Visiting Slabak

Berievo Travel Blog

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Like moss on rocks in the forest, the mountains felt like I could run my hands through them.

This was my favorite part of the trip, as we got the chance to drive through the Balkans, on the old highway, and see the beautiful nature of my country. Also, I got to see my grandfather for the first time in over 15 years.

We drove for about 3 hours through the mountains as my grandfathers hideaway is in a tiny village in the middle of the Balkans. Although we did leave earlier than we expected, we did wake up quite late and did make a few pit stops along the way. So we reached Berievo around 9 pm.

Though the house was at the end of the village, and totally tucked away on a tiny street, and right behind the village cemetary.

As we pulled up, an army of dogs started barking at us from the other side of the fence, and we saw my grandfather coming up to the front gate to greet us.

The drive to my grandfathers
An absolutely amazing experience, as its been so long since I've seen him. He had a smile from ear to ear as he greeted us, and immediately sat us down in his outside kitchen and brough food and pulled out glasses for rakia.

My grandmother was falling asleep on the table, as she has been on the road long, and she had been working really hard all week to make sure the wedding was perfect, and excused herself as my grandfather finally convinced us that we have to spend the night and not keep driving.

Sitting and talking to him, I realized why I havent seen him in 15 years, and all of my animosity towards him as a grandfather was gone. He was such an important aspect to Bulgarian conservation. He is in a constant fight with everyone on conserving the forests, the beaches, and keeping the land clean and free of poluting factories near the forest.

Right after I took a big gulp of my grandfathers rakia
Spends his time writing in newspapers about the conserns of the forest, and gathers people to protect Bulgaria.

He spent his life on-stage and in front of cameras and has become one of the most famous actors in Bulgarian history, and from there a strong oponent agains communism and a part of the major ecological conservation party EcoGlasnost. A glass-full of rakia later, a couple of hours, and many many stories. We went through the pictures we had brought him, and followed him to start preparing the food for his animals.

At this point it was about 3 am, and he was just starting a long process of cooking and cutting foods for him 18 cats and 6 dogs which he has collected over time as people threw them out. After a bruling fight with the cooking, as he kept forgetting the cooking pot on the stove and it kept overheating.

Outside kitchen
Finally, I decided to head to bed, however, my mom and grandmother had taken the downstairs bed and I headed up to the second floor of the house in the room my brother was sleeping.

The house is kept in the same way that my grandfather bought it over 30 years ago. The house itself is 300 years old, and has a roof covered in stone slabs, the old wooden details, and the doorways have a hight of about a foot, where you have to jump over each one from going from room to room. My mother told me that this is because these rooms were previously used for putting wheat in, and with the raised doorways thats how they kept the moisture and rodents out and the wheat in.

Moving on...I was on the second floor in a bed that was I would say the width of a queen size bed, and the length of two beds, from one wall to another.

The high doorways in the house
The bed was comfortable, even though it was jsut slabs of wood, and a few covers over them, but either way it would have been really comfortable, if it wasnt for the mostrous bugs that decided to attack me. The whole night I was tossing and turning and scratching. Something viceous attacked me and I couldnt get away.

By the next morning I was up and my entire body was covered in large swells, I later learned that I was attacked by a type of termite which has a very nasty sting.

After a quick breakfast I set off to explore my grandfathers yard, which was gigantic, he had a whole full lot for his 5 chickens, and had a really funky table and benches alongside the fence of the cemetary. He says they are the quietest neighbors ever.

My grandfather ended up getting visitors, who came specifically to ask him about finding water, so he set off with the instructions. And after a quick instruction, we bid our farewells, and were on our way through the mountains again.

A memorable experience, and a great bonding experience. I will never forget seeing my grandfather that day, and look foward to my next trip to Bulgaria to visit him again.

boriana84 says:
it really was amazing....It was the best trip to Bulgaria I've ever had....a breath of fresh air.. :-)
Posted on: Dec 06, 2008
cneoridium says:
So many great adventures on your trip...
Posted on: Nov 10, 2008
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Like moss on rocks in the forest, …
Like moss on rocks in the forest,…
The drive to my grandfathers
The drive to my grandfathers
Right after I took a big gulp of m…
Right after I took a big gulp of …
Outside kitchen
Outside kitchen
The high doorways in the house
The high doorways in the house
The yard
The yard
My grandfathers house
My grandfathers house
Beautiful Flower in his yard
Beautiful Flower in his yard
Slabaka and I
Slabaka and I
Showing us how to find water in th…
Showing us how to find water in t…
classic
classic
My brother, Slabaka, and I
My brother, Slabaka, and I
My illusive grandfather
My illusive grandfather
Where my grandfather goes to greet…
Where my grandfather goes to gree…
I just thought the lighting of thi…
I just thought the lighting of th…
My grandfathers well
My grandfathers well
18 cats!!!!!
18 cats!!!!!
His shed
His shed
so, explain to me again...how do …
"so, explain to me again...how do…
MORE CATS!
MORE CATS!
Showing how to search for water
Showing how to search for water
There you go mom....you got the po…
There you go mom....you got the p…
The star hahaha :-)
The star hahaha :-)
One of his old movie posters....ve…
One of his old movie posters....v…
uhu....ok....I think I get the who…
uhu....ok....I think I get the wh…
Just very pleasant setting....and …
Just very pleasant setting....and…
lost count of the dogs :-)
lost count of the dogs :-)
Outdoor kitchen sink
Outdoor kitchen sink
FOUND A HEDGEHOG in his yard!!!
FOUND A HEDGEHOG in his yard!!!
The shed again
The shed again
side door
side door
The shed from inside
The shed from inside
Plastic bottles
Plastic bottles
From outside
From outside
:-)
:-)
My lucky number
My lucky number
Bye grandpa
Bye grandpa
Berievo
photo by: boriana84