Bachkovo Monastery

8 Jul

My new travel buddy Erich and I went to check out the Bachkovo monastery, nestled in the Rodopi mountains about 25 km from Plovdiv. It’s Bulgaria’s second largest monastery, and since I wouldn’t have time to go to the largest (Rila, near Sofia) I decided this would be a nice substitute.

The bus dropped us off next to a brown sign advertising Bachkovo. As we walked uphill toward the entrance, we were bombarded by teenage girls who attempted to feed us yogurt samples. Forget about yogurt, I was having a hard time not being distracted by each gorgeous piece of handmade pottery we passed.

One funny thing that we experienced: we paid 10 cents to use the WC, and although it hardly seemed worthy of record, we were each given ticket and required to write down our respective times of entrance. I thought that was rather necessary.

Lots of honey and jam for sale

The Bachkovo monastery was founded in 1083 A.D. by two Georgian brothers. Much of it was destroyed by the Turks in the 15th century, and was restored in the 17th century.

There were indeed many monks about, as was expected. One dark robed gentleman had the tedious job of cutting the grass with scissors. SCISSORS! I couldn’t get over that. Talk about paying attention to detail!

The view from inside- that’s the monk with scissors!

We took the suggested walk up a path and discovered a waterfall. I accidentally trespassed and found some creepy abandoned buildings.

On a hike

Rodopi Mountains

A waterfall!

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