This post is a part of the answer to “Why Bulgaria?” question. If you can set off in the morning, get to Musala, the highest peak between Caucasus and Alps, and get down in the afternoon to eat some tripe soup with garlic-cheese bread – sign me up. All this with public transportation from and to Sofia.
The connection from Sofia to Samokov goes out from the South Bus Station (Autogara Yug), and then buses run for the remaining 9km to Borovets, one of winter sports centers in Bulgaria. You can do a big part of the height with the lift Yastrebets that goes up to 2369m.
Here are a few pictures from the one-day hike to Musala (2925m) in Rila mountains.
On the way, we pass one big mountain hut (hija Musala), and even higher the shelter Ledeno Ezero – Ice Lake (2715m). In the summer the trail is quite busy with people, even on a weekday. What you might want to do after passing the Ledeno Ezero shelter is to take the winter trail marked with poles painted yellow and black. It is a bit more demanding and exposed than the summer one, but what you get in return is a bit of separation from other tourists, better views and interesting climb among rocks.
View on the Ice Lake
On the top, there is a meteorological station. Although closed through the last winter, during the summer it should be working. Do not expect anything special (people on the way asked us if there are beer and food – the answer is no). But we get big cups of hot fruit tea to celebrate – this seems to be the only thing available, and it is fantastic.
I make a picture of Harry the Sheep mascot from The Golden Apple animated series – great project, definitely check it out! We hang out for a bit on the top, and go down the summer path – no need to climb down the rocks on the way home. As for the time, I think from the upper lift station to the peak it was 2:30h for us.
On the way down I cannot stop admiring the beauty of one particular mountain around. No, not Musala. The real beauty is sometimes hidden – if you can tell it about almost a 3000m mountain. Let’s rephrase it – a real beauty most of the times lays out of the common trail. That’s it in the photo below, peak Irechek (2852m). As I found from the map, on the opposite side of it starts Maritsa river that flows to Plovdiv, south through Edirne in Turkey and through Greece, to enter into the Aegean Sea.
One day, my friend, one day.