Words

Clear mountain cold with blue sky ice edging the river.
The still and crunchy cold of childhood,
wet woollen gloves and the need for a hot bath.

I have a need to head to the mountains to find some snow.

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Меча глава – Mecha Glava. Bulgaria

Wooded trails and snowy hills.
Wooded trails and snowy hills.

Mecha Glava, a prominence on the North side of the Rila Mountains, at the foot of Musala. A trail through the woods with fleeting glimpses of the plains below and the mountains of Romania in the distance.

Light in the trees.
Light in the trees.

Low Cloud.
Low Cloud.

Looking South.
Looking South.

Watch Tower or Hunters Hide?
Watch Tower or Hunters Hide?

Seed Pods.
Seed Pods.

Ski Jump Tower.
Ski Jump Tower.

Chair Lifts, out of operation.
Chair Lifts, out of operation.

Back to Borovets.
Back to Borovets.

At the edge of town there is a paddock, where some wilder looking groups sell horse and pony treks to the tourist families. This walk to Mecha Glava I got from them, whether it was the “Butch” I spoke with or not, they were friendly and helpful and welcomed me back as I returned on the footpath through their camp. Another good day in the hills and among the trees around Borovets.

Mount Musala, Bulgaria.

Mount Musala from the Yastrebets Ski Station.
Mount Musala from the Yastrebets Ski Station.

One of my targets for this trip to Borovets was to climb Mount Musala, the highest peak in the country. I did as much research as I could from the UK over the internet, and it seemed achievable even for an amateur like myself. I’ve been on trips in winter before so I am not completely unskilled, I just don’t get to use those skills often enough. The forecast for the week was better early, so I headed out on Tuesday, which proved to be the best day of the week, windy but bright and with high broken cloud. In the end, it proved a challenge but with a bit of perseverance I made it to the top. I got the Gondola to the Yastrebets station and walked from there, a round trip of 6 hours, the return slower by the heat causing the snow to become soft and making the going slow as I sank deeply every few steps. All worth it in the end, with the experience and the pictures being for me great things.

Across the valley.
Across the valley.

Leaving the ski area and heading for the mountain.
Leaving the ski area and heading for the mountain.

A view of the Musala Hut, at the head of the valley.
A view of the Musala Hut, at the head of the valley.

A warm-up slope, Musala Summit in the background.
A warm-up slope, Musala Summit in the background.

Looking back down the valley.
Looking back down the valley.

At the foot of the final ridge next to the Chalet Ledenoto Ezero.  You can see the marker posts showing the way, very useful.
At the foot of the final ridge next to the Chalet Ledenoto Ezero. You can see the marker posts showing the way, very useful.

Chalet Ledenoto Ezero
Chalet Ledenoto Ezero

On the way up.  A View.
On the way up. A View.

First sight of the Rila Mountain range South of Musala.
First sight of the Rila Mountain range South of Musala.

On the Summit, 2925m.
On the Summit, 2925m.

Summit Met Station.
Summit Met Station.

Looking back to the summit.
Looking back to the summit.

Hard work but well worth the trip. I’d like to go back in summer and do a longer trek through and around the Rila range. A friendly place, with fantastic views.

Black Rock – Черната скала. Bulgaria.

Snow Streams
Snow Streams

After a night’s rest, and a look around Borovets to get my bearings I headed out on a family trail to Black Rock. The walk served a couple of purposes for me, a leg stretch and some needed fresh air after the travelling. It also showed me the quality of the map I had of the area (or the idiosyncrasies of the map) it was a little loose on detail and spot accuracy. It did give names and rough directions so it helped, and along with the summer graphic map from the tourist office meant I didn’t get entirely lost. On the whole it is worth the trip and the views from the rock are good. It’s a forest walk, zigzagging around the foothills and valleys of the Rila Mountains.

Choices.
Choices.

Half Built Drifting Through the Trees.
Half Built Drifting Through the Trees.

Signage, Always Good.
Signage, Always Good.

Some Signage is less than Helpful.
Some Signage is less than Helpful.

And more signs.
And more signs.

Sunshine and Snow.
Sunshine and Snow.

Blue Sky and Sun in the Clear Air.
Blue Sky and Sun in the Clear Air.

Forest Green.
Forest Green.

Mountains in the Distance.
Mountains in the Distance.

Views.
Views.

Picnic Spot.
Picnic Spot.

I Just Keep Seeing Signs.
I Just Keep Seeing Signs.

Picnic and Sunshine at Black Rock.
Picnic and Sunshine at Black Rock.

Summer house.
Summerhouse.

More...
More…

Looking Down from Black Rock.
Looking Down from Black Rock.

Up the Valley.
Up the Valley.

Views.
Views.

Black and White.
Black and White.

The Black Rock Path.
The Black Rock Path.

Black Rock Platform.
Black Rock Platform.

Snow in March (B&W)

I finally went and took some snow images, just before the thaw. A stroll with my wife to find the best local ideas.

Snowy Road
Snowy Road

Park Gates
Park Gates

Street View
Street View

A Walk in the Park
A Walk in the Park

Windswept Bushes
Windswept Bushes

Tree Shapes
Tree Shapes

Snowy Beach
Snowy Beach

Promenade Shelter
Promenade Shelter

Boating Pond
Boating Pond

Icicles
Icicles

Cold Comfort
Cold Comfort

White House
White House

Garden Plants
Garden Plants

Relax
Relax

Architectural Views
Architectural Views

Back Door
Back Door

We went for a walk once the weather was a bit quieter, took some shots of the remaining snow. It turns out we got out just in time, it was gone by Sunday. So now everything is getting back to normal and we all get back to work.

Whatever the weather where you are enjoy the view.