Fortress Monyak and the Stone Mushrooms, Kardzhali, Bulgaria

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A story about the Bulgarian Stone Mushrooms, some snowy adventures and the ruins of an ancient fortress

At the beginning there was the snow, it was snowing all Saturday in, and we stoically endured the time spent in the mineral pool and the sauna. But I was prepared for a walk in the Rhodopes on Sunday – a trip to the Monyak fortress and the Stone Mushrooms.

The Stone Mushrooms near Beli Plast village

The weather didn`t smile at us, there were no fluffy clouds, walking on the blue sky, only gray – white Sunday morning, but all these shades of grey also have their charm. We jumped into the Lada and sped away to the Beli plast village, so famous with its mushrooms.

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Каменните гъби 41.785797, 25.432175

We were hurrying as much as we could through the snowy road. The Lada was “flying” with 20km/h, so that we could be there before someone made steps in the snow around the mushrooms.But obviously the local people were so much used to it that in spite of the cleaned road, no one had tried to get to the mushrooms.

The Stone Mushrooms near Beli Plast village

The Stone Mushrooms near Beli Plast village

I am not very familiar with taking pictures in snow with only grey sky, so there were very few photos from all the shots I made. And the mushrooms are wonderful, they have their pink-green colours and they are a good start of the day.

 

When we take photos of the stone phenomenon

When we take photos of the stone phenomenon

After our walk to the Stone mushrooms, the Lada started a little hard, but soon enough we were again “flying” with 20km/h… Soon we will find out that this was the evolution and the speed was higher – about 50km/h, and on the way back we even found out how to turn on the heating…The villages were passing by, and so were the mosques. We stopped at the Shiroko pole village, turd on the byway and started to climb up, while the Lada was happy to move in the snow.

Fortress Monyak and the amazing view of town of Kardzhali and Studen kladenets dam

This is the moment to say that the reason why we were with her is that because she was 4×4 Lada Niva.  We were driving up to the hill – it was useful, no matter how far we go. On a steep the car started to slide and turn off. She was so depressed that the engine turned off and nothing could ever wake it up.  We took her out of the road and started walking.

The Rhodope mountains

The Rhodope mountains

Thank you for dumping us, Lada!

If the car hadn’t dumped us, we would never enjoy the view – wherever you look there was nature, and from some places you could also see Kardjali and the Studen Kladenets dam.

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Крепост Моняк 41.624217, 25.457983
Studen Kladenets dam, Bulgaria

Studen Kladenets dam, Bulgaria

We were climbing up the small hill Shesta Krepost ( 586 m altitude). It was written everywhere that the climbing is difficult, but if you ask me it was pretty easy.

Snowy RHodope Mountains

Snowy RHodope Mountains

I like to imagine what was once, while the fortress Monyak ot Mneakos was built. It was built up on a lovely hill in the 12th century, there is an amazing view to the river Art, today’s Arda. Now there is a dam, but it would be much more beautiful if it was a river, according to me.

But let`s go back to our journey, it was the most memorable and the most beautiful snow white and gray experience in the world. We were making steps in the snow, shooting as much as we want, thinking how amazing it is to be somewhere without many people.

A lovely view of the Eastern Rhodopes

A lovely view of the Eastern Rhodopes

 

The remains of Monyak`s walls were waiting for us on the top of the hill. Once they were glorious and frightening the enemy, now there is almost nothing left of them. I wish I could travel to all the Bulgarian castles, and go back into those majestic years.

The delicious trout in Madrets village

We were going backwards, where our car was waiting for us unlocked and jumped fast in. Waiting hopefully, she buzzed happily. So the “flying” began again, and the search for a place to eat. People in this area do not usually eat in restaurants and it was difficult to find a place, but fortunately absolutely unexpected we found a tavern in the Madrets village, with very hospitable host and hostess. There was only one meal in the menu, I love this kind of pubs.

We entered the tavern and sat around the wood stove, pulled off our shoes and started to dry off. The hostess was still not here, but apparently she was called quickly, because soon we met aunt Sevda. They gave us black Turkish tea in those typical Turkish glasses and they showed us their new guest house, of which an article was written.

The delicious trout

The delicious trout

The trout was brought, it appeared that it was trout from Dospat because they didn’t have trout in Madrets. They said there was a dam nearby, but only with carps.

The delicious trout

 

Homemade halva

While we were having fun of shooting the trout, they started to bring us crocks with something inside, which awakened my curiosity. It was a bonus to the delicious trout –fillet, flooded with grilled cheese, tomato and peppers.

Homemade halva

Homemade halva

The crocks turned out to be filled with homemade halva, made on furnace. And after all that, we drank a Turkish coffee….we were very happy about our occasional meeting with Sevda and went back to the way home.

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