Friday, September 29, 2023

Two Days in Pirin. The Lakes

Last weekend husband and I took a two days break in the Pirin mountains. Pirin is a bit farther from home and, as same day hikes are much easier, we travel there rather rarely. However, the late september days are still warm and sunny and we didn't want to miss the chance to hike in the high mountains.

On our first day we decided to take an easier hike, or so we thought, along a round trail by several of the beautiful Pirin lakes. The day was warm, but cloudy, with some chance for rain, so we left the more serious climb for the second day.

We left our luggage at Bunderitza hut, where we booked a night, and started along the trail by hut Vihren to Muratovo lake.

This part of the trail follows Bunderitza river

At Muratovo lake. Because our hike was aimed at the lakes, we only went around it and then a bit back, to take the trail to the next lake. But one day we plan to climb the same-name Muratov peak.

Hike info:

Destination: Bunderishki lakes round trail
Mountain: Pirin
Total length: 17 km
Elevation gain: 530 m
Total duration (plus picnic and rests): 6 hours with berry picking and eating
Average difficulty: 6.5 / 10

The trail we followed from Muratovo to Fish Bunderitza lake was a bit obscure, present on the map, but not marked in any way, so there weren't any people along it at all. It was so peaceful and beautiful and we came upon and gorged ourselves on the best, sweetest blueberries I've ever tasted, i only regret we didn't pick some for a blueberry pie to make at home.

We had our picnic at this extraordinary place under the conifer trees, facing the Fish lake and Pirin's marble giants - Vihren and Kutelo. Pirin lakes are without doubt absolutely breathtaking! I want to revisit this specific spot soon, hopefully next summer.

Me-made items, worn on this hike:

Husband: boxer shorts, Knitpick cargo pants, refashioned RTW shirt
I: lingerie

After our lunch at the Fish lake we continued along the barely visible trail along broken stones up hill by a waterfall to our next destination - the Long Bunderitza lake.
The Long lake is the second biggest of the group of 16 Bunderitza lakes. We went along its shores to the end of the lake, but because of its curved form, the entire lake can be seen only from above.
The Frog lake is a smaller and shallow lake, very near the Long lake.

The Fish lake from the trail above. This is definitely my favourite of all the Bunderitza lakes we saw.
The Eye - this is one of the smaller lakes, near hut Vihren.

On our way back we passed by the oldest known tree in Bulgaria - the Baykusheva mura (black pine), estimated to be over 1300 years old. This winter one of its lower branches broke, but fortunately the tree is still very much alive.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Bistritza - Aleko 2023

 Last Saturday we hiked on Vitosha along a circular trail from the village of Bistritza to Aleko hut and down back to Bistritza along an alternative track. Both tracks run through a preserved area along two rivers - Bistrishka and Yanchovska.

We've climbed the track along Bistrishka river up to Aleko twice before. It is very scenic and beautiful.

Unfortunately, the bridges have been let to rot and crossing the river was a bit problematic at some places. At the end of the summer the rivers are not full watered, so it was OK, but I do hope the mountain park authorities will take care of this issue soon.

Hike info:

Destination: Aleko Hut, round trail
Mountain: Vitosha
Total length: 16 km
Elevation gain: 740 m
Total duration (plus picnic and rests): 5 and a half hours with raspberry picking and eating
Average difficulty: 5 / 10 

Basking in the sun. The track runs through the forests and is quite shady.

Me-made items, worn on this hike:

Husband: boxer shorts, Knitpick cargo pants
I: lingerie, Burda Henley blouse, Love Notions Sabrina Slims II

There were still some ripe raspberries and we gathered a small box for a raspberry pie and even an additional raspberry decorated cake :)

We had out picnic at Aleko hut and then took the alternative track down Yanchovska river. This one we had never hiked before.

What a bridge :) There were several such constructions along this route.

The track along Yanchovska river proved to be no less scenic and interesting.

And back to the car to close the circle. Quite a nice, satisfying hike!

Friday, September 15, 2023

Third Red Wine Tunic

It's been two months (!!!) since my last make! It was another tunic, my favourite piece of clothing this summer, that I am wearing right now. I'm sure quite soon after I finished it I found out, that a tunic, made out of ITY, was the perfect lounge-ware in the heat and I took out my last pieces of wine red ITY and other scraps of knit fabric and concocted this pink and red combination.

And then - then life happened. I took another commission this summer, Gaby and her boyfriend visited us and we traveled across the country, then this, and that, and the other, and the sewing project I had started just stayed in an unfinished phase for two months.

