Posts categorized under ‘Nature & Outdoor sports’

The mountains and caves around Sofia

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

I love trekking and when I have not been exploring my new home town Sofia I have done trips to the mountains. Two beautiful places that I want to tell you about are Lakatnik and Skakavitsa.

Lakatnik is about one hour outside of Sofia and there is a train stop which is perfect to start your trekking from. You will cross a bridge over the Iskar river and then walk up through a beautiful forest with an incredible panoramic view. After about one hour you reach one of the many caves you can find here. These natural caves date back to around 130,000 BP and have different difficult levels that suit both beginners and experienced cavers. If you don’t like cave’s (or bats) you can just enjoy the fascinating view! This mountain also has some perfect walls for climbing if you know what you are doing.

Lakatnik - crossing over the Iskar river

Lakatnik - crossing over the Iskar river

Locals we met on the way walking up the mountain

Locals we met on the way walking up the mountain

The river again following the mountain

The river again following the mountain

One of the Lakatnik caves with an incredible view

One of the Lakatnik caves with an incredible view

Portrait photographing on high heights

Portrait photographing on high heights

Beautiful view over the foggy forest

Beautiful view over the foggy forest

Skakavista is two hours from Sofia and is most easy to reach by car. If you don’t have a car available you can also take two buses to get there. Skakavista is perfect for a weekend trip as there is a big hut up in the mountain (within 1-2 hours walk) where you can stay if the weather is not suited for tenting. This place is most famous because of it’s beautiful waterfall and on the other side of the mountain it’s lakes. In the winter the waterfall is turned into ice and great for ice climbing. If you are here in the summer you can instead take a dip in the small river that goes down the mountain.

Skakavitsa - view of one of the mountains

Skakavitsa - view of one of the mountains

Ice on the mountain wall

Ice on the mountain wall

Beautiful ice formations in the river

Beautiful ice formations in the river

More river and ice

More river and ice

Skakavitsa river coming from the waterfall

Skakavitsa river coming from the waterfall

The Skakavitsa waterfall, with periodical ice breaks

The Skakavitsa waterfall, with periodical ice breaks

Both these places are great both for beginners and advanced trekkers because you can find varied level of difficult tracks.

Stormy Torrevieja

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Last night I was in a poker tournament at a English hard rock pub, Monroe’s. This place is very relaxed with a good atmosphere and great owners, and filled from floor to ceiling with things connected to Marilyn Monroe. When the poker game was over and we were about to leave, there was a flood outside the door and on every street as far as we could see.

The last week here in Torrevieja have been quite stormy, and one local who is born here told me that she has never seen anything like this before. Because there is no drainage in the streets there are floods every time it rains this much. The city is leaning down to the beach which have been ruined because of the heavy streams of water. Also a lot of cellars and garages are flooded, along with apartments and offices on street level.

Flooded street crossing in the night

Flooded street crossing in the night

Playa del cura flooded in the night

Playa del cura flooded in the night

The day after: Playa del cura destroyed

The day after: Playa del cura destroyed

The day after: Playa los locos also destroyed, with cracked pavement

The day after: Playa los locos also destroyed, with cracked pavement. Confused life guard still on watch, though the beach is gone.

The day after: Destroyed bridge at Cala de los Trabajos

The day after: Destroyed bridge at Cala de los Trabajos

The day after: Flooded street near Cala Cornuda

The day after: Flooded street near Cala Cornuda

The day after: Flooded garage, still pumping out water

The day after: Flooded garage, still pumping out water

Trekking in fog, rain & thunder

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

Great Sunday! It started with me getting up early (not my style) to take the first bus to Cartagena. There I met up with friends and CouchSurfers and we went by 4 cars up to a mountain. We parked the cars and directly got the company of two happy wild dogs, who accompanied us the whole day. We started walking and after a while we reached the top of the mountain, just to go down a bit again on the other side of the mountain and to a cabin with an beautiful view. There we stayed, eating whatever we had brought, and chatting. After some hours we were back again at the parking place.

Through the whole trekking it was foggy which later turned into rain and thunder. One of the CouchSurfers asked me if I had enjoyed the trip, referring to the bad weather. Of course I had! I rather take a challenging adventure than an ordinary. You feel more satisfied after, you test your limits and there is more to remember.

Mountain in fog

Mountain in fog

Misty forest half way up on the mountain

Misty forest half way up on the mountain

The small huts that waited for us on the other side of the mountain

The small huts that waited for us on the other side of the mountain

One of the playful wild dogs that followed us the whole day

One of the playful wild dogs that followed us the whole day

A hut with a view

A hut with a view

Mountains following the coast, with hidden beaches on

Mountains following the coast, with hidden beaches on

Too bad this is a closed military area so that not more people can enjoy this place.