Thursday, November 18, 2010

beautiful Belogradchik

Belogradchik... This is one of our favorite places here in Bulgaria. Too bad it's three hours away. It's such a cool place! (I know this is a long post...again...but seriously, these pictures are worth it! I mean, obviously ALL my long posts are worth it, but this one...wowsa!) It's an ancient fortress up in the north. Paraphrased from wikipedia: It was first constructed when the area was part of the Roman Empire. The huge rocks surrounding it served as a natural protection, though at first the fortress was used mainly for surveillance and not defense. Then a tsar expanded it... then the Ottomans conquered Bulgaria and expanded it some more... then it was expanded again in the 19th century, this time with the help of some French and Italian engineers so there are some European elements added to it. The last time it was used in warfare was during the Serbo-Bulgarian War in 1885. Okay, now that you've got some background, on to the stunning photos! Because stunning they are... Behold...

Well, these guys are stunning in their own way. Here's the deal. We went to Belogradchik first in May, but... I never posted the pics. I meant to, I did. But it didn't happen. So the brilliant green pics are from May (those are the most stunning ones, in my opinion), and there are a few from last week. Ben, Zac's cousin/buddy, is visiting so we took him there. But most of the pics are from May, because it was more vibrant then. And I liked it better. So yeah. Up above are Zac and Ben with Nuala and Bran. Now pics from May:
Channeling her inner mountain goat.
Very awesome. I just love it. WHY, oh why does it have to be three hours away?! Not so bad Nuala-and-Bran-wise, but very bad Maeve-wise. For some reason six hours in her car seat is unappealing.
Looking up at the inner fortress.
Tiny Maeve! Only three months old then...
Cute N&B! And even THEY look littler. 'Cause they were.
Shooting imaginary arrows through the inner fortress arrow slots. It was quite windy...
Isn't this shot cool?! Kinda precarious looking, what with the babe just draped across his arm. But just look at that view!
I love this view, too! Background, but especially the foreground! ;)
We got to the very top just as a storm was coming in. We had a blast watching the lightning split the sky and seeing it all roll closer and closer.
This pic is from our trip last week. Zac is sooooo strong, holding that rock up by himself... my heart is all a-flutter... ;)
The landscape looks a bit different with the green gone. Still pretty spectacular, just not-so green.
Zac and Ben piggy-backed Bran and Nuala over to these rocks. Maeve and I hung out on a safer rock, though she kept yelling at them. She doesn't like to be left behind. Too bad her mommy was nervous about jumping from rock to rock while wearing her. See? We might take 'em paragliding and body surfing and off waterfalls, but we're careful with our little tykes! Step by step, right? And yeah, Bran and Nuala tandem paraglide with Zac. They love it! I've gotta put up some of those pics. Anyway. Maeve missed everyone and kept yelling for them to come back.
...and they did which made her happy. Belogradchik is an amazing place... rocks to climb, space to run in, fantastic views...We love it! Go there.

11 comments:

Tara Milligan said...

Wow, it does look super awesome. Those pictures are gorgeous, not much of a surprise that Nuala and Bran love it there, I can just see them pretending to be knights and warrior-princesses! Cute that Maeve didn't like being left behind, I'm glad the others made it back from those dangerous rocks safely!

Carolyn said...

Beautiful. It looks a little errie without the grass, cool, but errie. I too love that Maeve is so attached to her siblings.

kjb said...

Fantastic shots! Sign us up to go come spring time when the green returns! There must be a fun guest house nearby, right? I'm sure B&N would love to show N&G the best climbing spots. :)

Mika said...

I'll be right over.

Megan and Greg said...

That is AMAZING. All I could think with those first shots was Indiana Jones. I love it. I'm so jealous.

Sutherlands said...

so cool! I love the May pics too.

And, Maeve is walking! ACK! where does time go?

pauline said...

Those are really great pictures ... it seems worth the long(er) trip! I guess you'd plan to spend a few hours there! The little ones are so cute in all the pics too... do they properly appreciate all the super experiences they are having! They will later, when they read all about it! Thanks for sharing... Love, Mom (Dad too) xox

Rob and Erin Smith said...

Wow! Those are some super seriously awesome pictures! I think one of my favorites is Zac holding Maeve with that view, Wow! and the twins on the stairs are soooo cute! and N's mountain goat pic and Bran man in front of that almost as awesome but definietly not quite backdrop. Wow! again, Wow!!!

Ben said...

I have a bunch of video of this day. I'll post it someday when it's ready. :)

Julie said...

Okay, I'll go! Beautiful pictures, beautiful place!

Mike said...

Cool place!!! Can't wait to go there in March!!! Exciting!!!