Two days after the rather long hike according to my standards, my father and I head to climb the second highest peak in Bulgaria, Vihren Peak (2,914 m/9,560 ft). I've been waiting for a long time to conquest it. We come near the Vihren Hut and cannot believe our eyes – there is almost a traffic jam of cars, even though it is the first working day of the week. I thought Vihren wasn't one of the easiest to climb, so why are these hordes of people here? We find a free spot to park, prepare ourselves and head uphill. And the uphill starts right away, there isn't a flat section to warm up. At least we are relieved to see that 90% of the people are going in another direction – most probably to the Lakes Banderishki. As the total displacement of the climb is about 1,000 m/3,280 ft, just after 30 minutes of walking the hut is quite small.
|View towards Vihren Hut|
The vistas upwards are very impressive not only with their heights, but also with their vivid colors – green grass, white rocks and blue sky.
|Green with pale pink, white and blue|
|Green with saturated pink, white and blue|
|One of the Lakes Vlahinski|
We reach the Kabata area, where we stop for a rest before the final push. From here one could easily see what it will be – one bare, huge rock. The near sign promise us that we will be on top after 40-45 minutes.
|An ordinary grasshopper before the inordinary Vihren|
|The huge rocky mass ending with Vihren|
|The sign points it|
My father's phone interrupts our climb a couple of times and we agree to separate and meet on the top, as the non-stop ringing breaks the rhythm of both of us. I succeed to fit in the indicated time and I am awarded on the top with amazing views and chilly wind.
|From Vihren Peak to the Koncheto (Horsie) Ridge|
|The Koncheto Ridge with a bunch of clouds above it|
|And Vihren Peak|
Meanwhile, my father has climbed to the top and he also cannot believe the beauties that uncover in front of him. We recharge with some nuts and chocolates, while we take a walk on the summit. It is so difficult to believe that we have started from the Vihren Hut, which from here is a little spec.
|For the photo album in front of Todorka peak|
|A panorama view toward Todorka peak, Lakes Banderishki and Lake Gorno Vlahinsko (to the very right)|
|Here is our starting point – Vihren Hut|
|And our even more starting point – Bansko resort|
We grab our backpacks, I make a couple of pictures of some flowers nestled between the rocks and against all weather odds are burst into blossom, and head downwards.
|The flowers of Vihren 1|
|The flowers of Vihren 2|
The descent takes us 1 hour and 50 minutes which is with an hour less than the ascent. Happy with our achievement we park ourselves on a sunny bench on the hut's terrace drinking freshly squeezed orange juice. However, the couple next to us is eating some salad and steaks and I understand that I am hungry as well. While I order some food, I see that they are selling a small green booklet that I have been looking for some time – Conqueror of the 10 highest peaks of the Bulgarian mountains and buy one.
While I eat, one Garfield comes near us, but I couldn't lure him with piece of my tasty meatballs. I'm sorry that I don't have any Whiskas or something similar.
On the parking among the many cars I find an Albanian Land Rover equipped to the roof and beyond for adventures. A small pink bike is also attached to the spare tire for the adventures of the youngest.
|Ready for adventures|