Saturday, February 26, 2022

Tumba 2022

There is always a question when we travel for a hike to distant places - is the travel worth it? A simple rule of thumb is that the hike should be at least as long as the journey. However, in the case of peak Tumba in Cherna Gora mountain, when we climb it from the side of the Giginski monastery, the modest 6 km hike barely takes 2 and a half hours, combined with a visit to the monastery, while the journey to get there and back, especially given the heavy traffic at the exits of Sofia on a sunny weekend, takes at least 3 hours combined. 

Still, the place is so nice, open, sunny and enjoyable, that we frequent it almost every year. Sometimes we try adding some length to the trail by exploring around or trying new approaches to the monastery, and sometimes we just go to the peak, have a nice picnic there, basking in the sun and get straight back to the car for a spell of car singing back home :)

:The crocuses are out. There's definitely a smell of spring in the air
Hike info:

Destination: peak Tumba (1129 m)
Mountain: Cherna Gora
Total length: 6.5 km
Elevation gain:150 m
Total duration (plus picnic): 2 hours and a half
Average difficulty: 2 / 10

Me-made items, worn on this hike:
Husband: men's boxers, Knip Mode cargo pants, (scarf  in the backpack)
I:  lingerie, CC copycat hat, Borika gloves, (scarf in the backpack)

:The nicely kept grounds of Giginsky monastery

Friday, February 25, 2022


After my exploits ;) in French cuisine in January, this month I'm diving into German cooking. The most worthy of my efforts so far have been these small bread rolls, which I've already made three times, always with great success.

I took the recipe from Thomas kocht and of all brötchen recipes out there this is probably the easiest and simplest to follow.


  • 500 g flour
  • 300 g cold water
  • 20 g olive oil
  • 10 g salt
  • 2 g dry yeast (he suggests 0.5 g, but I usually put more)

The whole trick with this recipe is that you let time do the work for you. Just mix the ingredients the night before and let the dough stay at room temperature for at least 12 hours. It will rise and be ready for baking the next morning.

The other important trick for achieving the soft inside and crispy outside of the rolls is the combination of water vapour and high temperature. Once you've made the rolls and let them proof again, you preheat the oven at 250C and right before you put the rolls to be baked in the oven, you sprinkle them with water and add hot water to a metal bowl inside the oven, so that the oven fills in with vapour. The resulting brötchen are really amazing and super delicious.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Rilska Skakavitza 2022

This Thursday husband, Gaby and her boyfriend and I went to Rila and hiked to the frozen Rilska Skakavitza waterfalls. It was a gorgeous sunny and warm winter day, with lots of fresh white snow and untrodden snow fields in the Skakavitza river valley. We did the full circuit trail, starting from Gyundera hut, through Zeleni Preslap and Skakavitza hut, to the waterfall and back along the alternative trail through Pionerska hut. It was a good exercise and a most satisfying hike, with breath-taking views and an unusual sense of solitude, as it was a workday and we were the only hikers along the trail.

I got to try my German a little and - oh, boy, how little have I learned during the past four months for everyday talk :))) As much as I like Duolingo, it will take TIME in order to be able to have some semblance of a chat at my rate of learning!

Hike info:
Destination: Rilska Skakavitza Waterfalls
Mountain: Rila
Total length: 12.4 km
Elevation gain: 560 m
Total duration (plus picnic and rests): 5 hours
Average difficulty: 6 / 10

Me-made items, worn on this hike:
Husband: men's boxers, Knip Mode cargo pants, skull hat, scarf (in the backpack)

I:  lingerie, Wisteria sweater, CC copycat hat, scarf (in the backpack)

Gaby: Tre Archi sweater, CC copycat hat, scarf

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Cowl Neck Jersey Blouse

UPDATE with a couple of modeled photos Gaby just sent me:

I made a quick jersey blouse for Gaby. Our girl was in Sofia for a week with her boyfriend and I used the opportunity to make her a new blouse :)

The pattern is another BurdaStyle pattern, one of the many I have bought lately in search of the perfect cowl neck T-shirt. This pattern not only features a cowl neck, but also an interesting semi-square neckline with gatherings on both sides of the front raglan lines.

Because the neckline is designed a bit too wide, as is actually quite characteristic for Burda patterns, I made some important modifications to the pattern. First, I raised the neckline by 2 cm, thus narrowing the circumference. Then I narrowed the front, the back and the raglan sleeves by 1 cm each, which resulted in additional 8 cm less neck circumference. And finally, I made the band for the lining of the neck as short as possible. As a result the cowl neck now lies nicely around the neck and does not gape down to the belly button, as one seamstress complained on the Burda ru forum site.

Size: 36, modified
Fabric: viscose jersey
Time to make: 3 days

I like the pattern a lot and I intend to make one for myself, but I'll add some volume to the body, as it is a bit too hugging for me as it is now, after all of the modifications I did to it.

I I absolutely love how the blouse fits her. I could have probably taken some thought on the pattern placement, but I'm not sure if that would have made a big difference.

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Manastirishte 2022

Again on our beloved Manastirishte - it was sunny and warm (for February), thankfully the snow was solid, so it was easier to walk than last time we were here in December and we ended the hike with dry feet (but mostly because we learned our lesson and use our winter hiking boots).

A few phone camera photos:

Hike info:

Destination: peak Manastirishte (1338 m)
Mountain: Plana
Total length: 8.2 km
Elevation gain: 160 m
Total duration (plus picnic): 2 h 30 min
Average difficulty: 3 / 10

Me-made items, worn on this hike:
Husband: men's boxers, Knip Mode cargo pants, Beige Sweater

I:  lingerie, Monte Rosa Cardigan, CC copycat hat, Borika gloves, scarf

:We found a new picnic place, which we thoroughly enjoyed - this slope is facing south, so the snow under the pine tree had melted and we basked in the sun, eating our snacks and drinking hot tea