Saturday, May 29, 2010

Rila Mountains' Seven Lakes

The weather forecast threatened rain, but I bravely set out with 4 Bulgarian friends on a trek into the Rila Mountains and the Sedmete Ezera, or Seven Lakes. Jodie stayed behind as this was not the trek for her. The five of us drove up winding mountain roads through the village of Panichishte to the Rila Lakes Chair Lift, which would take us on an open-air ride of more than 2 kilometers to the altitude of 2,100 meters.

At the top of the lift we reached the Rila Lakes Chalet and from there we began our hike. It was 8 Degrees Celsius and there was still plenty of snow around. It will all melt by the end of June. We looked up to the ridge on our right = that was where we were heading. It was a hard ascent even for me, but there were young children and even a woman carrying a young baby making the climb.

The Rila Lakes are fed by snow water and are located on a series of steps down the mountain valley. We would see five of them, and they are viewed most spectacularly from above.

After our first ascent we reached an open plateau and the colors around us were astounding. Along with the rocky, snow-covered peaks, there were fields of flowers, with purple the most predominant color.

At many points we had to cross the snow, which in some cases was quite deep and slippery.




The scenery was spectacular, and these pictures barely do justice to the magnificent views around us.


Below are hikers seen crossing the snow.





The fifth lake, below, was frozen, with the ice covered with snow. There was no way we could make our ways higher up towards the 6th and 7th lakes.



Below: the frozen lake.


Tony took panoramic pictures of the scenery.









On our way down, Fori fell and twisted his ankle, and he had to hobble back to the chair lift. Luckily it wasn't something serious. We drove back towards Sofia, very glad that the weather held. It was an extremely enjoyable hike!

1 comment:

  1. The Seven Rila Lakes is an extremely sensitive and wondrous spot on Rila Mountain. Many of its species are endemic and listed in the Red Data Book of Flora and Fauna, which denotes them as endangered or rare.

    The first lake - '"The Tear '" is the highest of the Rila Lakes. It is found at 2535 meters above sea level and has an area of .7 hectares. It is 4.5 meters at its deepest.

    The 2nd - '"The Eye'" is found at 2440 meters above sea level and has an area of 6.8 hectares. It is the deepest of the lakes with a depth of 37.5 meters.

    The 3rd - '"The Kidney'" is at an altitude of 2282 meters above sea level and has an area of 8.5 hectares. It is 28 meters at its deepest.

    The 4th - '"The Twins'" are actually one lake nearly split into two. They are at 2243 meters above sea level and is the largest and longest of the lakes. It has an area of 9.1 hectares and a depth of 27.5 meters.

    The 5th - '"Three-Lobed Lake'" has an irregular shape and steep banks and is found at 2216 meters above sea level. It is 6.5 meters deep and has a total area of 2.6 hectares.

    The 6th - '"The Fish Lake'" is found at 2184 meters above seal level and has an area of 3.5 hectares. It is the shallowest of the lakes at 2.5 meters. The 7 Lakes Lodge is found at its most Northern bank.

    The 7th - '"The Low Lake'" is at 2095 meters above sea level, has an area of 5.9 hectares and is 11 meters deep.

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