Exploring the depths of Bulgaria

Today’s post was written by Femke Gow.
You’d find it difficult to come across a more naturally intriguing environment than what I discovered in the depths of the Bulgarian wonders. The experience of absorbing the natural beauty could be entirely free if you chose it to be. Being a student at the time of my travels to Bulgaria, a cheap holiday was my goal. Whether it regarded food, transport, sight seeing, or anything else in between.
When wanting to go travelling on a budget, it is crucial to plan well before hand. This can help avoid getting yourself into a comprising, or expensive position. This what I told myself anyway, until I realized how little I actually knew about Bulgaria. Most countries seem to have some sort of stereotype associated with them, but Bulgaria felt like it could take me anywhere. As much as I enjoyed the excitement of the unknown, I decided it best to spend a week or so before I left researching and planning my journey.

I wanted to see as much as possible. I’d only ever seen pictures of the infamous caves, but they seemed so intriguing and haunting at the same time that I couldn’t help but plan my trip around them. The first cave I decided I had to go to was Bacho Kiro, located in the northern town of Gabrovo. This incredible natural formation had three floors, all sorts of secretive coves, and even opens up into a beautiful lagoon, with clear blue water and a rushing waterfall filling this paradise with an air of enchantment. These caves seemed almost magical to me, as in one moment, I was trekking through, minding my head and looking out for anything that may jump out at me as I slowly but surely found my way through the maze into a bright, beautiful rapture.

The next cave on my list was Cave Snezhanka, located on the left bank of Novomahalenska river. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect of all these caves, or how they could really differ from each other to an extent that would make me want to keep exploring them, but somehow, Cave Snezhanka seemed different again. As I was crouching and slowly making my way through the dark, mysterious warren in which I had found myself. What stood out to me the most was all of the sharp bits of stone, dripping down from the ceiling. They looked almost like icicles, literally covering the entire ceiling, giving an extremely eerie and somewhat dangerous feel. In comparison to cave Bacho Kiro, cave Snezhanka had an entirely different feel to it; one that made me uncomfortable yet intrigued to move further into it’s depths at the same time. This was a strange experience because I knew that the further I got, the more scared I would become, but it continued to draw me inwards.

The third and final cave that I went to was by far my favourite, despite it’s small entrance fee. Cave Magura emitted an essence of ancient history that lingered in it, and was decorate by primitive drawings that date back to the Neolithic Age and the early Bronze Age. Small drawings of what can be made out to be animals and stick figures seemed to tell stories on the wall, drawing in anyone who were to see them. Each cave was so distinguishable from the next, which was such a surprise as I thought that eventually the caves would start looking the same. However this was only until I realized that it was much less about how the caves look, but more about how they feel and the vibes they give off from the history and natural beauty that is captured within them.


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