27 April 2016


Early in the morning again and we were travelling through the pretty spring Rhodope Mountains, somewhere to Ardino. Today we would have the second longer passage from the route – visiting the ‘Utroba Cave’ (The Womb). While I am mentioning it I am thinking of the hill where it is located and the climbing to it – mixed emotions arise J
The weather was good to us the previous day and we could enjoy the stroll to the Devil’s Bridge and all the targets.
The sun had been shining brightly since the morning and the clouds roaming in the sky were not to be ignored.
We were travelling on the same road to Ardino that we went yesterday but today we continued to Kardzhali. We crossed the town and headed for Enchets village (the village with the hotels on the banks of Kardzhali dam), 5-6 years ago the dusty roads had taken us with Nikola. As if I had never been here before. Almost nothing was familiar to me.
We kept on going to Dazhdovnitsa village. At the first opportunity we stopped to take photos of the magnificent Kardzhali dam.

The rocks we were looking for appeared in the turn of the road just after the village of Dazhdovnitsa. 

The Thracian rocky niches were visible. 


We heard a little eaglet tweeting and then we noticed the nest where the noise was coming from.
the eagl nest -in one of the bigger rock holes
It was sunless and damp all around, and the thyme smell filled up the air. The meadows were full of flowers and herbs.

The niches were hard to approach but we weren’t thinking of going up to them. They were a pleasant view anyway.
Farther on the road was narrow and had lots of turns. We pulled over and after us at least two other cars did. The area was slightly crowded here. There was another view of Karzdhali dam.

And here was Borovitsa chalet which we observed yesterday from the ‘magical’ bend (see

While the boys were getting ready for the passage towards the cave – the sticks, the tourist gaiters and so on, we, the ladies dropped in to have a glimpse of the chalet. It was past 10 am and the sun was shining brightly. There was a smell of blossomed clover in the chalet yard.
We went down to the dam banks.

It was quiet and peaceful.

The fortress of Patmos is located there next to the rocks. One can reach it by boat which can be rented from Borovitsa chalet.
A little further and there was no way of making a mistake. We had arrived at the starting point of  ‘Utroba’ cave (The Womb). ‘A car next to a car!’

At that time most people were going up and almost no one was going down. We headed upwards slowly. We crossed the forest, went to a plain where a dam view was revealed again, upwards, flat, a pavilion, upwards, a pavilion and a long flat surface ….wow a long road but I might have changed my attitude so I was doing well. And here I could see the cave entrance.

During the travel I noticed that there were people again who had set off completely unprepared. A typical picture lately. No comment.

A very important elaboration for all those who are thinking of visiting the cave:
Just next to a small cover with a beautiful view of the open spaces there is a board – the cave is on the left. While we were walking we realised that there were at least ten people who had followed the way ahead. 

We got to the staircase leading to the unique temple for less than an hour. Things got a bit rough there. There were crowds of people and everyone was trying to enter.
About 20 people were waiting at the bottom and more people were coming continually, and the cave itself was narrow and gathered few visitors. ‘Let them go down, go down … and someone is climbing down!’ We started coming up and there were about 6 people of us who entered. It turned out just at noon, when it was sunny, a ray was reaching the cave interior and most newcomers wanted to observe the phenomenon?! ‘Let the others wait down there ...’.

So for 3-4 minutes we saw whatever we could, took photographs for a keepsake and left. The spot is interesting and makes you stay somehow but you’d better estimate the visit time (it shouldn’t be during the holidays or  at weekends).
In the meantime, a wanderer turned up wearing orange clothes, put a pillow at the bottom of the cave and started chanting.

Later on I found some information on the Internet that was Vladimir Ovsyannikov – a monk, a sensitive person and a researcher of abnormal zones and paranormal phenomena (you can read detailed information here: Standard newspaper)
He let me take photos of him.

We made lunch in a small shed with incredible panoramic scenery.
On our return it was quieter and the sun was hiding behind the clouds.


Almost at the end it was mizzling lightly but for a short time.
We refreshed ourselves near the cars as far as we could and continued our journey to Nenkovo village. We might have been the only ones. We met almost nobody on our way. We hadn’t travelled a lot when I saw the bridge over Borovitsa River near Nenkovo village – our next stop.

This is an old Roman bridge.

I liked it a lot and it came in my favourite reflective objects list.
It turns out I am fond of Roman bridges. ‘The sound of the river, the boulders, the village in the distance, the blue sky and those fluffy white clouds – I can stay there the whole afternoon and I won’t get tired of it’.

Well, we had covered the main spots of our preliminary route. There was only Zhenda village left and after all we made up our mind to go on travelling, to go round and return to Kardzhali. It was a wise decision – a scenic road, beautiful mountain views, small lonely Rhodope quarters and we hardly met anyone. Somehow idyllic. It was rewarding the way was going by Borovitsa dam. Its walls attracted us as a magnet and we took the turn.

After it the road was being repaired and the need of such a repair was urgent.

We were moving slowly at 20 km/h but the views made up for the drawback.


The rainy clouds we chasing us but didn’t catch us after all and I was very thankful.

Three parked cars, registered in Ruse for instance, showed me to look round ….and yessss, the sponge rock of Zhenda village was there.

A Thracian cult complex called ‘Asar Kaya’ is located in the village surroundings. A country road is leading to it. There are a lot of niches in the rocks. We chose to enjoy them from a distance. There wasn’t a living soul to be seen in the village and some of the houses were falling down.

It isn’t easy to get here and what do they do in winter?
The village of Zhenda is situated between two hills, and the houses arranged like a string just at the edge. 
The lack of road boards didn’t stop us and went up the way to Asenovgrad. There was a lovely scenery and almost strong wind.

I felt as if I crossed from one world to another. The entire ambience was different.
Time was going fast but we hadn’t visited all the places, noted down in advance. Well done!
At the last moment we decided to walk to one more place (one of our FAVOURITES), which I will tell you about in my next article.

To be continued …...

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