Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Cherni Vruh 2016

I've been planning this climb for almost a year, since our last climb of Cherni vruh in 2015. We did it then as we often do from Aleko hut up the steep "Wall" and down the "King's road" back to Aleko. But we've done this route so many times that it was no longer a challenge. I examined the map and drew a new route, double in length, but spectacular in views and was only waiting for a chance to try it. This January we covered half of the route but the snow was too deep and the weather too cold, so we cut it to Kupena peak and then climbed down to the village of Zheleznitza. But this Saturday the weather was perfect (at least along the 2000 m altitude).

The two "Slices" - Peak Malak Rezen (Small Slice) and Pk. Goliam Rezen (Big Slice) 
and the patch of snow, which can be observed from our residential area in Sofia:

We started from Aleko hut, but took the path to Peak Kupena, 
a very beautiful and almost level path just above the tree line (2000 m)

The wild flowers were at their prime, 
some of these are rare and endemic for Vitosha

Yellow Mountain Lilly (планински крем)

The clouds were very low and one could see them passing rapidly through the peaks

Tollius europaeus (витошко лале) - protected species

It felt like walking through a garden of wild flowers

Orchis Maculata (петнист салеп) - a wild orchid

Aquilegia aurea (златиста кандилка) - Balkan endemism, protected flower

Peak Kupena

Near Peak Kupena we left the path to Zheleznitza and
 took the winter trail to Cherni vruh. From there on it was only climbing up and up.

The weather changed - it was still sunny, but the wind was cold and very strong, 
so we had to put on our windproof jackets. Cherni vruh is one of the most 
windy peaks in Bulgaria and this time it was really showing its teeth.

Geum coccineum (омайниче)

Cherni vruh

The pyramid of the peak and the hut on Chermi vruh. On nicer days the meadow on the peak is full of people, lying and snacking, but it was a VERY windy day and everybody was searching for shelter behind the rocks. We had our lunch there too, but though we were tired, we didn't stay long, as the wind was cooling us too quickly.

We returned to Aleko along the easy "king's road" - 
a total of 14 km long, but interesting hike

Thursday, June 23, 2016

I Love The Park

This love declaration, which I saw today written on the alley where husband and I run in the mornings, provoked me to write this post. Because I love the park too.

We are fortunate to live near the park of the students' campus - a small, but well kept park, usually visited by young people and families with small children. From the beginning of June we resumed running in the park, two or three days a week. We do get these urges from time to time to run in the morning and they usually dissipate in a month or two. We'll see how long this time will last...

After the rains the park was lusciously green in the beginning of June, but now that we are entering into a second week of heat, the grass and the flowers are beginning to wither.

It is the season of linden trees - the aroma is everywhere and running along my favourite alley feels a bit like swimming in a linden tea :)

I love the view to Vitosha. Hopefully we'll be over there near the patch of snow on Saturday.

A few random pictures of my current projects. My avocado tree - I put two avocado pits in water sometime at the beginning of the year. One rotted, the other sprung up into a plant, which grows literally before my eyes - I guess it loves the sunshine on the balcony.

A project for a bag out of old jeans and a knitted front. The knitting was the easiest part, now I'll have to find the time to takeout the sewing machine and do the rest.

A ribbed raglan cardigan. It was almost finished but I don't like the raglan yoke and I'll have to rip two thirds of it and redo it. The yarn is soft cotton - acrylic blend, the cardigan is for me, to put it on on colder summer evenings.

And a new cardigan for Gaby - a very cropped Miette with short sleeves.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Mt. Polovrak

We've been quite busy with work these last weeks and I've had little time to blog, or knit. Still, we manage to squeeze in at least half a day of hiking in the near-by mountains and today we were in тhe Lozen mountain.
Lozen is a low green mountain that is absolutely gorgeous in spring and early summer and only 30 min by car from our home.

The eco-trail starts at the end of the village of Lozen and leads to the St. Spas Monastery.

The beautiful grounds of the monastery

The hills at the foot of Polovrak

Dam Pasarel in the distance

On Mt. Polovrak (1182 m)

The first wild strawberries are now ripe