An eco-hike to the Megalith

                On Thursday the 4th of June, our local friend Marina had her birthday, so we got together with our usual group of Bulgarian friends and went on a short hike to the Megalith near Buzovgrad, intending to pick up trash along the way. As Eszter had arrived just two days before, it was our first time travelling with our newest member.

                After getting together and missing the bus because we didn’t know that the bus stop recently changed due to roadworks, we got on a short taxi trip to Buzovgrad. There, we waited for our Bulgarian friends who were coming by bike from Kazanlak. While waiting, we decided to visit the small museum in this tiny yet cosy village. The keeper of the museum talked to us in Bulgarian for 10 minutes, which was good practice. While I couldn’t understand everything, I  got a few words here and there about the history of the Megalith, the church and the fortress in the region.

                Shortly after, our friends arrived and we went up our way, walking for one hour until we found the Man’s Rock. The view atop the rock blew our minds, and that was only a preview of what was to come. There, we started picking up some rubbish and taking pictures. Having two professional photographers in our group made it a lot more interesting.

                From Man’s Rock to the Megalith it was a 25-minute walk inside the forest. We kept picking up all the rubbish we found, which fortunately wasn’t so much. Reaching the Megalith, we climbed it like mountain goats and spent some moments contemplating the view and taking more photos, until we realized we were all very hungry and it was time to start our picnic. We had a variety of things – sweet and savory. From Portuguese shrimp-filled pastry to homemade spelt crackers and American cookies, it was enough to satisfy us. While digesting, we made a campfire and sat down while our friends played the guitar. We only wish we were half as talented as them for music!

                Before it was time for sunset, we picked up a bit more trash around the area (once more, it wasn’t as bad as I expected, but there were some bottles here and there). Then, again on top of the rock, we saw the sun slowly setting down into the mountains, with a beautiful giant moon behind our backs. With the natural show being over, it was time to go down the mountain and return to Kazanlak.

                It was an unforgettable experience with great friends whom I hope I’ll meet again in the future after I finish my project. And most important of all, happy birthday to Marina, who decided to spend her 18th birthday cleaning the forest and making this world a better place to live in.

Ruben Pais

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