My trip to visit Bulgaria was the last one I took before the Coronavirus situation aggravated in the Balcan region. The Krushuna Waterfalls and Devetashka Cave were the landmarks of the trip. So, I thought to bring you a dose of optimism through this post, to go and see these wonderful places.
I took this short day trip around the 8th of March last year when in Romania, we celebrate the International Day of Women. The 1st of March is a popular celebration in Romania and the Balcan region for the arrival of spring. In Romania, we call this celebration “Mărțișor“.
Russia was the first country to honor the 8th of March as International Day of Women, in 1917. Now it is a tradition in all countries in the region.
How to get there
It took me approximately 4h to get there, having one break on my way. The route for the day was: Bucharest – Giurgiu – Krushuna – Devetashka – Lovech. I had plenty of time to visit and also to have a traditional lunch in Lovech before returning to Bucharest.
Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t great that day. It was cloudy, and it also rained at some point, but the air was fresh and chilly. You could sense that the spring is on its way from the blooming trees and the birds’ songs. It was more than enough to keep my spirit in a good mood. 🙂
You don’t need any special equipment to visit these places. I only had with me an impermeable coat because I expected the weather to be rainy and cold. I also chose water-resistant footwear.
Before making any plans to visit the area, please check here what are the current travel conditions to enter Bulgaria. At this moment, you must present a negative PCR test made 72 hours in advance of entering the country.
The entrance fee to the waterfalls is 3 leva (approx. 1,50 EUR). To arrive at the waterfalls, you have to cross a beautiful park. So, on your way, you can admire the rich flora and enjoy the fresh air.
I was happily surprised to see specific ornaments hanging from the trees. It is a local tradition in the Balcan region to offer this traditional jewel on the 1st of March to mark the start of the spring season. They are made of ceramic, plastic, or glass, and each one has attached two bicolored threads (white – representing wisdom, the masculine and red – representing blood, life, sun, the feminine).
The waterfalls are fabulous. The green – turquoise color of the water is mesmerizing to the eyes, even on a rainy day! The travertine rocks that lie underneath are reflecting light in such a way that it gives water this incredible color.
The water continues its journey from the hills through the waterfalls into these turquoises, crystal-clear natural pools.
Just 16 km away from the Krushuna Waterfalls, you will arrive at Devetashka Cave. It is an enormous cave, that is 70 000 years old! The entrance fee to the cave is 2 leva (approx. 1 EUR). Humans inhabited this spectacular place since the early Stone Age. Archaeologists have discovered many artifacts in the area. Now, it is the home of over 30.000 bats.
The entrance hall is imposing, having over 30 meters in height and 35 meters wide. The whole cave measures 2km and, in some places, reaches even 60 meters or 100 meters in height. (source: https://bulgariatravel.org/).
At some point, it was a petroleum storage site and a military base. You can still see inside large concrete areas where the petroleum tanks were placed. It is such a shame to see these marvelous natural places exposed to such destructive human behavior. Nowadays, the authorities declared the site a natural landmark, and it is a protected area.
Into the cave ceiling there were these fascinating openings. You could see them right from the entrance. The daylight was quietly and softly entering this enormous space. I felt like I was in this immense natural cathedral while the sunlight illuminated my path, just like through giant windows.
They call the cave also Maarata or Oknata (“the eyes”) because of the ceiling’s openings. I visited the entrance hall and the first two chambers of the cave. It was a memorable experience that I wholeheartedly recommend.
This particular trip to Bulgaria showed me the country from a completely different perspective than I was used to. Living so close to Bulgaria, I have visited it so many times, sometimes in transit, or to go to the seaside. But when I visited Krushuna Waterfalls and Devetashka Cave, these gorgeous natural places made me realize that we can find novelty and beauty even in the most familiar places. It brought me a lot of joy and curiosity to explore more places like that. 🙂
Unfortunately, I didn’t know back then that it will be my last trip for a long time. Now, almost a year later and with some unexpected challenges along the way, I can say that I can barely wait to take my next trip. Now I have my own Covid-19 travel protection kit that I take with me everywhere. I believe we are all responsible to protect ourselves and the ones around us, and so even if we can travel these days, I encourage you to do it responsibly.
Stay safe friends, and enjoy the warm weather. 🙂