All best adventures happen by a chance/ surprise. You don’t predict or plan them. So was this time.
We climbed several picks in Rila national park, with the highest point we reached at 2600m above the sea level – not that bad for lamers like we are. The photos do not show even a fifth of the true beauty of the place. Spectacular mountain lakes of deep azure color worth to be on a cover of National Geographic. I’ve seen somewhat the most beautiful sceneries in my life. And of course – I did not have a camera with me. Previously planning to go only to the sea-side, carrying the camera all the way to Moscow did no make too much sense. It always happens so with the very best moments of our lives – they are not meant to be documented, but only imprinted in blur memories and be transformed into pure emotion over time, as memory erases the details.
It is indescribable feeling to walk on a ridge of a mountain along the path of about half of a meter wide with more than 2,5 kilometers to the bottom on the each side of you and being able to see to hundreds kilometers away in all 360 degrees around you. Not being too humble, I should note that I am truly afraid only of 2 things: travelling by plane and height (those seem to be somewhat connected). I am afraid of those to trembling of my limbs, to feeling sick. Nevertheless, walking there on the top did not cause any discomfort, but only a divine feeling of happiness. I am saying divine, because that was a very special sort of happiness: filling up your soul, not the mind, calm and bright as stars in the mountains. The other astonishing thing was, that the longer we walked the more energy I got. Somewhere at about 2/3 of the way the energy level reached its peak and I was about to take off into the sky.
Our guide- Strakhil – worth special attention. First of all I would like to thank him for this unforgettable experience. Without him we would not have seen even a half of what we did. Having a good guide in the mountains is everything. There are those special people who are naturally balanced, calm and happy at the same time. Strachil is one of them. He is almost 60 years old and his physical condition is way better than of the most people nowadays. He used to run marathons “when he was young” as he says. He is still young. From the very first glance at this man I felt truly comfortable and secure, although I’ve seen him through the car window from about 30 meters. He makes you smile by the very presence. He smiles a lot and talks little, but if you are able to listen, you can hear a lot.
He has spent all his life guiding groups in the mountains and he does not feel any affiliation to the “modern” way of life. He talks a lot about unity with the nature, energies and listening to your-self. Once he showed us is favorite peak, called Kabul. I would say that it a reflection of Strakhil’s personality – the mountain is big, broad, of a right shape, more typical for a hill, rather than for a mountain, with spacious fields in the top. It looks very soft, kind and welcoming – you rarely would expect something like this from a mountain.
We communicated in a mixture of Russian, Bulgarian and English and it worked quite well. We two could understand each other very well, while all others were lost trying to make sense out of our conversation. On a way I sincerely noticed that it was the best day of the whole year. Next morning, while we were still asleep, recovering after a previous days full of physical exercise and emotions, Strakhil had brought to Tereza’s parents, in whose house we were staying booklets about Rila in Bulgarians, Russian and English for Tereza, Folke and me. For each of us he left a personal message on the first page of each booklet. In one meant for me he wrote in Russian with some minor mistakes “in a memory of the best day of the year, with a wish to repeat it next year”.