Here are some
photographs taken in the Bansko area of Bulgaria during the last two weeks
of June 2010.
Camera: Canon 500D DSLR, with 18-55 and 75-300
bear is now at peace in the Brigitte Bardot Foundation's Dancing Bear Park
at Belitsa in Bulgaria. Taken from a life of cruelty with gypsies who made
the bears dance via torture, several bears are free to roam a huge area in
the high mountains. You have to be determined to reach the sanctuary as the
road is long and needs first gear most of the way due to the poor road
For more information
about the park, go to
white building is the Bojurland Hotel complex in Bansko. To the left,
behind the trees, are four apartment blocks to cater for the hundreds of
holidaymakers who come to Bansko to ski. In June, the town is very quiet.
Blue sky, white
clouds, mountains and an apartment. What more do you need? Apart from some
One of Bansko's squares.
The Gladzne river,
which flows through the town from the mountains.
In one of the many
parks in Bansko.
The Glazne river
with a backdrop of apartment blocks and hotels, with the Pirin mountains
The rushing Glazne
The tower of Saint
Trinity Church in the
The wide valley
beyond Bankso on the way to Kovachevitsa, en excursion provided by Mitch
and Co in Bankso. Details:
The narrow cobbled
streets of Kovachevitsa.
One of the many
odd-shaped buildings in Kovachevitsa.
A scene in one of
the many villages visited on one of the tours we took.
mountains soar over Bansko. Note the multitude of wild flowers and grasses
left to grow on all the waste ground.
In spring 2010,
the Glazne overflowed its banks and caused havoc in this row of buildings.
One of the
up-to-date hotels which have been developed in Bansko to cope with thousands
of skiers in the season.
area left to attract wildlife.
This is Razlog, a
small town a few kilometres from Bansko. There were many attractive streets
and buildings and a beautiful park.
We took a ride on
the pedalos and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. When leaving the boat,
however, I realised I'd lost the key to the apartment in Bankso. Panic! We
took a taxi back to Bojourland but within an hour the lock have been
replaced and all it cost us was five lev, about the cost of a couple of
is a view of part of Rila Monastery, taken on a trip from Bansko. The
monastery has some lovely paintings on the walls and ceiling of the church.
It is said that
the monastery was founded by St Ivan of Rila and it was built by his pupils.
He lived not far away with a cave with no material possessions.
local craft on a stall in the street.
magnificent statue is in Vazrazdane Square in Bansko.
our visit to Rila Monastery, the guide took me to a church in the hills,
some way beyond the monastery. This little church is dedicated to St Ivan,
who was a hermit who lived in the hills. Close by is a hole in the rocks
where, if you can wriggle and scramble your way though, your sins are left
behind. You then drink from the mountain spring. You try to find a stone
with a cross on it (nearly all stones could be said to do this - you just
need faith!). Wash the stone in the spring and keep it. It will protect you
for ever. You can then touch the rock where St Ivan offered up his prayers.
I don't believe
a word of this, of course, but if others believe and it works then I'm
cleansed of all my sins. Can't be bad!
Just after I
emerged from the hole, two young couples followed. Their photographs were
emailed to them in Sofia on our return from holiday. I hope they had as much
reward from visiting the resting place of St John as I did.