Rila Monastery – Bulgaria’s Famous Attraction
This morning we shared the dining room during breakfast with a fellow Canadian from Kitchener, ON – what a small world. Breakfast was exceptional – huge variety with many regional specialities.
We traveled most of the day on secondary roads where we really admired the countryside views. Farmers were working up their fields for planting and we saw many horse pulled wagons.
Our travels took us to one of the most famous attractions in Bulgaria – Rila Monastery. This is one of those places where a picture just doesn’t do it justice. When you enter the Monastery grounds its beauty take your breath away. Unfortunately no pictures can be taken inside the Church and that is too bad – its so unique and beautiful. Quite seriously it should be on your “Must See” Travel List! There are currently 10 monks living in this Monastery which in comparison to neighboring Romania is few – in Romania their Monasteries often have hundreds of monks. At one time the Monastery was very important – if someone wanted an eduction it was often the monks who did the teaching and they had a major say in political affairs.
We enjoyed lunch at a spotless restaurant close to the Monastery. The home cooked meal was exceptional. The starter was piping hot, navy bean soup. The local speciality is trout and it was especially tasty because it was fresh and chargrilled. Dessert was homemade yogurt with jam – very satisfying.
This time of year Storks nest in a few of the towns that we traveled through. Look at the size of their nests. They yearly return to the same nest to have their young.
We made a stop in Bansko a town that has grown into a major ski resort area. Here we toured another very unique Orthodox Church – not at all like Rila’s Monastery but just as beautiful. Easter displays still dot the town. There were many shops selling locally produced goods – especially ceramics. Vendors were selling sweet corn at little stands – smelled so delicious as we walked by.
We are very much enjoying our overnight stay at “Hot Springs Resort Hotel” where the views of the mountains are stunning, This is a newly built property that has quickly become exceptionally popular, Easter holidays just finished and tomorrow is Labor Day so many have this time off so are vacationing and this hotel is at capacity. They reserved a special seating area for us so we could enjoy their bountiful dinner buffet.
Another terrific day in Bulgaria!