Monday, 24 March 2014

Maiden Cliff

An early spring sunny Sunday morning and a phone call from friends with an offer for a mountain walk in our favorite Rhodope Mountain. This time the suggestion is for a place, called Maiden Cliff. The legend tells of a girl who jumped from this rock (and this is where comes the name of the rock) to avoid becoming a victim of the Turks. There are several places in Bulgaria that have the same name and the common between them is exactly this legend. So if you ever happen to be in a place, called Maiden Cliff, you’d know where it comes from.

After a quick research in internet how to get there and some rapidly prepared sandwiched we were already on the road. Our first destination and departure point was the village of Hrabrino, 15 km southwest of Plovdiv. We were supposed to walk about an hour and we read that we have to follow the white-yellow marking and the signs to hut Zdravets. In the middle of the village, where we parked the car we asked the locals and they explained us better how to reach the path that will lead us to the rocks. At first sight, everything was clear.
A view to the village somewhere on the way
We were walking south, along the river, actually upstream of the river until we reached the first point that we had to decide left or right. The problem was that there was no marking and half of us have remembered right, the others - left. Following the logic we took the left path as this was the direction we had to keep – a little bit to the east and up. But after that we lost the marking. Anyway, we were sure this is the correct path and we followed it for a long time. In about 40 minutes walking, and after a long time we have already lost the path, we saw the chapel we were told it’s on our way. When we finally reached it through some bushes and branches on our way, we realized that we have taken the wrong path. Luckily, following the direction, we managed to find the place. 
In front of the chapel "St. Virgin Mary"

Close to the chapel there is a fountain with cold mountain water and here our both guides exclaimed in one voice: “We’ve been here!” They were so surprised to realize it!  They explained that a friend of theirs took them to the same place a month ago and the departure point was not Hrabrino village but Izvor village, they just didn’t remember the rock name... And there, at the chapel both ways connect in one. At the beginning they felt a little bit screwed up but the place really worth it to be seen, so soon they were happy again.

Taking the path right of the fountain, keeping south west direction and following a cart road, in about 5-10 minutes we reached the rocks. 
And here it came the view, the freedom feeling, the peace, the greatness…In silence we just stood watching and deep breathing. The sun and the wind contributed to the majestic feeling. The river passes down forming wonderful canyon. In late spring probably would be greener and even more beautiful, well, we can always come back. So spectacular views that it was hard to decide which pictures to share (more pictures at the end of the itinerary).

In about an hour resting and collecting moments we went on our way back, this time we took the right path, which by the way seemed to be steeper than our invented path. But the way is going down along the river, all the time and from time to time appeared beautiful landscapes.

Here are some tips for the tourists:

Starting from Hrabrino - go upstream of the river, the direction is south west. There is a marking white-yellow and signs to hut Zdravets. In the beginning you go along a cart road. In about 5 minutes you reach a point where the way goes left and right, take the right way by the river and in 3-4 meters you’ll see the marking again. If you take the left one, you’ll lose the marking immediately. After some 200-300 meters you’ll see a yellow-orange fence and just before it, the path goes left. Then you can’t miss it if you follow the marking. The way to the chapel is steep but it’s not impossible even for kids or old people. After the chapel you take the cart road on the right and soon the rocks appear. The whole way takes about 45-60 minutes.

Starting from Izvor (Izvor is located about 4-5 km east of Hrabrino) – you park in the center, where there is only a square and the famous building from the past communist time that used to be a shop, restaurant and hotel together, the so-called “HoReMag”. Go up the street that passes by the building and maybe you can ask the locals, but the tip here is that your way passes by the cemetery which is above the village. Our friends told us that it’s about 20 minutes walking and the way is very easy. You’ll see the chapel on your right and you should continue straight to reach the cliffs.

If you happen to make this journey, don't hesitate to ask me for more details.
And the rest of the photos:

1 comment:

  1. That's spectacular and definitely added to my must visit list next time I'm in Plovdiv.