This Saturday, together with 5 friends we decided to cycling along the Strandja Mountain - Malko Tarnovo Municipality in Bulgaria.
We got up early and set up 5 bikes in one car, then we got another bike to another, part of our group were at third and we left Burgas.
We stopped the cars between the villages of Kondolovo and Gramatikovo and rip on our bicycles.
First we visited Gramatikovo village . It's situated on a high slope above the valley of the Veleka River.
The sights of the village is church "St. 40 Martyrs", built in the late XVIII century, a monument of culture. There can be seen the largest collection of icons by iconographer from Lozengrad Stavro Mikhailov. The belfry was built in 1939.
After the Gramatikovo village, we went to a bridge with a beautiful view. There we met a cool couple from New Zealand - Robert and Kat. They were on bicycle trip across the Strandja Mountain in Bulgaria. We were happy to see fellow bikers.
After the nice meeting we entered the Kachul area - one of the most attractive places along the Veleka River. Extremely rich flora and fauna are common in this region.
On the way we passed near the ancient Thracian sanctuary Indipasha. It is supposed that Thracians carried out their rituals with milk and water in the holy place. According to the legend, only the most enlightened Thracian priests knew the way to the hidden place.
We did not have enough time to go to the sanctuary, so we went ahead. We crossed beautiful forest paths along the Veleka River.
There were places with puddles and mud.
We entered the village Kosti - characteristic nestinari village, with a hundred of the 400 families being hereditary practitioners of this custom.
In village Kosti you can still see some of the old wooden houses of its previous inhabitants. This style of architecture is known only in the three Greek villages of Kosti, Brodilovo and Kalandja (Sinemorets). The houses typically have two stories of crude stone, with the top floor cased with thick oak boards. The buildings are too spacious in size but without windows. Scarce lighting is provided by the roof with a "moving tile".
The church "St. St. Cyril and Methodius "in the village of Kosti was built in the late 19th century. Until 1913 it was called" St. st konstantin and Elena".
The School "Vasil Levski" founded in 1925 - today abandoned...
We made a rest in the village and had lunch at a local restaurant. Then we went ahead.
After leaving the village Kosti we crossed the Silkosia Reserve.
Silkosia Reserve is the first protected area in Bulgaria.
Silkosia is a typical forest reserve. Keeps forests of beech and oak, evergreen shrubs. The average age of the trees is 120-130 years, and in some cases exceeds 200 years.
After about 7 km of cycling UP in the reserve, we arrived in the village Bulgari - the only one in Strandja with the status of folklore reserve. In the village Bulgari, the Nestinarstvo is preserved in its authentic form.
Church "St. St. Konstantin and Elena". The stone church was built in the second half of the 19th century.
The last village we passed before we completed the trip was Kondolovo.
The Chapel of St. George, built in 2010 in place of "the most beautiful temple in Strandzha ...", ruined in the 70s of the last century.
Next to the chapel there was a fountain behind which was a magnificent view of the setting sun.
We finished the trip in the dark - happy and very satisfied! We saw many places that we can visit next time biking.
If you wish, you can watch a short video of this trip here.
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Thank you for your time to read this!