30 March 2016


We were already on our way to Ardino and a very famous sight in the area ‘The Devil’s Bridge’ (Sheytan kyupriya).

I have always known there is a certain passage up to the bridge. I read a lot of materials and thus I got worried if I would endure the way back on the steep hills.  The way goes down Arda defile and most probably the return will be exhausting.
Because of the weekend we thought it would be nice to visit the place as soon as possible. So we were passing by the village of Dyadovtsi. We reached something like a big parking lot where there was only a van with some foreigners who we greeted and ran downwards. It was quite muddy and wet after the rain during the last days. After a few turns, the thyme smell and there it was – shady and pleasant for a walk.

There was no one yet. Arda River was flowing.

A bird was flying here and there. We sat on the masterly shaped boulders. I jumped from one boulder to another looking for interesting positions.

Then we went up the bridge and went down the rocks from the other side. We stayed for a long time – it was somehow relaxing. Soon crowds of people started turning up. After a while the hustle and bustle was almost unbearable. ‘It’s time to go!’. The way up turned out to be not so scary. Engulfed in conversations I didn’t feel the hill at all. I was only annoyed by the cars, some of which had to get right to the bridge. It was so terrible. Not to mention there were some people who were indignant at the fact it was written on the Internet that there was an asphalt road up to the bridge and …. ‘How long they had to go on foot.’ Wow ….poor people! Actually we were the first who were going back. On leaving the parking lot we couldn’t believe our eyes. It was crowded by cars, buses, vans etc. We could hardly get out of that place.
We moved on to the village of Star chitak. The place is very famous for its impressive view of Kardzhali dam. There were a few possible routes but we headed for the village of Kobilyane. There was a huge fair in the village but we followed the road to Borovitsa village. The road itself was charming. Something is very clear to me, ‘There is always something to impress me in the Rhodope Mountains!’ And here we were among scenic views of  Kardzhali dam.

After a while we approached the magical spot.

We stopped at the guardrail and saw there was a path down the slope. After going down we sat on a rock and the view was just breathtaking.

Man feels so free in the open. We saw Borovitsa chalet where we had to be on the next day.

In fact Borovitsa River and Arda River merge right here next to the rocky peninsula. A bit to the left there were some rocks where Patmos fortress was standing. We managed to see the ruins with binoculars. We could go there by boat. We enjoyed that incredible scene for a short time

 and set off for the village of Suhovo – an end village.

The street was narrow just fit for a car. The asphalt was new. The stone cottages were surrounded by stone fences.

It was green, so green all around. A heavy, sweet smell of blossomed clover, covering the meadows, was in the air.

Other small mountains villages could be seen in the distance, nestling among the hills, surrounded by green woods. As if time had stopped. Suhovo village was situated on the west side of Kardzhali dam. Actually, we were attracted by a rope footbridge, 184,20 m long – the fourth by length construction in the country.

The equipment was finished in the autumn of 2012. It was built at the place where there used to be another rope bridge connecting Suhovo village (Ardin area) and Dazhdovnitsa village (Karzdhali area). Dazhdovnitsa was in our morning schedule. That evening we stayed in Banite village again.
So the narrow path took us to a glade where a beautiful panoramic view was uncovered.

We sat on the rocks and stared into the distance.

Going back we stopped to take photos.

We were starving and it was past noon. The board showing a complex in Borovitsa village gave us hope but alas. The complex wasn’t working. We headed for the return way to Kobilyane village. At the end of the village there was a small fountain. We stopped to fill some fresh, mountain water. A fork in the road followed where a police car had just stopped a bus. Until I asked whether our headlights were on they stopped us. They asked us a few questions, one of which was – where we were going and we were really wondering whether to choose another road. The polite policeman directed us to the village of Mlechino and Belite Brezi area, where I wanted to go by indeed and he advised us to drive with our headlights on. J
With all the frequent halts to take photos, to fill up water we had to be more careful. We started mounting and I kept on being amazed at the scenes in front of me.



We got to ‘Belite brezi’ – the only natural birch forest in the Rhodope Mountains.
We checked at a few places but for some reason we couldn’t eat anywhere. In the end, we pulled over at ‘Brezata’ complex.  There were a lot of people going for a walk to breathe some fresh air. And food at last …. Having eaten we set off for our next route destination – ‘Orlovi skali’. A Thracian rocky cult complex, located on a hill part in the vicinity of Ardino.

The road to the area was asphalted; there was a pavilion here and there and at the end an improvised parking space. Then we climbed a steep path in the pine forest. It was about 4 pm and the people we leaving and we marched into the hill. Soon we got to a high rock that was 30 m high at some places.

Carved into the stone trapezium niches could be seen clearly.


As far as we know, Thracians used the niches as tombs - urns. At the moment the niches are 97. All of them carved by hand. Really impressive. We can find a lot of Thracian complexes in the Eastern Rhodope Mountains.
Before going to the main road to Ardino I went to a small quarter where a part of the Rhodope town could be seen.


In the late afternoon we were on our familiar road to Banite. We passed by Stoyanov Bridge. 

The garbage on the banks of Arda River, under the bridge, made a bad impression on me. Why can’t most people learn how to throw their waste in the respective places?
Although it was rather late we decided to have a look at another interesting spot, which we thought of at the last minute. I remembered Paspal village and Gorna Arda cascade. We went up high in the village lit up the soft, afternoon sunshine. The view didn’t cheat on what was revealed from most villages scattered in the mountains.

Half-demolished and abandoned cottages. We realised what we were looking for was right underneath and we could hear the water might. We talked to a smiling and friendly woman who told us how we could go to the cascade.

We had a chat and returned to Stoyanov Bridge where we were off to Smolyan.


It was magical. It was quiet and peaceful from one side and the reflections were magnetic. On the other side the water was so powerful that it could mute the thoughts in my head.

So almost the last sunshine and the water reflections of Pascal village part were the perfect end of that day full of new adventures, wonderful views and lots of emotions.


To be continued ….

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