I was in Bulgaria again and happened to have to have a free weekend. Rado, my Bulgarian mountaineer friend was in a hut in Rila mountains as there was national Igloo building competition going on there. He asked me to join her friend Stella (now my friend too) from Sofia and hike with them to hut. I spent two days there and here is my experience in a photo journal.
I met Stella in Sofia at 8 AM in morning and from there we took the bus to Somokov, Stella was her 3 other friends. Anton and two other guys who were planning to climb a peak of Rila. We got off at Somokov. It was an hour before the next bus so we went to cafe to have tea. Mind it, I didn’t have breakfast. Then we got into the next bus to Borovets. After 45 mins or so, we were at Borovets and we started hiking from there
Later, we stopped at a place to get drinks, there were more mountaineers there, going for the competition. We talked to them and shared drinks. We all started hiking together and I started to socialize with people. We talked about Bulgarian and Pakistani mountains and different things,
We kept hiking and as we got up, snow became thick and views became more beautiful.
Around noon, we reached the hut. We met Rado and we went inside the hut. I was super hungry as I didn’t eat anything since morning. I had a hot chicken soup in hut and it gave me power to walk around again. I decided to walk in the neighborhood and after hiking/walking for 600-700 meters away from hut, I came across a place from where I can see several peaks of Rila. Musala, the highest peak of Bulgaria was also visible from there
When I was there, I saw some animal with 4 legs moving. At first I thought it was wolf, I stood there for 2 minutes without moving and then decided to walk back to hut. On the way back, I thought if it was a wolf, I’d be dead already. I decided to go back and see and it turned out to be a dog, a very friendly dog who became friend with everyone later.
Later, I came back to hut. Spent sometime chatting up with Rado and Stella and eat egg omelette. Then me and Stella again went out for walk to the same place and a bit beyond that. When we came back, a lot people of people had almost finished their igloos already. I spent sometime again in hut. And when it got dark, I came outside with Rado to help him with take photos of Igloos at night. There I met Dimo, a guy from Sofia. He was also taking photos. He also happened to be in software field as me which started a good conversation that later lead to a good friendship.
Later, we went into hut and then I met more people over there. Then we started drinking Rakia as it was really cold. I was the only non Bulgarian guy in hut and from Pakistan. We had an interesting discussion on God, Religion and Sex, the perfect combo!
Later I went into sleeping room where Rado had already bought a sleeping bag for me. We started fire and let the room warm up and got into our sleeping bags. I slept like a child and woke up next morning.
Next morning, I had breakfast in hut again and together with Dimo and another guy I met last night we went to hike near by. It was a sunny day and we met the friendly dog again on the way. You know when it’s sunny, everything is beautiful
Then we decided to satisfy our quest of adrenaline and we climbed on a rock and sat there on top
Then we returned to hut as it was time to go back. Dimo said that he will drive me back to Sofia as he was headed back to Sofia himself. I said bye to Rado and then started hiking back with Dimo and his another friend. On the way back, we talked on interesting topics like life and meaning of life. My phone was out of power so I didn’t take any pictures. Later we drove for an hour and half through awesome landscape and we were in Sofia. He dropped me really close to my apartment and I walked from there to sunshine.
I was really happy to do that as I made a really good friend as a result of this hike, later in coming months, we hiked and hangout together every time I went to Bulgaria!