THE (Y) VOLUNTEERS

A Shipka trip in three parts

It is a bit shame that it took me almost two months to go to one of the closest place here, and at the same time very famous, to Shipka. But finally I did and I am very happy about this trip, however still need to visit all tombs around this village.

My trip to Shipka had three parts – Shipka village, Shipka monument and UFO Communist Monument. Firstly our friend drive us to Shipka village where we could see its beautiful monastery in the sunrise. It was extremely beautiful, also inside monastery looked amazing, then we went to other volunteers in Shipka and we ate breakfast together. And after that we hitchhiked to Shipka Monument.

Shipka monument is one of the most important place for Bulgarian history. It commemorates Bulgarian victory against Ottoman empire in 1877, one of the battle which allowed Bulgaria became an independent country again (after five centuries of Ottoman domination), as well as people who died for Bulgarian independence. Inside the monument (which is a tower) there is also museum commemorated to this war.

Except the historical aspects of this place, which are probably known to every Bulgarian, it is also a beautiful place itself. From the top of the monument there is an amazing view for the Rose Valley and also around monument the view is incredible. That is definitely place worth to visit, for both beauty of nature and historical aspects.

From Shipka we took mountain road (Shipka Pass) to Bezludza. My hometown is situated in very flat place and I am not very used to mountain trips and for that reason way was quite difficult for me. Especially I expected if we already reached the top then our way will be just flat, but unfortunately it goes down and up again. You may see it as a stupid complaining, but for me mountains are not everyday life. But, there were also good sides of this trip. We found a lot of wild blackberries (why can’t we find blackberries in the shops? There are so many of them in the forests!), which were delicious.

Finally, after exhausting, long road we get to the Bezludza monument. It is communist monument, which looks like UFO. It made me think what was USSR problem with UFO – in Poland we have a concert theatre which looks like UFO!

Anyway, this place disappointed me a bit. The nature view was again extremely beautiful, but monument itself was abandoned and full of not-good-quality graffitis. I always say to myself, that mountain trips are exhausting, but there is always view worth it. The view was definitely worth it, but UFO itself – not. But, from other hand – maybe it is better than people forget about USSR monuments and just remember about Shipka Independence one.

After the way up, we were already so tired that we decided to make our way back to Kazanlak by hitchhiking again. Surprisingly it was very easy, Bulgarians has to be very polite. Soon we get back home and rest from this exhausting but wonderful trip!

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