Bulgaria Pyramids: A Spring Time Treat
Bulgarian Spring time is well and truly with us, so we must now start looking through the buds for some interesting places to visit. I thought I would try you first with some Bulgarian pyramids.
The stone pyramids near the village of Stob to be exact, at the western foot of the southwestern ridge of the Rila Mountain to be precise. The pyramids are most easily accessible by car, especially if you set off from the capital city of Sofia. After leaving the capital, take the road to Blagoevgrad. When you near Kocherinovo, you know you are close. Turn right, then left. After a kilometer, you are in a relatively big, typical Bulgarian village. If you know no one, ask for directions at the local cafeteria. You can see the pyramids from the village, which are about 45 minutes away.
They appear stuck in the rocks of the Rila Mountain and are crowned with a small church by the name of St. Panteley. There are two ways to get there, a green forest path and a wide cart-road. You must be tough because the pyramids can be reached only by a narrow track that climbs up winding from hill to hill. Just as you are about to give up and the thick shades of the trees around are tempting you to rest, you'll stop, amazed at the view before you.
Over the entire dell on the right, surrounded by lush greenery, the first group of pyramids spills down. You'll see huge "waves" and giddy precipices that seem as though they had raced down but stopped forever in their rush. From another point the pyramids look like the walls of a fortress, towers or battlements sculpted in the crumbling sandstone by the wind and water.
Jagged and gnawed away by the time, often connected to each other, they form a genuine labyrinth. At the foot of some of them, small trees have grown which calm the eye from the red color of the chimneys. Some of the pyramids are sharp, needle-shaped; others are cone-shaped with a stone on top making them look like mushrooms. On the southern side of the watershed dividing the dry valleys of Gruchkovetz (to the north) and Bukovetz (to the south), the picturesque forms have been given different names by the people - Kulite, Samodivski Komini, Zuberite and Chukite.
In olden times the tradition was that the young would marry without knowing their would-be spouse. Only after the wedding would the groom see his bride. The matchmakers from the mountain village of Kolibite brought a maiden from the village of Stob. On their way, when passing by the southern rib of Kulski Rid, a gust of mountain wind blew open the heavy veil of the bride and revealed her face. Her unseen beauty amazed the matchmakers; the best man could not resist the temptation and kissed her on the lips. Horrified by this sin, the whole procession got petrified and has stayed like this. So be careful!
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