And after a big long bus ride, I was there: The rocks of Belogradchik. The beauty of 230 million years of natural sculpting of noble sandstone, paleozoic rocks and iron oxide... which I saw absolutely nothing of, because my bus arrived during the night.

The next day, however, a wondrous feast for the geology enthusiast. As far as the eye can see and the feet can take you: ROCKS !


Quite the place for the climbing enthusiast too. So all in all, quite a lot of enthusiasts' cup of enthusiastic tea. Funnily enough there only seemed to be German rock climbers around. Maybe these kind of places are word of mouth hidden wonders, which get passed around discretely in German climbing gatherings, through secret -and slighlty scrapped and scratched- handshakes.

One of the most outstanding viewpoints in these parts (Belogradchik, not German climbing gatherings) is the very much breathtaking Belogradchik Fortress. It has belonged, and been used by all the passing empires and kingdoms the Balkans have seen rule - "Through this fresh air many flags have flown". Unfortunately for them, they have all fallen,

"Millenniums have passed before them, Human strife, throughout the ages. Love and war, women and men, They disappear, the guns and roses"

but the fortress, and the rocks that make it such a unique place, still stand. As you may have understood, "These rocks ain't rollin" away in no great hurry. The Roman, Bulgarian and Ottoman Empires as well as Bulgarian revolutionaries were here watched upon by these great big stones, and they now watch upon tourists lucky enough to have braved the prejudices about the region's infrastructure (which is absolutely fine, I thought). This fine place is certainly worth more than a quick stop, and even worth a long hike or two.