Entering the Village of Gradets

Gradets Travel Blog

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Balkans from the top of the mountain where my brothers car overheated

From Berievo we traveled alongside the Balkans, and continued on towards Sliven. I was fortunate enough that our road lead is directly through Sliven as I was born there, and havent been back since then. It a beautiful city protected by the Blue Cliffs of the Balkans. A gorgeous view in every direction.

We didnt get a chance to stop anywhere, as we were in a hurry to get to our next destenation. Gradets. Though I really wanted to pass by the hospital I was born in, just for kicks :-)

After going through Sliven, we headed stright through the mountain on a tiny winding road which eventually lead us to a tinie tiny little village of Gradets. The village is split in two by a shallow fast moving creek, and the whole village has numerous little bridges connecting it.

Shipka!
This town is known for bringing up the best rocks for building. Flat thick slabs of stone, which they chizzle out of the mountain. Its absolutely amazing. Each house has piles of rocks stacked outside, and you see workers sitting and chipping away at rocks. The houses are all made in the same stone style, and the newer homes try and immitate the old styles.

We crossed the creek in search of my great grandfathers home which has now been torn down, and a statue built on it. It was a home right in the center of the village. He was a butcher and gave all of his extra meat to the gypsies, so they wouldnt rob him.

As we drove towards the town center, we realized that this village is about 80% populated by gypsies. And everywhere you turn there are gipsies smiling at you from ear to ear :-)

Unlike the city gypsies in Sofia, or other larger cities, these gyspies are charming, and very down to earth.

I fell in love with this adorable little boy! Such a pure smile
As we made it to the center, my grandmother started off looking for anyone who may remember the owner of the house on the property where the statue is built. As she was catching up with the locals, I grabbed my camera and was on my way. The homes were beautiful, and very nicely kept up. The antique style homes are classic and original. And the people that live there have lived there for generations, and probably their ancestors built them.

As I was photographing beautiful structures, a horse carriage with a family of gypsies passed by. At that point I turned towards them, and the father told his son that he is being photographed, at which the boy started making faces. Later on, after they stopped the carriage, and the family went into the store, the boy stayed in the carriage and I went over and took at least 15 pictures of him.

MY FAVORITE PICTURE OF MY TRIP! Everyone looks at this and says its sad....I think its beautiful...a child in his pure nature....just having fun with what he's got
He had the sweetest and most charosmatic smile. So pure and natural.

Finally, my grandmother had finished speaking with everyone, and we headed out to Jeravna. But not without one last great shot.

As we were driving out, we noticed a boy around the age of 5 or 6 running down the street, pushing a flat inner tube of a tire, totally naked. He was so amused by this that he didnt even notice me until we had passed him, and thats where my favorite shot of my trip was made. An absolutely classic shot, of natural joy and fun.

From there the trip to Jeravna, the village I have been itching to go to in over a year, was quite quick and we reached within about 15 minutes.

 

mickeyd302 says:
Very cool. It is always great to go back to our roots.
Posted on: Aug 08, 2007
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Balkans from the top of the mounta…
Balkans from the top of the mount…
Shipka!
Shipka!
I fell in love with this adorable …
I fell in love with this adorable…
MY FAVORITE PICTURE OF MY TRIP! Ev…
MY FAVORITE PICTURE OF MY TRIP! E…
Spent a half hour driving behind a…
Spent a half hour driving behind …
Not so big...really
Not so big...really
The Blue Cliffs over Sliven
The Blue Cliffs over Sliven
Street of Gradets
Street of Gradets
crooked couse in Gradets
crooked couse in Gradets
Renovated home
Renovated home
A man working on the stones
A man working on the stones
heh....just taking picture :-) Tha…
heh....just taking picture :-) Th…
Beautiful view
Beautiful view
Driving to Sliven
Driving to Sliven
The drive down
The drive down
Beautiful old house
Beautiful old house
I just loved this balcony
I just loved this balcony
Town Center
Town Center
STOP in English...maybe its too lo…
STOP in English...maybe its too l…
Gradets accross the river
Gradets accross the river
No cement...
No cement...
My little gypsy boy! Isnt he adora…
My little gypsy boy! Isnt he ador…
:-) making faces at me
:-) making faces at me
Down the road
Down the road
A gypsy
A gypsy
In ruins
In ruins
Gradets
photo by: boriana84