Where Nature's Beauty is No Myth

Novinite Insider » DESTINATIONS | April 27, 2007, Friday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Where Nature's Beauty is No Myth Although Batak is the place to be if history fascinates you, the peace and quiet of the town is also greatly appreciated by a number of fishermen, whose idea of the perfect holiday involves bait, flies and a nice spot by the nearby dam. Photo by Bulphoto

A recent scandal around the "myth" of Batak sparked wide controversy in Bulgaria, but along with all the arguments, it is also a good excuse to focus on the town itself - its history, as real as we know it to be, its nature and all the options it offers to tourists.

By Petya Sabinova

Huddled in the Rhodope mountains, Batak is a spring of national pride for many a Bulgarians, but it is also a gem for tourists and the birth place of the country's first-ever re-elected Vice President - Anguel Marin.

But first things first - the town is a historical landmark and no story of Batak can be told without mentioning those thousands of Bulgarians killed in the local church and square by the Turks during the April Uprising. The massacre later inspired horrific accounts, powerful paintings and moving odes and poems and the local church, where hundreds of cracked skulls are still kept and the blood on the walls is still visible is a true evidence that something there went horribly, horribly wrong. This church, chilling as it is, is definitely a spot worth visiting, because it adds one more piece to the puzzle that is the complex national identity of the Bulgarian.

After paying respects to those who didn't make it, you can clear your head with the purest air on the planet, according to NASA. The US space agency claims to have measured the cleanest air right over that town, a fact that even the website put up by the municipality proudly states. And although fresh air is definitely a bonus, it is just one of the many perks that may tip the scales in Batak's favour come the time for picking a holiday destination.

Although Batak is the place to be if history fascinates you, the peace and quiet of the town is also greatly appreciated by a number of fishermen, whose idea of the perfect holiday involves bait, flies and a nice spot by the river. Hunters can find their own personal piece of paradise there too and have their pick of bears, wolves, wild boars and deer if that's their beer. In the meantime bored wives have plenty to chose from - hiking in the hills and forests that surround Batak is one. Those who can't do without shopping can happily take home a traditional pot or two, right before proving to their children that real live cows are not born purple.

With a long holiday coming up rewinding is best done away from the city, and Batak is one of the better places to recharge batteries, tan up and gather enough patience and peace of mind to last you throughout at least a week of work, stress and life in general.
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