Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Baba Excursion

The mystery excursion from last week ended up being me, the Mayor, her secretary, Maria and (no joke) 50 baba's from the village. We piled into a bus bright and early - keep in mind I still had no idea where we're going - and got on the road.

The Mayor's secretary speaks English well and told me we were going to
- Rozhen Monastery (Роженски Mанастир)
- Rupite (Рупите)
- Sandanski (Сандански)

The Rozhen Monastery is in the Pirin Mountains near Melnik. It was established in 1220, became neglected and was restored in 1597. Very pretty but much smaller than Rila Monastery.

Rupite is the place where Baba Vanga lived and was buried. Baba Vanga is a Bulgarian prophetess and healer. The story behind her abilities came when she was a young girl and swept up by a storm. When she was finally found her eyes were covered and dirt and sand and she became blind. "She is said to have foretold the break-up of the Soviet Union, the Chernobyl disaster, Boris Yeltsin’s electoral victory, the date of Stalin’s death, the sinking of the Russian submarine Kursk, and Topalov’s victory in the world chess tournament." (Wikipedia) There are many other things about here but that's the gist. She's got a temple on the land for her. The other thing is that Rupite is area is the crater of an extinct volcano. There are also thermal springs. (Thank goodness no one decided to start bathing in them.)

Sandanski is a really cool town in the SW part of the country pretty close to Greece. I did some shopping and walked around. Then I got back on a bus with all the ladies and came home. No pictures.

Snow wise, that's all gone. The temperature has been more mild (still super cold at night) but no snow. I'm actually kinda sad about it. The past few days have been dreary and rainy. Which means I've been spending a LOT of time inside.


vicki said...

Good to see a new post and read the day trip report. Glad they are including you with the Babas for the excursions. Were they going just to sight see or was it a religious or patriotic purpose? You, at least, get to see the country, listen to Bulgarian speakers and get paid for a days work! Talk about a win-win!!

Catherine said...

Thank you for the update. The pictures are always appreciated!!! Why did the baba's come?