all images & words copyrighted, all rights reserved ©JanGodownAnnino
Not as depicted in fairy tales
I step down along
narrow paved lane
truly a steep slope,
foothill of the Teteven Balkans
a beauty blue, summer blue,
postcard blue sky is my roof
it deserves a salute, but eyes rivet
down at the footing
less I twist ankle, break bone
5,600 miles away from home
and so moving shadow over the land
I stop, arch neck up
of grace and strength
creature soaring in a million
thrill of a glorious day, I whisper
-keep winging on your elegant way-
wild wild wild stork
flies free without baby bundle
The slope-day memories are part of our short summer family adventure, not a birding trip, so the surprise made the thrill more intense. I thank my fabulous son-in-law for this memory of a magnificent bird in flight I couldn’t tear my eyes from until as glided out of site in the Balkan mountains.
It is sweet to realize that less than one month ago, we returned home from afar. We traveled 5,600 miles away, journeying in three outstanding areas of Eastern Europe’s Bulgaria. Among stepping stones of Neolithic, Byzantine, Ottoman, Thracian, Etruscan, Greek, Roman people. (I may have missed a culture or two, in there…) Our biological clocks adjusted to the 10 hours of flight differences by refueling. Always-fresh, always-local veggies, bowls of pure Bulgarian yogurt, often homemade, considered by many to be the original yogurt of the world, fresh air, exciting archeological and ancient sites and most of all, wonderful people to meet, brought lovingly to our family by marriage. Here are a few images. I could spellbind you with a day-long travelogue!
A few snaps from Beautiful Bulgaria
Something of Plovdiv, named the EU’s Cultural Capitol of 2019 – ruins of stadium entrance, open air-three-story theater, Jewish temple menorah under reconstruction. The Cyrillic alphabet is a compelling cipher to me. My first-ever Arabic mosque minaret in an Arab region.
Something of Sophia – We felt as if we stepped into a scene from The Nutcracker Suite. Often the alphabet is translated. We sought out houses of worship and were pleased to be allowed past security, to experience the lovely Sophia Jewish Temple. We always looked for the national flower – roses – here, outside the 700 AD Christian Orthodox Church. The underground village of Serdica is yielding its stories, while museum treasures include truly-golden pages of a 4th-5th century book and young hairstyle I love, from a lass of ancient times. We never tired of the lovely red-tile roof views, this from our balcony at Sophia Place Hotel – glad to recommend it! Fresh foods, including fresh-squeezed on-the-spot orange juice are the norm.
Something of Rila – Ancient roadway, a monastery with architecture that is a work of art and a feeling as if I am walking into The Name of the Rose (Umberto Ecco) a favorite novel – all at the Rila Monastery at Rila Mountain.
A few fun scenes of family time. With more than 1,000 images between all of us, new family included, this is but a taste…
All images and words ©JanGodownAnnino, 2019, all rights reserved.