Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Gigintzi 2024

Our first hike for 2024 comes a bit late in the month. The weather around Christmas and the New Year was very nice and mild for winter, but unfortunately, we caught a flu (or other) virus and first I, then the boys were under the weather. It was nothing dramatic, some temperature, muscle pains and all the other extras of cold weather viruses, that persist to linger long after the virus has been taken care of.

The silver lining of this particular cloud was, that I had two afternoons of lying propped on the sofa and reading the latest Booker winner - Timeshelter by the Bulgarian writer Georgi Gospodinov - an excellent read, which I would heartily recommend to everyone.

As we got more or less back to normal and the weather last Friday was forecast to be the last warm and sunny day in weeks to come, we decided to roam the hills of Cherna Gora mountain. We drove to the village of Gigintzi, left the car on the completely empty parking lot of Giginski monastery and took the path to the summit of the mountain - peak Tumba.

The path was snowless, though muddy at places, perfect for a winter hike. The weather around noon was very sunny and pleasant, though a bit windy.

Hike info:

Destination: peak Tumba (1129 m)
Mountain: Cherna Gora
Total length: 11 km
Elevation gain: 150 m twice (980m - 1129 m - 980m - 1118m - 980m)
Total duration (plus picnic): 3 hours and a half
Average difficulty: 3 / 10

Me-made items, worn on this hike:
Husband: men's boxers, Knipmode Cargo pants, Knipmode blouse, socks, hat, shawl in the backpack
I: lingerie, Sinclair Lotte hoodie, socks, hat, gloves, shawl in the backpack (used at some point)

As it took us less than an hour to climb the peak, we decided to continue down the path west, to the hunter's lodge. This path is so pleasant, open field and with great views to the mountains of Kraishte, that it is completely worth the hour and a half drive to Gigintzi.

The hunter's lodge. It is downhill from from the peak to the lodge, so this hike is a bit of a mixed bag of up and downhill all the way. We decided not to have our picnic around the lodge, but to turn back and have a lunch on one of the meadows we had passed on the way down.

Back uphill. While we were having our picnic, some clouds gathered above us and the temperatures dropped a bit. Late in the evening, the winter was back and now it is cold again and the streets are covered with snow and ice. I am really glad we took advantage of the perfect Friday we had.
Back to the monastery and the car.
We had never visited the place on a work day and it was so unusually empty! The monastery is big and well loved and full of crowds on weekends, but this Friday it was only us there.
We took a turn around the grounds and delighted with our hike drove back to Sofia.

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