Since Sofia was overcast by a dense fog, some friends and I decided to escape its cold hug by going on a trip to the famous Rila mountain – the highest mountain range in Bulgaria and on the Balkans. In particular, we were headed to the Malyovitsa hut.
10 km already out of Sofia and a very generous December sun and a perfectly cloudless sky were paving our way up into the mountains.
Our hike started from the Malyovitsa Ski Centre and went deep into the Rila National Park where the hut and the peak are located.
The brightly shining day was fantastic for walking and soon we were sweating as we had packed ourselves with many layers of clothes. I guess we were misled by the partly frozen river and the amounts of snow on the cliffs around.
The hike from the Ski Centre to the hut usually takes around 40 minutes in summer and around an hour in winter. Since we were stopping every once in a while to admire the magnificent beauty, surrounding us and to suck in every inch of fresh air into our thirsty lungs, it took us a little bit more than that. We managed to take some amazing shots of the area and the gorgeous Malyovitsa peak which stands at 2,729 m (8,953ft).
The trek was further slowed by the ice paths we had to either cross with great efforts or find a detour since we were not prepared with any snow and ice grip shoes like the people pictured below.
The Malyovitsa hut is situated in an area with a high risk of avalanche, so if you intend to go there, plan your trip accordingly.
After a little more than an hour and many wonderful images, we arrived at the hut and treated ourselves with home-made (alright, hut-made which makes them even more delicious) lentils soup (leshta chorba) and beans soup (bob chorba). Since we were so hungry, I completely forgot to take photos of these delicacies that have fed myriads of tired tourists in the Bulgarian huts in the mountains.
Have you been to this part of the Rila Mountains? It is drop-dead gorgeous both in winter and in summer. Just enjoy it slowly!