In July 2022 one of my best friends from Germany came to Bulgaria to travel and live with me for ten days. After I picked Michele up at the airport in Sofia, we went straight to the Rila national park.
We found a super peaceful and beautiful place in the forests. This spot… Absolutely fantastic. It was a pretty big area, that was very well-known by locals and foreigners, but it was not crowded, next to a small river and a good for Michele to arrive mentally and for us to chill.
We started to live together and had a super good time. After traveling alone for months after Cori visited me in Greece, I enjoyed the company of a well-known and deep friend. And at the same time, it was partly challenging for me. I love Michele and it’s nothing particular about him. He is a lovely, authentic, and open guy, who has inspired me so many times. I think it was just a transition from solitude into having someone around me. I felt like I got insecure and contemplative about things that I was thinking, feeling, saying, and doing. Nothing about this felt bad, but it felt like something is working inside of me.
One day, we hiked to the peak called Malyovitsa in the Rila national park. It was an awesome hike. For Michele it was the first hike that high up and long. During the hike, I felt like being in another wonderland in the Bulgarian mountains. It was magical. And it was so beautiful to see how Michele enjoyed the hike, nature, and the mountains. How he connected and got into all of it.
At one point of our hike, our route got very freestyle on steep, rough, and very loose ground. The last part of our route was very exposed, steep, and next to a cliff. At that point, we decided to abort that route and take another one. And even though that part was challenging for him, he and I did so well and always kept up so much compassion for each other.
In a few days, I wanted to pick up a friend at the airport in Sofia. But before I wanted to get on another mountain and so I drove down from Bezbog, a little north, and back up the mountains near the summit called Vihren.
There I parked Rosinante at a beautiful and free little campsite or better to say: parking with places for tents (location on Google Maps). After the beach at Thessaloniki, it was the first time that I lived right next to other travelers and people on holiday. I met Barbie, a super nice elderly guy from Greece who was living in his converted and very minimalistic van for quite some time and we had great conversations. And I met Pavel from Poland who was recreating in nature and spontaneously went camping in his car instead of staying in the flat he had rented in Bulgaria. We had deep and interesting conversations about crazy topics. Mainly about different perspectives, beliefs, and the possibility of truth. The campsite/ parking was set in between the mountains and right next to a river. It was super and the perfect location to start hikes to the different summits and lakes in that area.
With Pawel I visited the “Baikushev’s pine”. That tree was massive! It was about 1.300 years old, 26 m high, 2,2 m in diameter, and 7,8m in circumference. The big branches were as big as normal trees, I would say.
The other day, I hiked to the summit of Vihren. I got up pretty early because, in the late afternoon, I wanted to start my way to Sofia. The clouds were pretty dense and when I approached the summit it got cold and windy. Adventurous. The view from the peak was… limited. The path from the peak down to the other side of the mountain was quite steep and rocky. I loved it. And when I was reaching a plateau under the summit the clouds opened for a spectacular view of the rock wall of Vihren! This wall is magnificent and got me straight away. It is 450 m high! I had a big rest there and thought a lot about how it would be to climb that wall. And how it would be to sleep in a hammock hanging in that wall. Someday I will do it…