Monday, August 31, 2020

Peak Golyam Kupen

Yesterday was another super hot day in the city, so we decided to seek a bit of freshness in the alpine parts of Vitosha. We started very early in the morning and about 9:00 we were at Aleko hut - and the place was already crowded! Probably because of the pandemic and the troubles and restrictions on traveling abroad and resorting on foreign seas, but this year the seaside and the mountains are packed as never before.

:We started from Aleko and hiked to the peak to the right on the photo - Golyam Kupen (1942 m).

:The path is very easy, well marked and panoramic, with views to Sofia and lots of mountains, from Plana and Lozen to Rila and the Balkans.

:The steep slopes of Golyam Rezen, one of Vitosha's peaks that is most prominent from our part of the city

:The final destination of our hike - peak Golyam Kupen. It is an easily accesible peak, but very rarely visited, as there is no distinct trail to its top.
:Golyam Kupen up close - lots and lots of broken rocks and no trail. We hopped like goats from rock to rock until we reached the top.
:A view to the plateau and peak Skoparnika from the top.

:However, once on top, we realized we were on the wrong top :) - the peak consists of three consequitive rocky tops and we were on the first of them.

: So, we had to go down a bit, up the second small top, down again and up the final highest top with the designation pyramid.

:Views from the top to Sofia and the surrounding areas up to the Balkan mountains

:And back to Aleko. On the way back we gorged ourselves on wild raspberries as much as we could and then some :) The berries we just in season, ripe and sweet and plenty. It was a perfect hike!

Friday, August 28, 2020

Burda 6231 and Burda 106 06/2020 Mash Up

My second make from the big piece of red viscose fabric - a mash up of two Burda patterns.

Initially, the blouse started as a simple bias cut top, following Burda 6231 pattern. I cut the two pieces, connected the shoulders with french seams, finished the armholes with bias tape, finished the sides with french seams and made the narrow hem. And then I tried it at was rather disappointed with the simple look it had.

I was also a bit perplexed by the wide opening at the back. I'm not quite sure if there is a mistake in the pattern, but the illustration shows a top with a front, cut lower than the back, while the pattern pieces produce a top with a very low cut back. It reminded me of another Burda pattern I bought this spring - Burda 106 from 06 / 2020. And on a whim I decided to cut a rectangle the width of the fabric, gather it and try to place it around the neckline in the manner of the latter pattern.

I immediately liked the way the gathered piece added some elegance and interest to the simple top and turned it into a statement blouse. I'm still hesitant whether to add the pair of straps, which tie at the back, as in Burda #106 06/2020, or leave it as it is. If I do add them, it will be for practicality, so I'll be testing the blouse first to see if I need the ties to stop the shoulders from falling down the arm.

Pattern: Burda 6231 with ideas from Burda 106 06/2020
Size: 36 with modifications for short height
Fabric: 100% viscose poplin
Thread: cotton, red
Time to make: 2 days

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Malyovitza, High Up in the Clouds

Malyovitza is one of the highest peaks in Rila and on the Balkans and the trail to climb it from the Central Mountain School is considered one of the most difficult climbs - it is long, very steep and rocky and requires good physical condition and stamina. The elevation gain is over 1000 m and the terrain is mostly covered with broken rocks. I've climbed Malyovitza four times now and every time it feels like an accomplishment.

The day started sunny and hot, but soon low hanging clouds gathered around the peak and covered the sky. The air was unusually quiet, with almost no wind, so the clouds stayed over our heads and made this climb quite different from the others - with limited panoramic views and partial glimpses of distant peaks and ridges from the top. Along the ridge and on top of the peak we literally walked through a cloud and at times it almost felt eerie. 

I'm getting tired of the DSLR this summer and though I brought it with me, it stayed in husband's backpack almost the entire hike, I took it out just here and there to take a photo or two. I love taking pictures, but the DSLR is just too heavy :(



The valley of the Malyovitza river. The two terraces of the valley are like oases along the steep  trail, where the feet can get a rest and the eyes can revel in the scenery.

A murder of crows flew over our heads and landed on the nearby slope:
The Rila Monastery in the far distance. This part of the mountain was enjoying sunny weather:
Finally our efforts have been rewarded - on top of the peak, right in the middle of the white cloud.

A few small mountain birds, similar to sparrows, but bigger, flew around the peak. They were surprisingly brave and did not care much about the dozens of tourists around.
The cloud moved and for a few minutes we could glimpse the three Malyovitza lakes and the hut in the distance ... 

as well as some of the peaks and ridges across.

Then a new white fluff came over our heads and covered the scenery in spooky whiteness:
A glimpse back at the peak - half of the ridge is covered in clouds, the other half is clear.

We walked along the ridge, amazed by the low hanging clouds:

The southern part of the mountain with Rila Monastery, lit through the clouds:

The three Elenini lakes from above:

We had a short break at the big Elenino lake. We would have stayed here longer, but time was pressing us, we didn't want to  drive back to Sofia in the dark:

The picturesque valley of the Malyovitza river:

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Red Burda Blouse 6924

This August is pretty unusual here in Sofia - it's more cold and rainy even for the cold and rainy mountainous climate we are accustomed to. So last Sunday the backpacks were ready, the cheese pie (banitza) was baked and we were hyped to go hiking on Rila, but ... it wouldn't stop raining and the forecast was for rain and thunderstorms all day long. And what else could I do but sew another Burda 6924 blouse :)

Last year I bought this bright red viscose (it is blood red, in case your monitor, similar to mine, displays it otherwise). I believe I had at least 2.5 m of it and I was thinking of a long bright red dress. But I never wear long bright red dresses and where would I do wear them? So, I decided it was time to cut into it and make something, even something as small as this cropped front tie blouse.


It is exactly as the white blouse, only red :) I made the same modifications as for the white blouse, including the bias tape coverage of the back neck seam, french seams, four front buttons. Gaby already wore it to the dentists' and declared that she loves it even better than the white one and now wants a third, but with 3/4 sleeves. We'll see about that :)

Fabric: 100% viscose, light fusible
Thread: cotton, red
Time to make: 2 days