On our very first weekend here in Blagoevgrad, we decided to do some sight seeing and decided to take a day-trip to one of Bulgaria’s most popular sights: the Rila monastery. It is the biggest orthodox monastery in Bulgaria and located in the Rila Mountains, about 40 km away from Blagoevgrad. It was founded by Iwan Rilski in the 10th century and played an important role in Bulgarian history.
After a discussion with the bus driver due to some language barriers, we took two buses just to arrive at the sight a few hours later. The monastery and its church were beautiful, a lot of gold and a lot of colors. We spend our entire time just looking and admiring the architecture. The frescoes on the outside wall of the main church were especially impressive.
Short side note: always remember to bring something to cover legs and shoulders with, no matter how hot it is.
On our way back we met another travel group with travelers from Germany and Italy too. Similarities were quickly found and exchanging our experiences was really refreshing. Arriving back in Blagoevgrad, all of us were exhausted but happy to have the first thing checked off our lists.
We will see when we are returning to the Rila-Mountains for a hike to the Seven Rila Lake or another visit to the monastery, but we will for sure.