Rakoivishki Monastery, Bulgaria.

This is from October 2011.

We drove back to Serbia by back roads.  The main attraction was to be Belogradchik, an Ottoman fort built around a series of natural red rock monoliths.  In pictures they look spectacular, but we had fog down to the deck so I really can’t testify to them first hand.  Now I know how cruise ship passengers arriving in Sitka must feel.  We also visited the Rakovishki Monastery, which was a center for Bulgarian Nationalism against the Turks.  The Turks destroyed much of the monastery in 1850 but left one chapel from the 11th century unharmed.  It has original murals which are among the finest in the Balkans.

At the Monastery the IREX Jeep refused to start.  Two men in uniform, a policeman and a monk cuddling a tiny kitten, hooked up a tow rope and we got the Jeep moving fast enough (uphill) for me to pop the clutch and get the Jeep started.  We drove happily into Serbia toward the motorway.   We particularly liked the grave of one of the earlier masters of the monastery where monks had left bottles of wine and rakki.

 

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