Wednesday, February 29, 2012

теснолинейка Септември — Добринище (The Septemvri — Dobrinishte Narrow Gauge Train Line)

Six months from today, I’ll be leaving Bulgaria. In terms of work, we’ve got a lot to accomplish between now and then. Good things are happening, and I’m probably more excited now than I’ve been at any point during my entire service. But the clock is also running out on me to see and experience things on my Bulgaria bucket list. Knowing this, I’ve started making a concentrated effort to knock off such items one by one.

Last weekend, I knocked off the first: теснолинейка Септември — Добринище (the Septemvri — Dobrinishte Narrow Gauge Train Line). I’d wanted to take this train ride for some time, and an extended weekend provided the perfect opportunity to do it.

At the advice of a friend who has ridden the entire line, I started two stops from the end of the line in his town, Разлог (Razlog). As someone who loves a good train ride, I thoroughly enjoyed everything about the trip. The scenery was best during the first hour or so of the ride, when we were surrounded by towering snowcapped peaks jutting into blue skies and puffy white clouds, and again near the end before reaching the Upper Thracian Plain, when we followed meandering rivers and were surrounded by precipitous cliffs. It’s not as scenic as the stretch of track through the Iskar Gorge on the Sofia to Mezdra line, but it’s far more interesting because of the Помаци (Pomaks) who live in the villages along the line and hop on and off the train all along the way. Knowing some Bulgarian and eavesdropping on their conversations will enhance your experience, but it’s a ride worth taking even if you don’t know any Bulgarian.

A few shots from Razlog, Bansko, and the train.

1 comment:

  1. I love seeing pictures of Razlog. So beautiful... but it is 80 degrees F in Dallas! :)