Wednesday, 19 January 2011

A winter trip to Troyan

Two weeks before our journey my boyfriend told me that he has a surprise for me and we're going for a 2 days trip somewhere in Bulgaria. I was so curious about finding out where that I really almost guessed the place during that period.

On our way
So the day came and we jumped in the car,ready to meet our little adventure.It was a foggy December morning but we were happy and positive.When we reached Shipka Pass it was already sunny but then after we passed the peak it was again gloomy and windy with lots of snow.Pfuuu, I was so happy when we passed that route of 13km and we were already on the other side of the mountain.

Our first stop was in Kakrina village. This is a little village,10 km far from Lovech but very related to Bulgarian history. There,at the end of 1872 was captured Vasil Levski,who is a national Bulgarian hero. In those times there was an inn( in Bulgarian - "han") where he and other paricipants of the Bulgarian Revolution  have been hiding from the Turkish. It was interesting to look around the inn(working now as a museum) inside and outside,to see where they have slept,have eaten and have hidden but there was nobody to explain us more about it. We were let in the museum by the retail of the next door shop.On my quiestion: " Isn't there a keeper around?" she asnwered: "Oh,there are 2 but one is on holiday and the other one is busy with slaughtering their pig!(a Bulgarian custom still done by many people in the villages)". So as you could imagine the pig was more important than the tourists.At least we didn't pay the huge amount of 0.50 EUR for the entrance.(A tip - if you have the chance call to the museum where you're going to check if it's working or is there somebody to show you around.)
map of Kakrina village
Kakrina inn

As time was passing we went on our way.Our aim was already Troyan.It was amazing to ramble through the nerrow unbeaten routes in the area.Snow was everywhere around us,for a moment I wanted to stay there forever.Unfortunately we reached the city of Troyan too fast.I still wasn't sure if we are going to stay there or somewhere around. We were driving along the city and I was turning around all the time to see if we gonna stop or turn but nothing.And the city didn't end - streets,buildings,people. Finally I saw the sign for ending the town. My tension was growing but I was already very close to the answer - Beli Osam or Chiflika village. After driving for 15 km more,passing through those villages, we arrived in an area,above the village of Chiflika, with many hotels,mostly SPA centers. Later, I uderstood that there was a spring of hot mineral water nearby.
Beli Osam village
It was already 4 p.m. and we hurried up to check in the hotel(Diva) and go into the sauna. Here is the place to tell you(with no much details) that I was disappointed of the hotel on the whole and I'm definitely not a pretensious tourist. First we figured out that it was not warm enough in the rooms,then I was really surprised to understand that the SPA center was in repair but the sauna was working. OK but it was heating up to 58 degrees! " Oh,we're sorry but one of the heaters is broken"- was the answer of the receptionist.(A tip - always check the posts in touristic forums before booking.Yes, there are people who exaggerate but most of them give their real opinion). 

Well,enought with the discontent, we were there to have a good time and not to get angry for some hotel. We went for a walk around in the beautiful area and then for a dinner in another hotel.This was our 5-th anniversay and we celebrated it with good wine and food.(A tip - the restourant of hotel Venika was very nice with deliciuos meal and friendly staff but a little bit more expensive than averrage).

On the next day,after a great breakfast, we were ready to discover the area.I wanted to visit the monastery of Troyan so much so we proceeded to Oreshak village(about 25 km far from our hotel),situated on the other side of Troyan. We passed again through the villages of Beli Osam and Chiflika. It was funny that as soon as one of the villages ends,starts the other one,their signs are one above the other. The whole way to the city is along a river,called Beli Osam(White Osam) that pours into river Osam in Troyan. Enjoying the sun and the surroundings we reached the monastery. At the entrance it was said: "No pictures" so we put away our camera and entered the yard.What an amazing pictures opened in fron of us - pine trees covered with snow against the terraces of the monestary.We went ahead to the inside yard and entered the church - typical beautiful Bulgarian church. After lighing few candles we asked for the museum.It was easy to find it but it was not easy to find the keeper,again.What is going on with those people? We climbed 3 times to the 3-d floor of the monastey where the museum was situated and also few times went to the church and ask several people about him and finally he showed up - a mad monk.We visited the 2 rooms where Levski had been hiding(he had visited those places frequently organizing the rebellion) and also we could see a nice collection of different Bulgarian money and some church clothes and stuff.

Troyan Monastery
Cherni Osam River 
On our way back we stopped to see the river of Cherni Osam(Black Osam) that also pours into Osam but from the other side.When we arrived in Troyan we parked the car in the center of the city and took a long walk along the main street.My impressions of the town are really very pleasent.It's not very big,but not too small,nice people speaking very clear Bulgarian,and also surprisingly it was not full of communist architecture - a real Bulgarian town.It was already 1p.m. and we were hungry so we took the car and went on our way back to the hotel. We were looking around and stopped when we saw a small family hotel in Beli Osam village with a restaurant. I highly recommend this restaurant(hotel Bile) - warm, with a fireplace and cosily.
A street in Troyan

In the afternoon we hurried to enter the outside pool with hot water untill the sun hadn't hidden. That was a great experiance  - 30 degrees in the water and under 0 outside.Then some sauna,coffee,TV and it was again time for dinner,this time in another hotel.

It was already our last day. The weekend was over and we took on our way. In the last few days the weather had warmed and the snow on the route was melting. It was not the same wonderland as it was 2 days ago. We stopped in Gabrovo(80 km far from Troyan) to visit the museum of Satire and Humor.Gabrovo is famous with its humor and such a museum is a great idea for the city.We spent  almost 2 hours around its 6-7 halls and I felt like staying more but it was cold.(A tip - go in the summer when you'd feel good in the cold).

Outside of the museum of Satire - the monument of Hitar Peter
We passed again through Shipka pass and in our and a half we were at home. As always we were very pleased of our trip but there is nothing better then coming home. This was our las journey ( a month ago) and I'm very impatient for the next one that will be...still nobody knows

1 comment:

  1. В този сняг, малиииииииииииии!!!