn't Borov Kamak smaller than Skaklia? Why did you chose this one over the other?

SoulCooks said...

Maybe I'll go to Skaklia some other time :)

ashy said...

nice post

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