Bulgaria day 7: Mountains, lakes, thunder and lightning

Published: June 22nd 2018
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Bulgaria day 7: Mountains, lakes, thunder and lightning

So today was to be our day on the narrow gauge railway but we thought about spending 10 hours (a return trip) on a train going through scenery we’ve already seen....and photographed...and changed our minds.

Instead we went back to the Rila Lakes idea as Claire found somewhere nearer to get to them rather than the two hour drive it looked like before. Instead we drove for less than an hour, a lot of it uphill and arrived at a car park which cost us £2.50. A little further on we paid for another trip upwards as we were to take a ski lift.

Nearly forgot....on the way Pokemon Go helped us to discover something that was not signposted anywhere or mentioned in either of our guidebooks. Half way up a steep hill there’s a fresh water spring and my game was showing a Pokegym....and some Pokestops in the woods. Intrigued we walked along a path into the trees and found some old painted signs of various fairytales. They were a bit knackered now but interesting none the less.

The ski lift is one of those ones that don’t stop and just scoop you up as it goes past so you need to have your backpack on your front (a frontpack perhaps?) and hold onto everything else. Somehow Claire managed to drop her sunglasses but the guy managed to pick them up and give them her back before we shot off up the mountainside....and actually remembering to pull the safety bar down.

The ride went on for so long that we played i-spy. We stopped that when I was guessing a D and guessed it first time due to Claire’s giggles as being dunderhead....guess who!?!? That made Claire laugh even more but proves I know my wife!

It was quite fun swinging about at the top of the trees with legs dangling but it probably isn’t for those afraid of heights. It was actually more expensive than the enclosed cable car we went in the other day as it was £9 each for a return ticket.

Once at the top we only had a few hours as the last chair lit down was at 4pm. There are seven Rila lakes but we were never going to manage all of them as some are quite far away. We headed off in the wrong direction as we do often before Claire checked Google maps which told us to go the other way. So we did.

We still seemed to be going more and more uphill though. Who sticks lakes this far up high?? The Bulgarians obviously as, after some walking, we found our first lake. The scenery was spectacular, mountains, snow, mountain streams and lots of greenery.

The second lake was stunning and was worth the clambering over rocks to get to. One route would have taken us over some precarious looking stepping stones and the other involved clambering and climbing. We took the latter. This lake had everything and particularly when the sun shone. Wonderful reflections, backed by snowy mountains and with interesting rocks jutting out of it. A photographer’s dream.

We spent a while there and then meandered back towards the chair lift, this time crossing over the tumbling mountain stream using precarious looking stepping stones. And with aplomb I should add.

A bit of rain started to fall and there was thunder and lightning in the distance and that was partly why I was okay with going down early. The rain had stopped by the time we were scooped up by our chair lift but began again in earnest before we reached the bottom. I was in my t-shirt while. Claire the Clever had her raincoat on and had an umbrella handy. Mine was in my bag and things were a bit precarious up there without trying to open that up. Claire kept a lot of her dunderhead dry though by letting him share her brolly. And yet again we exited the ski lift deftly-you just jump to the side in case you were wondering. Different sides that is, it could get quite messy if you try jumping to the same side. Another handy tip there.

The rain was coming down still so I donned my raincoat and put up my brolly. It had subsided a little so we were able to stop on the way down to get a few shots of a waterfall and Claire suggested we have a wander around the town at the bottom.

But changed her mind when the thundrstorm really hit. We had to stop driving as Claire couldn’t see the surface of the road the rain was coming down that hard. The thunder ws shaking the car and the lightning was breaking all around us.

After a while it subsided a little and we were greatful we hadn’t been on the ski lift at that point. The drive home was somewhat precarious but we made it, well as far as the Happy Duck anyway. We had to park below it so the guy from lastnight didn’t see us and try and drag us in!

I had Sach again as this had been my favourite meal this holiday. It was good tonight but made with different ingredients so I suspect they have two different chefs. When the waitress put the plates etc out she put a little glass of what tooked like a shot and, as we’d been given some last time, Claire drank it. Unfortunately this was supposed to be the fuel for the sach to be put into flames so the waitress had to bring another. They hadn’t done this last time so how were we supposed to know! Strangely we didn’t get given shots this time....

After some ice cream it was time to return to our apartment for a relaxing night in....crazy I know!

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