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Sep 7, 2010 - Rila Monastery

What a difference a day makes. From King-sized bed in a four-star hotel to a cot in a monks cell. You can certainly say we have a variety of accommodations on a Rick Steve's Tour. Rila Monastery is the most famous monastery in Bulgaria and is a fantastic place in a beautiful location. The air is so clean here and the water comes straight from the mountain and is very cold and tasty. Most people just visit for the day, and it can be quite crowded at times, but we stayed 1 night in the monastery itself, which was quite peaceful after the...

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Jul 12, 2010 - Rila Kloster - Rila Monastery

In den Bergen Bulgariens liegt das fuer sie so wichtige, identitaetsstiftende Kloster von Rila. Ungleich allem, was wir bisher gesehen hatten, konnten wir das Kooster mit seinen 300 Moenchszellen, gut erhaltenen Freskos und dem bunten Aeusseren bewundern. Dies war wirklich eigen, denn sonst widerspiegelt Bulgarien immer eine (geschichtlich bedingte) Mischung aus sehr grossen russischen Einfluessen und auch Tuerkischen. Zurueck gings ins uns immer noch feindlich gesinnte Sofia. Besonders herauszuheben ist die Gattung der Taxifahrer. Alle...

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Sep 11, 2009 - Rila Mountains and Monastery

Our stay in Plovdiv was wet, but the rain did not keep us from admiring the city's treasures: Thracian ruins ( ), one of the best preserved Roman Amphitheaters in the world and smack in the middle of downtown, a section of a Roman Stadium which held 30K spectators! The rest of the stadium is buried under old city buildings from the middle ages. Next we traveled further West to Sofia, the Bulgarian capitol. Grand old buildings (St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Banya Boshi Mosque and Synagogue of Sofia) made us overlook the communist era...

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Jan 26, 2009 - Making our way on the ABM (Another Bloody Monastery) Route

1/26/09 Off we went to arguably the most famous Bulgarian landmark, the Rila Monastery. This monastery was the first Christian Monastery built in Bulgaria, founded by a hermit living in the mountains surrounding it (yes, hermits are not only found in Monte Python’s Holy Grail). It was rebuilt in the 1300’s after a fire, and managed to survive the Ottoman (Muslim) rule due in part to its isolated area, and continues to provide services in the Bulgarian Orthodox religion to this day. Not only is the architecture stunning, with its curved...

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Apr 7, 2006 - Sofia - Rila Monestary

Today we made a day trip to Rila Monestary; about 2 hours drive south of Sofia. So we had a driver for the day whereby we were able to take our time when we got there. 1147 m above sea level it lies amidst some of the most scenic recesses of Rila Mountains. Spread on an area of 8800 square meters in the shape of an irregular quadrangle, they form an enclosed ensemble. Rising in the middle of the courtyard is a high stone fortress tower built by the local feudal Sebastocrator Hrelyu in 1334-1335, and a small church dated to 1343. We were...

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Feb 25, 2006 - Bansko, Bulgaria - Finally I get to hit the slopes!

Hi all, I should've typed this a while ago but I didn't so here's the spiel about my trip to Bulgaria. I had been pretty crook leading up to when we went and were therefore a little pissed off because I wanted to 100% for the trip. However after a couple of days off, a lot of drugs and a visit to the Dr I felt pretty good. As usual, plane trip was terrible even though it was only 3 hours long. Bulgaria Air with a small, old place...gorgeous flight attendants though! The whole day was spent travelling, two trains, a plane and then the bus....

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Ben Does The World!

May 9, 2005 - Rila Monastery

Left this am for Rila and mountains and monastery...sky is once again overcast, and rain seems to be the order for the day...a good day to travel... We had a great trip to Rila village/monastery...Sophia has a wonderful trolley system amd the place we're staying, Hostel Mostel, is close to everything via trolley,bus,or Metro! Hiking here is what's happening in my opinion. We got here to stay the night and found no cheap, or even reasonable accomodation...ended up in the monastery just because it was the only place really avail...$15 US no...

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Nov 24, 2004 - Road Trip Bulgaria; Rila Monastery

Depart with Canuck in the morning. He sets off on two wheels, me on four. Find classic 80's radio station and spend first hour or so stretching the vocal chords (oh to be alone in a vehicle!). Set out Westwards bound for mountains, ski resorts and ultimately the Rila Monestary - Bulgaria's finest. Unfortunately I'm about 2 weeks early for skiing, but I enjoy a fireside vino nonetheless, and pretend I've just completed a hard day on the turf. Decide to stop for fruit and vege at one of the many roadside vendors. Mandarins ok, apples...

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Nils Travels 2004

Jun 24, 2004 - Rilski Manastir

Whilst visiting the monastery in the mountains we stayed in a tiny hut high in the mountains away from any other accomodation. The river lay three hundred meters below us in the valley by its roar kept one awake at night. The nights were naturally very cool and with darkness a shroud of mist would lower itself over the landscape. While all else was silent the river roared on. One really did feel that it was some kind of rushing stampeed of animals, though I am sure if the bull would necessarily be it, as the Greeks (perhaps...see my...

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