to Rila monastery

Rila Travel Blog

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bus to the monastery
Rila Monastery is the largest and most famous Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria and also is regarded as one of Bulgaria's most important cultural, historical and architectural monuments.

In the morning I and a Japanese girl, who I had met yesterday at the hostel, took a tram (No.5) from the city centre in Sofia to Ovcha Kupel bus terminal.

At the tram stop one stop before, two tram inspectors got on the tram. As soon as they found us, they came closer to us ignoring other local passengers and asked us to show them the tram ticket, so we did (Actually I didn't understand what they had said but it seemed like that). Then, they shouted something and I knew it might happen.
rila village
On my guidebook, it says some tram inspectors try to get money from tourists claiming the tram ticket. We had right one but the inspectors didn't understand what we were saying and we couldn't understand what they were saying. While the inspectors were shouting something, one of the passengers stood up and said something to the inspectors. He was trying to help us. But the inspectors shouted something to the passenger and was almost hit him. He sat again. Then the inspectors started to shout something to us again. It seemed it would remain as far apart as ever...

When we arrived at the ovcha kupel tram stop, we got off together and kept talking at the platform (It wasn't "talk", though). I really didn't want to pay money but we were running out of the time. It was about the bus to the monastery leave. If we talked more, we would miss the bus.
the monastery
So we gave up and paid. Soooo ridiculous!

The bus to the monastry was not like a bus, but a van. We were the last passenger. I recommend you to get to the bus terminal earlier to get a seat in the bus and to avoid those inspectors.


After having a break in Rila village, we arrived at the Rila monastery around 1pm. Going through the gate and we found the Church in front, the church with beautiful frescos. A monk was passing. Amazingl!

We took some photos and then went to the reception to book beds for tonight. It costs 30lei for one bed in a domitory room in the monastery for one night. Normally, tourists go back to Sofia on the same day they visit the monastery taking the bus around 3pm, staying here only for 2 hours. After 3pm, there were only few tourists and it became so quiet. The view at night was fantastic. I love the colour of the dark blue sky right after the sunset. It's the best time to take a photo.


Here was one problem. The restaurant and the bakery at the back of the monastery was closed in the evening. We had no food. We asked a monk if there was another restaurant. He said "about 10 minutes by car" and asked us to wait a bit then disappeared. Soon he came back and gave us boiled eggs, sausages and breads. Those must be his food. How kind!


Our day started with unkind and ended with kind.

tacco14 says:
Hi Svetoslav, thanks for your info!
Posted on: May 05, 2012
Svetoslav says:
The Rila Monastery (Monastery) is 120 km from Sofia. A number of transport companies offer private transfers to there. Tour operators offer also private and shared tours this UNESCO World Heritage site. There is a bus that everyday leaves from Ovcha Kupel to Rila Monastery and back. From recently there is a loop shuttle from Alexander Nevski to Rila Monastery and Boyana Church.
Posted on: Apr 06, 2012
tacco14 says:
Did you? I'm sorry that she wasn't me ;)
Posted on: Dec 24, 2009
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bus to the monastery
bus to the monastery
rila village
rila village
the monastery
the monastery
Dupnitsa Gate
Dupnitsa Gate
the church
the church
Hreliova Tower
Hreliova Tower
bakery and restaurant
bakery and restaurant
face on the wall
face on the wall
so beautiful!
so beautiful!
a monk gave us easter eggs
a monk gave us easter eggs
map
map
Rila
photo by: eefab