Today we will have a little ride around the nice country of Bulgaria. To give you an impresssion - we will follow the red line on the map.
We will start in the capital city of Sofia and move in the direction of Plovdiv (I will dedicate a separate post next week to Plovdiv). The country is pretty flat in this area but you can see some mountains close to the horizon.
I was surprised by the little lakes close to the highway. I first thought they grow fish there. But I discovered these are little plantations of rice. I did not know it was grown also in Europe.
From Plovdiv we will move in the direction of the Shipka Pass and later - Gabrovo. You can see the Balkan Mountains coming closer.
Actually, we will literally drive through the hills.
In the little towns I managed to meet some of my cousins.
Higher in the mountains come little churches and monasteries. The golden domes are typical for orthodox churches.
The road is really winding (and our windshield is really dirty ...).
Finally, we arrive at the Shipka Pass. It is 1,150 meters above sea level. It marks the border between Stara Zagora province and Gabrovo province.
The pass witnessed a major battle during the war betwen Russia and the Ottoman Empire in 1877. It was the time when Bulgaria was fighting to regain its freedom. On the Stoletov Peak near the pass there is a monument to commemorate those who perished in the battle.
Here you can see it closer.
Now we go down, back in the direction of Sofia, leaving the hills on our side.
The country is still not flat however.
Luckily, this time we will not need to climb up to reach any pass but we will take a tunnel instead.
This industrial zone is already located in the subburbs of Sofia.
And just next to it - yet another mountain. Yes, it has snow on the top!
It was really a nice trip. I hope that you have enjoyed it. Time to fly back home now.