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BREN forums • View topic - Summer solstice at Polezhan

Summer solstice at Polezhan

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Summer solstice at Polezhan

Postby vedrin » 21 Jun 2009, 14:34

On Midsummer day Bulgarians celebrate the so called Enyovden. On the same day the Eastern Orthodox church celebrates the day of John the Baptist and the rites and traditions of both holidays are often mixed. Bulgarian folklore states the beginning of winter starts on Enyovden. It is thought that in the morning of Enyovden, when the sun rises, it “winks”, “plays”, and the one who sees that will be healthy throughout the year. It is believed that on Enyovden the different herbs have the greatest healing power especially at sunrise. Therefore, they have to be picked up early in the morning before dawn. Women–sorceresses, enchantresses - go to gather herbs by themselves to cure and make charms. The herbs gathered for the winter must be 77 and a half–for all diseases and for the nameless disease.
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Hi folks,

After having climbed Polezhan at St. Lazar's Day (a description in Bulgarian is available here) we couldn't resist Atanas' offer to check how the highest granite peak of Pirin (2851m) would look like at the summer solstice. Not surprisingly, there were quite a lot more people in the region than we met in winter. The somehow funny thing is that in general the winter hike to Polezhan peak can be much easier for well equipped mountaineers (even without skies), mainly because of the rocky terrain, uncovered in summer. Conforming to the (sometimes erroneous) perception that summer hikes are easier, or perhaps just by chance, this time our group was also much larger — it included Nina, Mateusz, Kiril, Nikola, Atanas and Vedrin. Here is one photo of the whole group, taken two hours before the end of the hike.

We started at 9:49 from Bezbog hut (2200 m) and followed the normal summer trail to Polezhan peak, arriving there at 12:20. We had lunch at the peak and then started the descent towards Malak Polezhan. At the pass between Polezhan and Malak Polezhan we decided to split: Atanas and Mateusz went down exploring the beautiful Polezhan lakes, while Nina, Kiril, Nikola and Vedrin followed the ridge through Malak Polezhan (2822 m) to the Dzhengalska Porta pass (2500 m). As planned, the two groups joined later on the traditional trail from Dzhengalska Porta pass to Bezbog hut. We arrived back at Bezbog hut at 18:54, had dinner and then continued the descent towards the car parking at Gotse Delchev hut (1500 m). On the way down we (except Atanas and Mateusz) spent some time for finding one famous tree — Visokata Ela. It is 36 m high, has ~4.5 m circumference and is many hundreds of years old. The long daylight of the summer solstice gave us a chance to see the tree, just before we arrived at Gotse Delchev hut at 21:08. It might be interesting to compare this 11 hours hike in summer time (length 17.19 km, total ascent 1024 m, total descent 1788 m) with the above mentioned similar winter hike (length 13.83 km, total ascent 833 m, total descent 1591 m) that we did together with Nina in mid-April and which was 3 hours shorter, included Bezbog peak, but avoided Malak Polezhan peak and Dzhengalska Porta pass. It's quite impressive to see to what extent the forces of Nature can transform some place in only 10 weeks long timeframe.

Here are some links to the photos that we took during this hike:

— Atanas: http://photo.argon.acad.bg/ksx/2009/pirin-01/
— Vedrin: http://vedina.acad.bg/v/vedrin/Pirin-2009-06/

We would be expecting also links to Mateusz', Kiril's and Nikola's photos, and hopefully — stories.

Cheers,
Vedrin
Last edited by vedrin on 21 Jun 2009, 23:17, edited 7 times in total.
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Vedrin Jeliazkov
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Re: Summer solstice at Polezhan

Postby iliev » 21 Jun 2009, 20:08

Pretty cool trip, folks! Congratulations! :good:

BTW, this happens to be the 100th topic on the forum... YAY! HIP HIP HOORAY!!! :Yahoo!:

So, thanks a lot to all who contribute (especially regularly!) Without you, the forums would have been just another domain name. :beer:
Luchesar V. ILIEV
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