Wednesday, November 30, 2016

First Snow

Following last week's sunny weekend we began the new week with our first snow in the city - two days of heavy snowing made Sofia a winter fairy tale land again.

And what's better in winter than the smell of roasted apples with brown sugar, rum and cinnamon :)

I've got a new FO - a free shawl pattern named Shells & Tide by Veronika Jobe. It's written for worsted weight yarn, but I made my interpretation in light fingering weight 100% wool - a scarf rather than a wrap. The unblocked scarf is 150 x 35 cm and I'm currently blocking it to 200 x 47 cm.

Sunday, November 27, 2016


Pictures from our Saturday hike on Verila, a low mountain between Vitosha and Rila. This is our first hike in this mountain and we were again with our friends from the Facebook hiking group. And I'm so glad that we were a big group, as there were no trail markings to the summit of the mountain and our GPS couldn't find the trail on the map (mainly because for half of the way to the top there is no actual trail). Unlike Vitosha, Verila is not a national park and it is not a protected tourist zone, and it happened so that we had to compete for the mountain with a hunting group. As we were a very big tourist group they had to abandon their hunting to avoid accidents. I wonder want would have happened if it was only husband and I, probably the hunters would have attempted to make us return home, though of course they have no such rights by law.
The day was surprisingly warm and sunny for the end of November. Down in the valley Sofia was in the grip of the notorious November fogs, but up the mountains the air was crystal clear and the sun was shining with not a cloud in the sky despite the forecasts for cloudy and cold weather.
The hike was one of the longest we've had - 21 km, but very pleasant and fairly easy, with elevation difference of about 400 m.

The snowy peaks of Rila

There was probably not one member of our group who did not WOW at the sight of the sea of fog which opened before our eye when we climbed on top of the mountain - the entire valley between Rila and Verila was covered with fog and low clouds.

On peak Goliam Debeletz (1414 m), the highest peak of Verila mountain

The memorial at the center of the village of Kovachevtzi - the starting and finishing point of our hike

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Another Apple Pie

I've started baking again this autumn and as I experiment with recipes and then forget them and often lose the pieces of paper I've written them on, I'm returning to blogging about baking. Here's the recipe I tried today - an apple pie, again:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 pack (10 g) baking powder
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup cranberries, soaked in 2 tbsp rum
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1 big apple, peeled  and cut into small pieces
  • 1 big pear, cut into small pieces

Preparation: Beat the eggs with the sugar, add the oil, flour with baking powder and cinnamon and stir. Add the cranberries, walnuts and pieces of fruit and pour the batter into a baking dish, greased with butter. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C until ready.

Serve with coffee, milk or juice.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Alinsky Monastery Again, 2016

Photos from our hike to Alinsky Monastery on Plana Mountain. I've written about this old monastery, hidden in the depths of Plana mountain, as we first hiked to it last year in May. The trail is fairly easy and very pleasant and we loved it, even though the weather was cold and windy and there was some snow on the grass and leaves. The pictures are few and of low quality as instead of the DSLR we took the travel camera, which ran out of juice half the way, so the last pictures are by phone. Along these low mountain paths the beauty of the path is not in the scale, as when we hike high peaks and "real" mountains like Rila, Pirin, the Balkan, even Vitosha, but in the smaller details - trees, grass, flowers, drops of frost, rose hips, brown leaves and the DSLR is the better choice for such pictures, but still, let me give you at least some feel of today's hike along the frozen fields:

St. Kipryan  Chapel at the beginning of the trail:

Last night's rain down in Sofia here was evidently snow:

The only remaining church of Alinsky Monastery, built in XVI-XVII century.

And something new - a future mountain hut, probably. We had our lunch on the terrace of the green cabin, it was lovely to sit in the quiet and sip our hot tea and enjoy the view to the monastery and the surrounding hills.

We also reconnoitered a little around and found the remains of Alino Kale - the ruins of a medieval fortress, built to defend the monastery. Some of the wall, surrounding the hill, which overlooks the monastery, still remains standing centuries after the fortress was destroyed.

Back on the path to the village of Plana, with the snow covered peaks of Vitosha in the distance:

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Long Tweed Cardigan

Pattern: Long Cardigan (origin unknown)
Yarn: Ice Yarns Wool Silk Tweed (30% wool, 30% silk, 40% viscose) 720 g
Needle: 3 mm, 3.5 mm
Time to knit: two months