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.