After visiting Veliko Tarnovo we went (by car) to the Rose Valley. During the two days spent in the central part of Bulgaria, we visited Dryanovo Monastery, Bacho Kiro Cave, Buzludja and admired the Roses Festival in Kazanlak.
The Rose Festival – in central Bulgaria
What is Bulgaria known for (world leader)? Roses! Rosewater, rose jam, rose soap, rose perfume, rose brandy, …. and the list goes on.
And for this reason, the roses are celebrated with great fast over several days; the festivity crossing the country from left to right.
The biggest festivity takes place in Kazanlak. The participants dress in traditional clothes, dancing and singing in Bulgarian, organized a parade in the city center, the Roses Queen is chosen, but the most important moment is picking the roses.
Rose picking takes place every year in another place near Kazanlak, so make your research in advance. (internet or info-point in the city center).
We never expect to be so many people, buses full of foreigners (like us: D), so we parked the car about one kilometer away from the rose field, right on the road. In order to enter the area where the picking of roses, dances, music, and other traditions took place, we had to pay a fee of 10 leva/person. In the price is included that you can on the field to collect your own roses. But all the bushings were almost empty and we searched for about half an hour to get find enough flowers for a mini-bouquet. Now we do not know whether we have arrived too late. (Half an hour after the start of the event. Or simply they did not leave enough flowers for tourists to have fun). So we can say the entry price is definitely not worth it.
After the disappointment of the field, we returned to the city to admire the parade. It was attended by children from all schools and colleges in the area, floats, allegoric carriages, all respecting the theme of the event, the roses.
Dryanovo Monastery & Bacho Kiro Cave
The Dryanovo Monastery construction is quite classic, with nothing, wow. But the whole complex gave you a sense of security, the monastery is surrounded by cells and walls. In the garden what captivated us is a tree full of red and white bracelets.
Bacho Kiro Cave
The road to Bacho Kiro Cave begins through a hole in the wall and continues with a bridge over a river, leaving behind the monastery. The trail then slowly climbs for about 20 minutes. On the way to the cave, we passed a waterfall, the perfect time to take some pictures.
Bacho Kiro Cave offers two routes: a short one (about 30 min.) and a long one (an hour and 30 minutes). We wanted to make the long one, but we found out at the entrance that for a long route is only available for a group of 15 people. We were only 4, and we thought it’s not worthwhile to wait until 11 other people willing to take the long route. So we enjoyed the short track. We took pictures, froze, slipped, (didn’t fall :D) and admired what nature can do.
Although it was a short and easy route, with large and interesting enlightened rooms. We were left with the question: with what was the longer route mare special?
Buzludja – UFO in Central Bulgaria
In short: a UFO at the top of the mountain in the Bulgaria central. Communist building in the middle of the wilderness, on top of Buzludja Mountain. It was used for 8 years until 1989, after which it was abandoned and is in continuous degradation.
The monument can’t be visited indoors because it is possible that something might squish you, but from what we understand it is decorated all around with mosaic.
Besides the impressive size of the building, the landscape here is incredible. Woods and mountains all around you and nothing else. And maybe that’s why it’s a strange feeling when you turn around after admiring the beauty of nature and see the massive UFO that looks deplorable. A pretty interesting contrast that deserves to be enjoyed at least once, especially as it is on your way to/from Kazanlak (a detour not longer than 10 minutes).