all is well in the rhodope

Austin Basham – All Is Well

 
The Rhodope mountains have always had a certain magnetic appeal to me. Unlike other mountains in Bulgaria that are known for their high peaks, rocky climbs or great winter sports opportunities (so much that we’ve even had people very likely set fires on purpose to clear out forests for future ski runs…), the Rhodope have a different aura about them.

There aren’t any major peaks or climbs that offer a serious mountaineering challenge; they are vast with what at times seems to be a sea of hills stretching across the horizon; they are riddled with small villages connected with back roads few cars go on. Yet, there is something magical about the Rhodope and I often myself doing short trips to explore different parts.

Over the years I’ve gathered quite a few photos of this incredible place, a selection of which I’d like to share with you (alongside a beautiful track you absolutely should play). This could quite possibly be one of my longest posts with close to 40 images, but if there’s one thing I wish, that is to show you how diverse and alluring they are and to encourage you to find time and dive in. Trust me, you will love it 🙂

***
 
A typical sight – dirt roads, scattered houses, and mosques.

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The endless hills… what a place that was! A 360 degree viewpoint that left me grinning.

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One of the many dams with the menacing clouds just before a summer storm.

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The famous Devil’s Bridge in the heart of the Rhodope.

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Caught in mid-air. Love that shot.

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I often wonder what it must be like to live in one of these remote villages… I try to strike up conversations with local people as much as I can, it’s always a good reality check.

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Forest paths.

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Out of nowhere, you stumble upon beauties like this.

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Summertime fishing trips.

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Often beauty isn’t just in the grandeur.

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Rhodope villages in early morning… you wake up so refreshed in these places 🙂

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Got up at 6am to catch the sunrise. I was about to go back to bed as after a good 30 minutes nothing really had happened with all the clouds that morning, but suddenly the clouds opened up and the beams starting beaming down. What a moment!

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So colorful.

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Canoeing at dusk in Golyam Beglik dam sure looked like the place to be 🙂

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Plenty of people go camping around these dams.

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End of summer clouds approaching.

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Together they stand.

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The town of Dospat near sundown.

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What a gorgeous sunset that was.

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Purple-pinkish skies.

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I’ll catch up.

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Houses at the end of the road.

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I love clouds 🙂

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The famous Kardzhali dam meander, a truly incredible spot.

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After the rain.

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The light makes this seemingly uneventful photo come alive, doesn’t it?

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Moo b****, get out the way? 😉

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Autumn is coming.

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The early bird gets the worm as they say 🙂

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A tough job.

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Best place to stay in the heart of the Rhodope.

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The small town of Madzharovo that is now a shadow of its former self when the mining industry in the area was at its peak.

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Summer rains.

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Plenty of tiny little water sources help farming.

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Admiring the view.

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The lonely rock.

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The end of the road. Sadly there wasn’t a train in sight.

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A good friend of mine calls them angels… I kinda have to agree 🙂

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Does’t this remind you of Starship Enterprise?

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Early moon near Svilengrad that marks the end of the Rhodope journey… for now 😉

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I hope you enjoyed these. Please do like, comment and share 🙂

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