Until I took it out two days ago and finally finished it. My hands itch for sewing and I plan to gradually return to it. Yesterday I bought the new Burda Style issue in German and today I bought a very detailed online course for blouse 124 of Burda 03 /2021 (22 video instruction lessons plus the pattern). I love sewing video tutorials and one learns so much about the small and refined details that go into making good quality clothing. Watching the making of this blouse is more enthralling to me than a crime show :)))

Size: XS
Fabric: wine ITY (100% polyester) and cotton knit
Time to make: NA

Notes: This is the regular LDT, without the sleeves. I did not like the cut of the tank top version around the armholes, so for my third tunic I chose the regular pattern, but took in the shoulders by 3.5 cm. I also shortened the back yoke by 2 cm in length, as I didn't want the armholes to be too gaping under the arms. I still haven't worn it and I don't know if my modifications were good, but judging by the success of my tunic number II, I'm sure this iteration will get a lot of wear next summer. 

And yes, as this tunic was made out of scraps, it has a seam at the back. But, as I recently heard, a good master never lets good fabric go to waste :) I don't mind the seam and I make these tunics for wearing at home, so I am happy I put my scraps to use.

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Selimitza and Samara

A glorious hike we did on the first day of September. The day started sunny in the city, but got quite cloudy and even chilly once we reached the plateau.

We started from Zlatnite mostove, along the well marked and fairly popular trail through Kumata hut, Koniarnika, along the plateau to Cherni vruh. However, our destination point this time was not Cherni vruh, but another peak, one of Vitosha's dozen of peaks above 2000 m altitude - Selimitza.

Me-made items, worn on this hike:

Husband: boxers, Knipmode cargo pants
I: lingerie, Sabrina Slims I, raglan Burda blouse, hoodie


The trail climbs gradually and reaches the plateau, where it stays almost level for a couple of kilometers. The landscape is really fascinating there - the grassy alpine meadows, surrounded by stone peaks.

 Hike info:

Destination: peak Selimitza (2041 m) and peak Samara (2103 m)
Mountain: Vitosha
Total length: 16 km
Elevation gain: 725 m
Total duration (plus picnic and rests): 7 hours
Average difficulty: 5 / 10 

On peak Selimitza (2041 m). Here we had a quick lunch, as we were losing rapidly heat in the cold. The sun was still strong and when it managed to break through the clouds, the air quickly warmed up, but unfortunately while we were around Selimitza, the cover of clouds stayed above our heads almost the whole time.
A view from Selimitza towards Cherni vruh and Samara
A glimpse to the south with dam Studena

On our way back we decided to climb one more peak of the dozen, that was almost on our way - Samara (2103 m). Here the clouds moved away a little and we managed to warm up. There were plenty of blueberries and cranberries at the foot of the peak and we gathered a small box. I made blueberry pie out of them and it was unbelievably tasty! 

There were very few people along the trails on the plateau and it felt like such an adventure, climbing these rarely visited peaks.
On the way back we came upon raspberry bushes with plenty of last ripe raspberries, so now we have 6 more small jars with raspberry jam :)


Friday, September 8, 2023

Rilska Skakavitza 2023

A few photos from our hike to Rilska Skakavitza waterfall at the end of August.This is one of our favourite places in Rila, the length of the trail is perfect and fairly easy and the beauty of the place in all seasons is extraordinary.

We hiked it on a Saturday and it was fairly packed with tourists, especially the part around the waterfall, but the ripe raspberries were in such abundance, that there were plenty for all of us. We ate, and ate, and gathered some and then ate some more and these were definitely among the most delicious wild raspberries we've come upon.

The valley of Skakavitza river with the waterfall in the distance. This is the highest waterfall in Rila mountain.

Hike info:

Destination: Rilska Skakavitza Waterfalls
Mountain: Rila
Total length: 13 km
Elevation gain: 585 m
Total duration (plus picnic and rests): 6 and a half hours with raspberry picking and eating
Average difficulty: 4 / 10 

We had our lunch here, on a few rocks right in the middle of the  river. I adore these picnics!

Me-made items, worn on this hike:

Husband: boxer shorts, Knitpick cargo pants
I: lingerie, striped tunic, Love Notions leggings


 We returned along the alternative, longer, but easier trail by Pionerska hut.

Plenty of ripe and sweet wild raspberries on our way back. We even made 6 small jars of wild raspberry jam at home.

And one of my most exciting encounters with wild life - a fox passed me by on the trail back.