Last weekend was quite eventful. Once we took off the skis, we went straight on the bikes and off to near the Ruy mountain range by the Serbia-Bulgaria border. I had never been to that part of Bulgaria and so the curious little discoverer in me got a bit excited.
The initial motivation was just to get a break from the city life and boy, did we… All the villages we rode through were very quiet, with hardly any cars driving by and even less people on the streets. It made me think those places have maybe turned into ‘weekend getaway’ sort of villages. Nevertheless, it was good to see most of the land was being taken good care of and we did run into a cowherd… and some traffic jam!
We met very few, but very nice people. Stopping for a little chat here and there, we shared a few laughs with the locals.
We also ran into this massive piece of concrete at the junction between Radovo and Busintsi villages. It turned out to be just another communist monument that no one wants to take care of because it is communist, yet no one wants to demolish – as it’s a monument. I say it turned out, because you couldn’t find any information on site, and I only read more about it at home. Apparently it symbolyses ‘the heroic mother, waiting for the return of her children, fighting for people’s freedom’ and the party (the star behind her), that will always have her back. It was built to commemorate the the local communist branch’s efforts in 1943 to strengthen the grip of the party.
Towards the end of the ride, we visited Zelenigrad – a picturesque little village, just three kilometres off the Serbian border. Long time ago, Zelenigrad was a Thracian fortress, guarding a mountain pass. During Roman times, it became an important ore source and a metal production centre. This is the right place to come if you are climbing mount Ruy (1706m), the highest peak of a mountain with the same name. If you choose to do so, there’s a marked ‘eco path’, guiding you on a three-hour climb to the top. On the way you’ll even pass some rock formations, which are believed to have been used as a ritual ground back in prehistoric times.
We didn’t climb the mountain… but hey, you need to leave something for the next time, right?