Thursday, 24 April 2014

Doing The Tourist Bit (part2)

Directions From The Caves
Directions To And From Polski Trambesh
So having finished our teas and coffees, and also having made use of the facilities we left the Devetashka caves (Деветашката пещера) and headed for our next destination 17 kms away. We were off to see the waterfalls at Krushuna, again something which a lot of guide books seem to overlook. Given the amount of rain that we have had recently we were expecting a bit more than the dribble we saw at Kapinovo last summer. Finding the village itself is easy enough, but the signs directing you to the waterfalls are a bit on the small side, so keep a sharp lookout as you enter the village. In Cyrillic the signs will look something like this (Крушунски водопади). So for those who are using a SatNav, these co-ordinates might be of some use to you 43°14'33"N 25°02'01"E

You Are Here
Once you have found the signs it is plain sailing and if you follow them it will take you to the car park. Once again the entry fee is just 2 Leva per person, and this seems to include car parking fees, what an absolute bargain compared to some of the rip off attractions in the UK. From the car park head up the lane which is blocked off to unauthorised vehicles. There is a new open air swimming pool and bar on your right hand side. This was all being made ready for the up coming summer season, the weather was quite hot for us and it was looking inviting. After a couple of hundred metres you will see a new hotel/restaurant being built, and on the corner you will see this information board. I did notice something on there which said Krepost (Крепост), which to my understanding means castle. The closest that I can find to anything like that is the ruins of a 12th century Hesychast monastery. As we didn't actually notice this until we were leaving it will be something for us to investigate another time. We were heading for the main waterfall, known as Maarata, and this is the highest cascade fall in Bulgaria.

More Umbrellas Than People
Bearing in mind that there wasn't much in the way of food and drink at the caves, the waterfall is totally different. Although when we were there it was a case of there being more umbrellas than visitors. In one way that was good for us, as this meant that we were not holding anyone up when I stopped to take photos, and I did take more than a few. Anyway we were carting our picnic lunch with us, and we had been told that in amongst the trees we would find a picnic spot beside the river. The picnic area that we used even had a roof on, which acted as more of a sunshade due to the great weather. There is something nice and relaxing about having a picnic accompanied by the sound of the river on one side and birds singing up in the trees. We might have stayed there a bit longer than we did, were it not for a young couple getting a little frisky so we left them to each other.

The Picnic Spot Through The Trees
This picnic area is quite a way down the falls, but we could still here the water rushing past, as it tumbled over the terraces. By all accounts these terraces are made from something called Travertine, which is a form of Limestone. It is often found in either mineral spring or hot spring areas. It is a sedimentary rock and will either be white, cream or tan in colour. As you can see we had the tan version. Later in the year when there is not the volume of water coming down this pools are meant to be very tranquil spots in amongst the mossy rocks and trees. I would imagine that once the trees are in full leaf that it might get a little be humid. So to my mind we went at an ideal time, plenty to see a both venues, which were both open, no crowds so plenty of opportunities for photographs. As I mentioned earlier we have been to the waterfall at Kapinovo which was a little disappointing, and we have also been to the waterfalls at Hotnitsa and Emen. At each of, Emen, Hotnitsa and Krushuna you can follow a trail up and across the river and falls as it drops down. The main difference being that at Krushuna it doesn't look as though it is falling to pieces. If you have been to the caves you already have a good strong pair of shoes on, as there is a fair bit of climbing to do.

A Bridge
Glimpsed Through Trees
The higher you get the more impressive the falls get, and also the noisier it gets. There is something quite satisfying about climbing up beside a waterfall on a hot day. I realise that we are not talking Niagara Falls, but there is still plenty of water spray in the air to cool down. Remember to protect your camera lens by keeping the lens cap on until you are ready to take a shot. The bridges and walkways criss-cross the river, and as you follow the path climbing higher and higher you are treated to glimpses of the various cascades. The roaring of the water soon starts to drown out the sound of the birds singing, and although I didn't hear any I would imagine that it is quite a haven for frogs and toads.

There's Always One
The Top Of The Falls
The top most stage of the waterfall drops 20 metres, and if you are careful you can get to the open end of one walkway and almost touch the water. So if anyone is going to be taking small children please keep a close eye on them. The cool water splashing at the back of your heels is quite refreshing, even if you do end up looking like a prize pillock having your photo taken. Once you have made it to the top, all that is left to do is slowly make your way back down again. The good news is that it is all downhill. After scaling the various ladders, crossing numerous bridges and following the path as it winds its way either up or down the following day your legs will know all about it.

There Are Wet Caves
And There Are Dry Caves
In the karst limestone you will often notice caves of varying sizes, and this area is full of them. So if anyone is looking for further information about the area I would suggest having a look at the following

A Fungi In The Woods
It Looks Calmer Than It Is
As with a lot of mineral springs once upon a time they were viewed as being highly medicinal, and as such were venerated. perhaps that is one reason why the monastery was founded in this area, and who knows how far back this area was regarded as a special place. As you go back down the gradient slowly begins to level out, the noise of the water drops from a roar to a rumble and once again you can hear the birds up in the trees. Once you are on level ground you could almost think that the river is only moving slowly, but you can see just how much sediment is held in the water.

Rustic Facilities
Modern Facilities
Once you have made it to the paved areas you will find the 'facilities'. Here you get the choice, from quite rustic to a modern version. Fortunately no one in our party wanted to make use of either version, which prevented any repeat performances of the BBC sound effects department. So the final bit might have been a little more tiring, but what an absolutely wonderful day. I personally think that with both places being so close together it is definitely a day well spent, and neither cost a fortune.

That'll Be A Thumbs Up From Me 


  1. Quite the roaming explorer this season!

  2. It's so curious ..You explore and have another vision for Bulgaria than the people who live in the country.It seems to me many of us prefer to travel abroad .it's sad...

    1. Even though we now live here and call Bulgaria home, maybe I do see things with different eyes. I would probably be surprised at some of the things a Bulgarian might notice in the UK Anna

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