Iztochni Rodopi Things to Do

  • Photo Hristo Todev
    Photo Hristo Todev
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  • "Po Jitsata" - Jordan Yovkov
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  • Rock over the Road - photo Hristo Todev
    Rock over the Road - photo Hristo Todev
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Best Rated Things to Do in Iztochni Rodopi

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    "Utrobata" cave

    by desert_princess Updated Jul 23, 2005

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    The name " Utrobata" Is litteraly translated as "Vagina". I think you already see why....
    It was used as a cult place by the thracians living in these lands centuries ago. They had improved the form of their sanctuary giving its perfect shape. The rituals dedicated to fertility included lots of wine consumption, ending up with a mass orgy to favorize the pagan gods.
    Perperikon website about a similar cave
    "here can be no doubt that this is the rock womb whose existence had been suggested on the basis of the fragmentary evidence found in ancient records. This was the place where the Orphic rite reached its climax. It was in such an Orphic temple on the island of Samothrace (modern Greek Samothráki) in the Aegean Sea off the Thracian coast that, according to the ancient authors, unmarried men who were initiated in the cult (the abi?tikos) performed sexual rituals with young Thracian women.
    The meaning of these orgies is archetypal. According to the Indo-Iranian tradition, the King died and was reborn again as a manifestation of the natural cosmic cycle. To do this, he had to climb high in the mountain and slaughter a sacrificial animal or another human, enacting his own death. He then entered into symbolic matrimony with the Mother Goddess, fecundated her and was thereby reborn. This is the ancient myth of the Lover Son, born by the Mother Goddess, who returns to her womb by the act of copulation."

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    the Tin Mosque

    by desert_princess Updated Oct 31, 2005

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    the Tin Mosque

    This strange mosque was in the village of Kanjak and it's a Tin box with a cone roof and a loudspeaker. A ladder takes the Hodja to the top.
    It reminds me of a bird's house somehow...
    Population in the Rhodopa Mountains is muslim. That's why you will see a mosque , sometimes two in every village. The bulgarian book of history says that these Bulgarian people were forced under Turkish Occupation times to convert to Islam under threat of being murdered if refused. Alot of bulgarians and their families were assasinated for not accepting to change their religion.

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    The Stone village

    by desert_princess Updated Sep 27, 2005

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    Hodjovtsi village
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    Hodjovtsi village is perched on a mountain ridge , being accessed only by a pedestrian trail. I haven't seen any other road leading there. They had a magnificent view to the whole valley of green. The few houses of the village were all made out of stone,the fences,the roofs,the narrow street with a stone arch..... time had stopped here about 200 years ago...

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    A village in the eastern Rhodopas

    by desert_princess Updated Aug 6, 2005

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    A village in the Eastern Rhodopas
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    A typical sight for the Eastern Rhodopas
    The Eastern Rhodopa mountains are composed of rather soft and round hills , with groups of houses spread everywhere, forming tiny villages that are even hard to be found on the map. You need a very detailed one to locate some of them...

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    Donkeys and carriage

    by desert_princess Updated Sep 27, 2005

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    Donkeys and carriage

    This is the most common form of thansportation in the Rhodopes, even tho what is unusual here is that the donkey is being ridden. Usually the people are sitting in the back in the carriage. We often switched asphalt roads with Black roads like this one.
    Very ecological indeed...

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    Spring labor

    by desert_princess Written Aug 6, 2005

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    Planting Tabac
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    These locals were planting tabac - it's what they said. The man was with bare feet working the soil and the woman putting the small plants and watering them.There are no machines - everything is done by hand like their mothers, and the mothers of their mothers...
    The women in the area were all wearing those XXL baggy pants, that a friend of mine said are very comfortable..

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    The petrified city

    by desert_princess Updated Oct 23, 2005

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    The Entrance Gate - Dagovnitsa Rocks
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    There you go , my weird mind popped with this association of a petrified city, inhabited by strange stone creatures.....
    There were stone arches, stone houses, stone streets,stone mushrooms with mysterious niches....everything you need for a city of the Flinstones....hahahhahaha
    There is a hypothesis that this was once a sea port....

