Devin to Trigrad
This morning was a fairly relaxed affair. After checking out of the Hotel, we hung around the park playing cards. A thrilling time (only because I was winning) until we got up from the park and went for a bite to eat. The park in Devin is very nice, there is the main river on one side, with a small stream on the other, and is very nice and shady. We whiled away the hours until the one bus a day to Trigrad departed. Today we made it on time!
The bus was not too bad, it wound its way up further into the Rhodope mountains, going to a few small towns. One was right up on top of the hills, and was a small detour, but worth it for the views on offer. Back on track, the hills got closer together, the stream got deeper, and the cliffs were amazing. Just driving up here is worth it from the small view out of the side window of the bus. We are already wondering what the views will be like when we walk it! Passing through a few canyons until we hit the main one. This is unmissable. The road goes about half way up the cliff. The river way below you and the top of the cliffs towering above. So high that from the bus window you cannot see the top. After a small tunnel the devil’s throat cave appears (which is one of the reasons of coming here) and then it is only a few kilometres to Trigrad town. Again, it is a town built on the side of the hills. Steep roads with houses on all different levels.
Getting off the bus, we were accosted by a couple of touts. The first spoke no English, and was not so interested in us as we spoke no Bulgarian. The next spoke some English, and started extolling her accommodation. Not too sure about this, we asked the other tourists on the bus where they were staying. Apparently it was a hotel, and about twice the price of what we wanted, so we agreed to see the place on offer. There are plenty of guest houses here, but she was here talking to us. We were a bit nervous when we needed a car to get there, as it was a bit of a drive. This was only because it was on the other side of the river, and it is easy to walk there, but the drive takes you a fair way down the hill to a bigger bridge then back up the other side. The place itself is not too bad, a bit primitive to the type of place where we have been staying, but miles better than our accommodation in Varna! The bed has a foam mattress so I am happy as the spring beds in the country are reeking havoc with my back!
After settling in we went for a small walk around town. We saw the cows making their way home to be milked, and again the piles of wood for cooking and heating every where. They must use a forest every year in just heating. Now that summer is about half way done all the wood is being delivered to the houses for winter, and as in Devin, piles of wood are cropping up on the sides of roads to be split and stacked besides houses.
Passing the mosque and church, we found a nice place for dinner. As we walked past the first time, we made the joke that this was the local night club with the dance music that was being pumped out of the stereo, but on returning they had nice soft traditional music. Stopping in, we passed the ducks getting their dinner, and thought we could get a nice duck pie. This was not to be the case, but we got a good table beside the massive fire place, and had a good dinner. As we were going, a couple came in, and invited us for a drink. This ended up taking in the entire evening. Not that we were worried, as we had nothing planned, and it was great talking to them. She was Bulgarian, but had lived in Italy since she was young, and he was Italian from Milan. We had a great time talking to them, and have been invited to go to one of the caves with them in the morning.