Where the Road Ends

Novinite Insider » DESTINATIONS | December 14, 2007, Friday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Where the Road Ends

By Alexander Markov

There are people who would just open a map and pick a destination attracted by the mere fact that the spot is where the road ends. As if that could be the place far enough from the fast pace of the city, electrified further by the tension of the past week.

If you happen to feel the same need to escape you may spot on your map the tiny Bulgarian village of Ravnogor, high in the Rhodope mountains, and you will immediately know that it is a place that you can visit but never pass through as the road simply does not go any further.

It just winds up into the mountain to the ancient land of the Thracian tribes where in the winter their dome-shaped tombs are covered under a meter of snow.

Driving becomes increasingly exciting as you crawl up but once you have reached the end, an inevitable feeling of satisfaction overwhelms you.

Crystal air scratches the lungs and pupils of the eyes shrink against the incredible whiteness. Silence is bothering but just because it is something you are not very used to.

Let the freezing cold drive you to the village inn right next to the church, which has a huge stork's nest on its top at the place where the cross is usually supposed to be.

You will most likely find out that talking to the locals and drinking a glass or two with them is not a waste of time at a place where time seems to have stopped long ago. And there is no need to doubt Rhodopian hospitality as the white village soon feels like a real home.

A home is a place for rest, so you might skip strenuous activities like skiing or taking long hikes along the forest paths. You have already reached your goal and there is nothing more to prove or run away from. Maybe it is the same feeling that makes the natives claim the mountain is sacred.

Is that sacredness the reason why you cannot just pass through? Everyone finds an answer for themselves after reaching the little white spot on the map that marks the end of the road.
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