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    The Stone wedding

    by desert_princess Updated Jan 18, 2009

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    The Stone wedding

    A natural phenomenon , result to the geological past of the region.The Mountains were believed to be an ocean ground once.
    The legend about the "stone wedding "says that the gods petrified the bride, the groom and the whole wedding procession, because of the groom father's sin , who fell in love with the bride and wished to have her for himself.
    What I find amazing is that all the surrounding stones are white,and only the bride and the groom are in a soft pink tone.

    http://moiteplanini.com/legends/legenda_za_kyrdjaliiskite_piramidi.html

    "Според легендата левент момък от Зимзелен залюбил девойка от съседното село. Прекрасните и очи, сини като небето, го преследвали навсякъде. Той искал да си представи лицето и, но според тогавашните обичаи девойките били забулени, само очите им се виждали. Залинял от мъка момъкът. Старият му баща отишъл при родителите на девойката и успял да я откупи. Вдигнали тежка сватба и тържествено тръгнали към Зимзелен. Изведнъж духнал силен вятър и отвял булото на младоженката. Всички занемели пред ненагледната и хубост. Свекърът неволно завидял на сина си и тутакси всички се вкаменили. Само младоженецът останал жив. Заплакал той с горчиви сълзи и помолил вятъра да вкамени и него. Вятърът изпълнил молбата му. Вкаменените сватбари и до днес стоят до една локва - незасъхналите сълзи на злочестия младоженец."

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    Day two - Krushka Village

    by desert_princess Updated Oct 23, 2005

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    Day two - Krushka Village
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    I left the campsite before everyone, because I didn't want to be the last one like yesrurday.
    Following the instructions I passed through the village and some abandonned house in the way to the valley and it's where I got lost... I took the right trail instead of the left one and after awhile I realised I was going back to the village. So I followed my steps to the crossing point and took the left trail this time...

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    I guess we had strong guardian angels

    by desert_princess Updated Aug 6, 2005

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    I guess we had strong guardian angels
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    I guess we had strong guardian angels, as nobody from the group of 50 persons got really hurt, and except an incident with a guy that really wanted to see how the river below looks, and slipped for about half a meter or one meter from what I've heard of the story, it all was good...

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    After the petrified city came the arrow lake

    by desert_princess Updated Aug 7, 2005

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    After the petrified city came the arrow lake

    After the petrified city came the arrow lake - The Dam Kurjali. Take a look at the shape of it, pointing to you....;)))
    On some point we crossed the city of Kurdjali with its dam and turkish population where the road had collapsed as a result of heavy rain.

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    The entrance of " Utrobata" cave

    by desert_princess Updated Oct 23, 2005

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    Photo Petya Petkova

    The entrance of the cave was nothing I had expected. You need to climb in a crack and hang on a tree ,some 2-3 meters above the ground in order to enter the cave, plus there are no signs to direct your way....If I wasn't with people that knew where they were going, I would walk by without notice it.
    hehehehe...cool socks I have ,what do u say?

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    Dangerous place! Beware!!

    by desert_princess Written Aug 6, 2005

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    Dangerous place! Beware!!

    After following the trail in the woods for some time, we arrived at a sharp, steep and slippery turn where you were wondering if it happens you take a wrong step, where will you end? Probably some 20-30 meters down in the river....Brrrr...Not a pleasant idea

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    Arriving at Perpericon at sunset

    by desert_princess Updated Oct 5, 2005

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    Arriving at Perpericon at sunset

    After a pleasant downhill among fields and some road , me and my friend arrived at sunset at Perperikon , where our camp will be for the night. The guys took a shortcut way , but as I have been told I will need to carry my bike for about an hour, I voted for the other path...good choice - the ride was very panoramic and relaxing, even tho longer with about an hour....

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    Having a shower

    by desert_princess Updated Aug 7, 2005

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    Having a shower

    After the long ride, baby was having a well deserved shower with a plastic bottle after sweating all day long...
    We build the tents , had a dinner as the weather was getting chilly and the clowds were crawling up the sky...

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