So, after a lovely eggy bread breakfast at Motocamp Idilevo, we set off towards Gabrovo, and Shipka, doing our best not to take main roads, and sticking to trails as best we could. The cameras were playing up, but we remembered that we had the Galaxy Tab so used that for most pictures, and some of the video.
The Shipka pass itself is a stunning road, and twists, and winds its way up the mountain sides like a mightily pissed off snake. hairpin bends, and blind corners aplenty. There are 2 monuments at the top of the mountain. The first is the Shipka Memorial, and it is a truncated tower in the memory of all those who perished in the Liberation of Bulgaria during the Russo-Turkish wars.
It has some superb views around the mountains...
And the second is the smaller, but equally impressive stature monument, commemorating the battles that took place on that spot in the late 1800's. Several cannon overlook the hillsides.
So, once we were done there, we headed off to find the peak of Buzludzha, which has the imposing concrete flying saucer perched atop it.
We made our way, as best as we could along established forest roads towards the flying saucer...
When we forst got there, we couldn't see any particular roads heading up to it, so figured we might as well start climbing... We parked the cars, and on we went. After 3 defibrillation's, 2 stops at sherpa camps, and breathing like perverts, we got to the top.
The building is very impressive. The ceiling inside is very intricate, although it is severely dilapidated. There are ways inside, but we figured as there were security guards with big sticks, we'd best not. It is covered in graffiti, with "Forget your past" emblazoned in red on the front, although I disagree with that. It is a shame that a building such as this is allowed to just fall into disrepair, even if it has communist connotations. It is part of their history and letting it crumble won't change that.
Still, if ever there was a building just waiting for some sort of Dr. Evil, or Bond villain, this is it!
Road from Buzludzha to the Shipka Pass
A good 2 days pootle, and glad to finally go up the pass, and see the flying saucer.
A note to any PH'ers... The Shipka pass should definitely be on your list of roads to drive, if you are ever in this neck of the woods!