Musala | Bulgaria

I left Turkey and drove to Bulgaria and the small ski resort Borovets. Someone told me, or if I read it on a sign that it´s the cheapest ski resort in Europe. I don´t know if that is true but I was there off season in the beginning of October so I was almost the only one staying at my hotel. When I told the people working there I was going to climb the mountain the said with big eyes “oooohhh that´s very difficult you have to be really careful and it will be very cold”. I asked them if they ever climbed it and they said “no”.

Anyway when I woke up that morning it was cold and there was fog everywhere. Or if we were just in a cloud? I drove up and parked the car where I had researched my route would start. That was just in the end of the village. I don´t know if I took the “right” route up to where the lift stopped. I just walked in a ski slope for two hours. But the forest was so beautiful with all the fog.

When the forest ended it was just ski slope. There was an angrey stray dog living in the mountains who started barking at me. Marking I could not come closer or pass him. But i walked as far to the left as I could in the ski slope and then it was fine. But the dog kept barking for a long time even after it could see me.

When I got up that ski slope I took a little snack break. Everything at the ski resort was closed. I was the only one there.

The view from there was really cool with the clouds dancing around the mountains.

I kept walking, now on the trail and passed this hut (to the right) that I thought was closed.

There was a beautiful lake where the water was all still.

And still fog everywhere.

Then it was time to walk up (after walking down a while from the lift and traverse a long bit).

It became snowy. I had not brought my crampons but it was ok. A little bit slippery sometimes but as long as you were careful you could walk in just your boots.

And just as I passed here, with maybe 20-30 minutes left to the top I heard a howl. My first thought was “is that a wolf?” and I stopped to think about what my best options would be. I had nothing to defend myself with. It would take at least 30 minutes back to the closed hotel and hut I passed. If it is a wolf it probably know that I´m here already. I don´t have a chance if it wants to eat me anyway so I can just continue towards the top. So that´s what I did.

And ten minutes later I meet some guy in crampons on the way down. I was so glad, other people! I asked him about the howl and if he knew what animal it was. “You are crazy, there is something wrong in your head, what have you been drinking?” was his answer and he was very rude. I´m not used to people acting like this. Everyone I´ve met so far on mountains have been really nice. So he just kept going down. Then another person showed up and said “watch out for the dog”. And then I understood. It was not a wolf that howled. It was a dog! Great news and I continued to go to the top!

Just as I saw the summit the dog came jumping on me from nowhere. It didn´t try to bite me but it was still scary because it was a big dog so I pushed it away and said “no go away” to it. And It did after another jump on me. I´m kind of scared of dogs but I tried really hard to not be in this situation.

With the dog taken care of I walked up to the summit and took a few photos and then started to walk down again. I really wanted to catch that rude guy in crampons to tell him there was no wrong in my head and there was actually an animal howling. And I did after a while! He looked at me like he didn´t care so I just passed him and cathed up with the other guy. And you know what? He is also climbing the highest mountain in every country in Europe! So random. But he has no time limit like I have. So we stopped at the hut (that was not closed) on the way down. He had a beer and I had a coke and then we talked all the way down from the mountain where I jumped in my car and started driving to Romania.

Mountain no 17