The Balkan Recalls tour
The ridges of Stara Planina (the longest mountain chain in Bulgaria) keep secrets, legends, tales and stories whispered by the winds on the highest peaks…
One of these stories commemorates the heroic deed of brave Bulgarian fighters battling the freedom of Bulgaria in an epic battle (1877) against the might of the Ottoman Empire. This was a key moment in Bulgaria’s effort to achieve liberation and independence after a period of 500 years of Ottoman yoke.
The Patriarch of Bulgarian literature Ivan Vazov has immortalised the heroic deed in an ode
“‘…till today the Balkan, when a storm rises,
remembers that day tumultuous, clamors and carries
its fame wild like an echo
from ravine to ravine, from age to age.”
There is no Bulgarian heart that wouldn’t tremble upon hearing or reading this verse. No Bulgarian soul could remain impartial to the courage of those fighting – up there on the peak, those whose spirit would always linger on the summit. Today you can find there a huge marble monument commemorating the battle – The Shipka Monument.
The Shipka Monument is a personal favourite spot of ours. We love to take our riders there not only to share this key heritage spot but to also enjoy the marvelous views en route when getting there on a bike. A truly precious experience!
In Montreal they have their Olympic stadium, in Wisconsin (USA) you can see a Greek Orthodox Church.
Here, in Bulgaria we have the Buzludzha monument. What are the common elements of the three? The specific architecture, the engineering precision and the grandiose magnitude of the projects.
Currently, the monument can only be observed from the outside as it has been abandoned. Abandoned but not forgotten or underappreciated at all. The Buzludzha monument often gets an honorary mention in The World’s Most Beautiful Deserted Monuments.
The most exciting way to get there? Well, if you ask us – on a bike, through scenic forest paths!