Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Bistritza - Zeleznitza in January

Our Friday hike was along one of the closest to home and easiest trails, from the village of Bistritza to the village of Zeleznitza and back along the same trail, which is part of the low altitude Vitosha circuit.

However, on a winter day, the path is not so easy, especially after a sequence of sunny days and freezing nights - parts of the trail were covered with melting ice and very difficult to traverse. 

The trail is extremely popular, but on a cold Friday it was almost empty - on our way to Zeleznitza we met with absolutely no one, on the way back we did encounter a couple of other hikers.

A curious anecdote - there are two parking lots at the start of the trail - one at the very end of the village, where we left the car, and one 1 km further along. This further section of the asphalt road has been abandoned and I believe it is closed for cars (theoretically), but people usually drive to the end of it and park their cars at the old parking lot, where the road meets the trail. However, just before the parking lot, one of Bistritza river tributaries had over-flooded a section of the road, it was completely frozen from bank to bank and extremely dangerous for driving. We were so relieved to have left the car at the other parking lot, unfortunately there were cars in the dangerous section and two of them had already had a minor accident, sliding along the ice and bumping into one other.

Hike info:

Destination: low altitude circuit trail Bistritza - Zeleznitza
Mountain: Vitosha
Total length: 13 km
Elevation gain: 80 m
Total duration (plus picnic and rests): 3 and a half hours
Average difficulty: 3 / 10 

Me-made items, worn on this hike:

Husband: boxers, Knipmode cargo pants, hat, socks, scarf
I: lingerie, "Page" hoodie, socks, hat, gloves, scarf


We had our picnic on the sunlit benches by the river and quickly headed back.

I love refreshing winter hikes, when the sun is shining and the air is cold and crisp :)

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