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Bulgaria 2002

Trekking to Rila Mountains, Peak Musala 2925m

The travel from Xanthi, Greece - Dupnitsa, Borovets in Bulgaria
3/10/2002 - 6/10/2002


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The travel dairy
Thursday 3rd October 2002 : From Xanthi to Dupnitsa
I started alone from Xanthi in the afternoon to visit Bulgaria. There I was to meet Penka a Bulgarian friend of mine with whom I studied in Portugal in spring 2000. I travel from Xanthi (17:15) to Serres (21:15) by train. At the Serres station I waited for the bus to Bulgaria. After 2 houres of delay at the borders at about 1:00 after midnight we finally travel in Bulgarian land.

Friday 4th October 2002 : A walk around the Dupnitsa town
At 3:00 at sunrise the bus left me out of the Dupmitsa town, where there was waiting for me my friend Penka. she 'd come in the time for our meeting by taxi accompanied by her mother and they took me at their home to sleep for the rest of the night. In the morning I went for a walk around the town together with Penka, and I confess that Dupnitsa is a very beautiful town surrounded by wonderful forests. In the afternoon we made the plan for the very next day, and in the evening we went for a drink at the cafe.

Saturday 5th October 2002 : Our trek to Musala peak 2925 m
At 7:30 we took the bus to go to Borovets, a tourist village on the Musala's feet, where we arrive at 8:45. There are a lot of hotels and ski lifts. The lift that start from Borovets and arrives up to the first refuge at about 2350 m was out of work in those days. So it wasn't possible to climbing to Musala peak from Borovets in one day. Penka and I started out trekking (9:00) aiming to climb as high as possible. The forest above Borovets is really wonderful. After an hour of trekking Penka had a headache, so she decide to go back to Borovets and I had to continue climbing alone. Going with fast tempo I arrived at the Musala refuge (2400m) at 11:30, from where the beautiful Musala peak covered by snow was visible. The weather was very good and so I risked to continue even faster my climbing trying to reach there and then to return back to Borovets before 16:30. Everything was covered by snow during the rest of the walk and I arrive within 40 minutes to the next refuge, Ipayek walking beside the big lakes. The last part was difficult because there was too much snow. On the way I surpassed a team of Bulgarian climbers whose aim was the peak. Finally at 12:55 I reached the highest peak of Bulgaria and the roof of Balkans, Musala 2925.4 meters. The sight was indescribable up there, but the time had passed and I had to go back quickly. I walk down running the same path back to Borovets where I arrived at 15:15 and met Penka. We returned to Dupnitsa by bus to have some rest and then go out in the evening.

Sunday 6th October 2002 : From Dupnitsa to Sofia and then back in Xanthi
That day the weather was rainy, before noon we took the bus to Sofia. After a brief introduction that Penka made to me about her favorite city, we had dinner at one of the pizzerias of Sofia. In the evening I took the bus to turn back to Greece. Luckily we didn't have a big delay at the border and so we arrived in Serres at about 12:20. I went back to Xanthi by train at about 4:00 Monday's sunrise.

Map of Rila Mountain, Peak Musala
The cost of the travel
I thank very much my friend Penka from Dupnitsa for the hospitality in Bulgaria.
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