Saturday, March 30, 2024

Summer in March. Bachun

We are enjoying absolutely amazing summer temperatures at the end of March. Even up in the mountain it was so hot, that in the afternoon I took off my blouse and put on a tank top! Two years ago this same mountain at this exact time of the year was covered in snow! March is such an unpredictable month :)

Yesterday we hiked from Kokalyane to peak Bachun and back along a round trail. The trail starts at the far end of the Pancharevo dam, next to the hydroelectric power station.

The Pancharevo lake, the village of Pancharevo and the snow covered cap of Vitosha
Despite the summer temperatures yesterday, spring in the Lozen mountain is still in the beginning. The plum trees and blackthorn bushes are just coming to bloom at the foot of the mountain, up near the top they were probably a week or two away from blooming.

Hike info:
Destination: peak Bachun
Mountain: Lozen
Total length: 13 km
Elevation gain: 550 m
Total duration (plus long rest): 4 h 15 min
Average difficulty: 4 / 10

The trail is very pleasant, but the elevation gain is constant and at places significant, it's not exactly a walk in the park :)
There was an abundance of all kinds of spring flowers

My favourites - hepatica

On the peak

Me-made items, worn on this hike:
Husband: men's boxers, Knip Mode cargo pants, Green Burda blouse
I: lingerie, Plantain blouse, Sabrina Slims III, Houndstooth hoodie in the backpack

We had our delicious picnic on a meadow, facing Vitosha and the entire skirts of the mountain with the various villages and Sofia residential quarters.

It was Friday, a work day, and so it was very peaceful and quiet, just us and a couple of small birds in the nearing trees, singing their little hearts out. We lay on the ground and basked in the sun until we risked sunburn :)

On the way back we chose a shorter and steeper alternative route, which took us back to Pancharevo dam and the car.

Friday, March 22, 2024

Dupevitza in the Spring

I love hiking all year round, but spring hikes have a very special vibe - there's always something new pocking from the ground, growing, blossoming, chirping or crawling around. We are still in the early days of spring and the forests are still bare, leafless and grey, but the first spring flowers are braving even in the mid-altitude mountains and the dogwood trees are in bloom.

Today was very sunny, fairly warm and really pleasant for a hike in the nearby Lulin mountain. Although we were here not long ago, on Christmas with Gaby, we decided to climb Dupevitza again, as it is at an easy distance from home and perfect for a half-day hike, with the added bonus of natural mineral water springs, from which we were able to fill a few 10 l containers - I love the taste of Gorna Banya mineral water.

We climbed the peak in less than an hour and had our lunch on the new benches there, with a great view to Sofia on one side and Vitosha and Rila on the other side.

Me-made items, worn on this hike:
Husband: men's boxers, socks, color block longsleeve, cargo pants
I: lingerie, socks, hoodie, brown hat on and off

Hike info:

Destination: round trail to peak Dupevitza
Mountain: Lulin
Total length: 10 km
Elevation gain: 320 m
Total duration (plus picnic): 3 hours
Average difficulty: 3 / 10

We debated trying some new tracks, but the best views are along the route we've already hiked many times and in the end we decided to stick to it.

The All Saints chapel

St. Cyril and Methodius Monastery. One day we might try the track to the peak, which starts from the monastery and climbs up through the forest.

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Grey Joggers for Alex

The second piece of precut fabric I bought recently, was light double-thread sweatshirt knit. I bought it with joggers for Alex in mind and these have now been made. The fabric, unfortunately, seems not of high quality (perhaps too much polyester content?) and pills lightly, so we'll see how well they'll favour in the long run.

The pattern is an old Schkatulka pattern I had made for him before and of all the jogger patterns I've made for him, he chose this one as the most comfortable.

Pattern: Simple Joggers by Shkatulka
Size: 46 for height 178-183 cm
Fabric: Cotton-polyester double-thread sweatshirt Knit 
Time to make: 1 day

I made the joggers almost identical to his previous Schkatulka joggers, I only changed the pockets to be with slanted entrance opening and not in the side seems. I find such pockets more comfortable, better looking and at the same time easier to sew. Intentionally I added a strip of dark grey to the opening of the pockets, both for interest and to make them a set with the T-shirt i made for him recently.

It was a very easy make, which took me only a day, with the paper pattern already cut and the fit tried and tested. However, for future makes, I think I might make them just a tad shorter, perhaps by 1.5 - 2 cm.

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Kopitoto 2024

Climbing the higher mountains feels like traveling back in time by a couple of weeks (or months). While down in the city, spring is steadily stepping in, up on Vitosha, even at the mid-altitude level, winter still reigns. The snow line is just starting to recede uphill and the first spring flowers are showing. 

Today, we hiked from Zlatnite mostove to Kopitoto, following the current snowline. It was fascinating to observe the snow appearing and disappearing on the trail as we ascended and descended along the circuit route.

Hike info:

Destination: peak Kopitoto (1345 m)
Mountain: Vitosha
Total length: 8 km
Elevation gain: 140 m
Total duration (plus picnic): 2 and a half hours
Average difficulty: 2 / 10

The large mountain purple crocuses are always such a delight:

Kopitoto TV tower

A view to Sofia from the peak:

Me-made items, worn on this hike:
Husband: men's boxers, socks, dark grey longsleeve, cargo pants, orange hat
I: lingerie, Grasser blouse, brown hat, green gloves

After a week of cloudy and rainy days, today was a pleasant break from the capricious March weather, sunny and calm. We had our lunch on a bench on this sunny meadow, with a view to the city below, where we enjoyed cups of hot tea and homemade rolls with cheese. Then we continued along the circuit route by Momina skala back to Zlatnite mostove and the car.