Early this year husband and I hiked on Plana mountain and tried to find Alinski Monastery, unsuccessfully. I complained then about the lack of signs and markings and the low popularity of the tracks. We planned to return there in May and so we did yesterday - this time equipped with a googlesmap track and GPS. Everything was so different in May - hiking was so much easier than in the snow, the terrain looked much different and more beautiful with its lush greenery and plenty of wild flowers in bloom. Orientation, following the track was easy and we even found some markings. The trail is one of the most pleasant to hike and the seclusion of the place was actually one of the main attractions of the hike. In my mind yesterday's hike is one of the best we've ever had and we'll definitely return to the place again soon.
Mt. Manastirishe - Plana's top peak - in the distance
The terrain is fairly even, the tracks are in the open, which makes the trail excellent for hikes in spring and autumn.
The high snow covered peaks of Rila were visible in the distance almost all the time (not so visible on my wretched photos - the Olympus camera is down for good and I'm using the old Canon and remembering why we had to buy a better camera :)
The Alinski Monastery on Plana mountain was founded in XVI-XVII century. Now only the main church stands preserved, with murals dating from 1626. We are not religious, but the architecture and history of the place are truly impressive. It's a good thing the monastery is so isolated and difficult to find, to be spared vandalism and destruction.
We had our picnic on one of the meadows, covered with wild flowers and with a view to Rila. We are really lucky to be living near such beautiful surroundings.
St. Kyprian Chapel at the beginning / end of the track