Cycling trip 🚵🏼 to village Slivarovo in Strandja Mountain -Bulgaria

in travelfeed •  6 months ago 

A few days ago I had the opportunity to visit the village Slivarovo, situated within the borders of Strandja Nature Park.


This happened during the "Zelenika Festival" - one of the most significant events for the region that is held each year in May.

During the day ride, we crossed incredibly beautiful places and touched the beauty of Strandja - a mountain in Bulgaria, with a thousand-year history.

The adventure of the previous day ( Maharata cave )of the festival can be seen here

Early in the morning, we left Kosti village.



It was still muddy, but at least that day the precipitation was much shorter and less frequent.


We passed through Goliamata Ayazma in Vlahov Dol, one of the tributaries of Veleka River.



Goliamata Ayazma is a sacred place for fire-dancers’ community in Strandja, also called the "Motherland," where the pilgrims and nestinars gather on Sunday before the feast of Sts. Konstantin and Elena - (celebrated on June 3 in old style). The Strandja people believe that on that day in all the sacred fountain (ayazma) in the mountains their water is the most healing.

Here to gather the people from the five nestinar villages in Strandja - Bulgari, Kosti, Gramatikovo, Kondolovo and Slivarovo.

Each year, early in the morning on Sunday, the inhabitants of the five villages leave from the "konatzi" of the saints, led by the fire-dancers, the sacred drum and the bagpipe, the boys with the icons and the pilgrims.

In Goliamata Ayazma each one of the villages has a sacred spring and a wooden frame, where the icons are placed, sacrificial gifts are left (money, ritual bread, etc.) and the icons are "washed" with spring water, which this day is the most healing.



Every village lays a table with food and people dance Bulgarian dances horo.


This is the beginning of the year for the fire-dancers (Nestinari).


We continued our cyclitrip.




We were still going to see many beautiful sceneries that can not be described.


The village, nestled in the valley of the Strandja Mountain, is situated at about 300 m above sea level, on a southern slope, overlooking a beautiful view of the hills on the Turkish territory.



South of the settlement, in the lower part, runs the River Rezovska.


Slivarovo is surrounded by thick and old deciduous forests. Probably because of this, it once had the name Kladara, originating from the Strandzha word "klada" - a thick old tree that the river brings along its current.


A wide variety of different species of flora and fauna can be found around the village. In the deeply valley of the Rezovska River there is one of the few deposits of the plant endemic Saponaria stranjensis.

Meadows around the village are a place to rest and feed many storks during their seasonal migration.

Today Slivarovo is the smallest village in Malko Tarnovo. The population is approximately 11 people as of 31.12.2013. Because of the depopulation of the village (located behind the border facility), the buildings are self-destructing.




The cultural center of the settlement was built in the 19th century - Church of St. Panteleimon. It was built on the ruins of an old chapel with the same name.


On its own plan it is a three-nave basilica with a female ward and open anteroom. From the icons, produced by Tryavna, Lozengrad and Strandzha icon-painters, today only one can be seen in the church.





The preserved houses, typical of the 19th century Strandzha architecture, give it the character of a unique reserve.





After a pleasant ride, we left the village.



We enjoyed the blooming beautiful plant - Strandzha Zelenika and finished our bike trip in the village Kosti.




Thank you for stopping by, and walking with my friends in the Mystic Strandja Mountain.

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Hi vesytz,

This post has been upvoted by the Curie community curation project and associated vote trail as exceptional content (human curated and reviewed). Have a great day :)

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Hiya, here @lizanomadsoul, just swinging by to let you know that this post made into our in Daily Travel Digest 524.

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Great find @steemitworldmap. This is a refreshing and beautiful ride. Makes me want to go there. Maybe I should move there to add to the population lol! History is written in those structures. The place has an exotic vibe to it even the names. Thanks for the tour :)

Wow that is truly a beautiful part of the world to ride a bike. I love the forests and seeing so much greenery. Only 11 people is a small village and I am sure one day it will lie abandoned.

I am so glad you like the Strandzha Mountain and one of its villages - Slivarovo. On weekends and holidays, the village is lively for happiness, as a local grandfather told us. That's why I hope this beautiful Bulgarian village is not abandoned in the future ❤️. Тhank you for your comment @cryptoandcoffee 🙂👍

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Hello vesytz

Congrats on your well deserved curie.

I totally love your travel post here, such greenery and must have been a pleasant experience. Love that squad shot at the end, the way its been clicked.

thankyou for sharing you experience with us :)

Thank you so much @vibesforlife 🙂 I'm glad you like my travel post! I wish you great week 🙂👍🌷

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Thank you for sharing! Stranja is mystical ancient beautiful place. As many other palaces in Bulgaria. The bulgarians don't appreciate enough their cultural patrimony. Especially the last 30 years. The photos are very beautiful, the colors and the compositions are magnificent!

I'm glad you like Stranja and my photos @spontaneart. Even in recent years, it seems as if the cultural patrimony, is not sufficiently appreciated, in fact a large number of Bulgarians respect and preserve our native heritage and our true history.

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Yes,many people respecting, but the the biggest part of bulgarians don't care properly, they prefer spent money for rakia and chalga instead to go to the museum or read some book. You understand what I mean:)

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That looks like another very difficult and muddy trail. You guys are really crazy! In a good sense of course :) I like that you have a big group of friends you can rely on when you feel like cycling :)

It's another lovely photos that you shared and took us with you on your adventure :)

Thank you for sharing and congratulations on yet another curie vote :)

I'm glad you like our "madness" 😀 . Good friends are a great support and the experiences are even more enjoyable when shared with them ❤️.

Thank you very much @delishtreats! 🙂👍

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it was really a nice trip! Thank you for all the cultural information of the tradition you shared and beautiful pictures !! the green of those places is incredible!

Thank you very much @road2horizon 🙂 I'm glad you like our trip and our Bulgarian tradition!

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This trip looks so cool, a lot of places visited and so many great pictures, the last bit of cross country was beautiful, and the little church was magical, thanks for sharing!

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I'm so glad you like our trip! Thank you @elfranz 🙂

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Wooaw, such an amazing adventure you guys had in there. Awesome scenes and cool pictures. From bicycle ride through the roads to the forest, buildings, churches, flowers and plants. They all really looked amazing.
Each second spent on your post was worthwhile and i am glad i met you post today. Great piece and keep the adventure spirit up always

I'm so glad you liked the adventure and enjoyed your time reading this post @ferrate. I hope I can keep the adventurous spirit more 🙂 Have a great day @ferrate 🙂👍

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Thanks and have a great week start too. You are welcome by the way

Quite a ride!
One can sense the mystic aura of such a forest. It is amazing how nature spreads that green carpet over man-made objects that seem to be intruders in the forest.
Beautiful villages, even the dilapidated house look charming. i guess as an outsider one may say so. Not sure what life is like for the inhabitants of that area. Everything looks peaceful, quiet, and slow.

Thank you for the comment @hlezama! :) I am glad that you felt the energy of Strandja: the Nature, the villages, the inhabitants... Everything is peaceful ❤️

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I take a picture but seeing your pictures only depress me JAJAJA are so beautiful that they deserve a lot of applause, how big you are friend!