I started my day with a nice simple buffet breakfast.
Ingredients are indeed fresh to enhance a breakfast.
We departed hotel for Rila Monastery.
It is about two hours away from Sofia; therefore, we stopped few places before we reached there.
The area is famous for production of cherries.
We stopped at SMALL cherry shop to buy local delicacy.
We also stopped at small town to look for nests of storks.
In Japan, we believe a stork brings a baby to a family and I was told that in Bulgaria, a stork is also a symbol of good luck.
I could see a head of storks at chimneys; how cute!
Then we reached Rila Monastery; it is located over 1000 m from the sea level and opened by Saint Ivan about 960 years ago.
This monastery is the largest and most significant Monastery in Balkan Peninsular.
We are welcomed by Saint Gabriel, Jessica and Saint Michael at the gate.
There was a fire in 19th century to burn all down except the stone tower.
Those days, 500 people served at Rila Monastery, today there are only eight.
Rila Monastery is equipped with 300 bed rooms, a wine cellar, bakery, cheese factory, vegetable farms, kitchen and even library.
Rila Monastery survived during Turkish Yoke by paying taxes because they earned income by selling wine, reads and cheese.
There is a cute little post office.
Wow, this place has everything within the premises.
First, we visited the museum to learn more about the history of Rila Monastery and beautiful crafts of Eastern Orthodox.
This is the tower that survived from a fire in 19th century.
We went outside from another entrance to take a look of Rila River.
Rila means lilac in Bulgarian, but for Rila Monastery, it means the source of water.
The Virgin Mary’s Church.
The church is nicely decorated by frescoes.
With no exception, these beautiful frescoes made the monastery famous.
There are significant frescoes.
For example, the judgement day: there is a door to the heaven and a path to the hell.
I found the Virgin Mary and her son (Jeasus).
I had trout for lunch at the river side restaurant.
I had my trout with Bulgarian local beer and cherry juice.
A bottle of Rila Water was provided to each of us so I happily took it back for my own consumption!
Again, food is simple, but I enjoy its simple ness.
After lunch, we visited another UNESCO World Heritage: Boyana Church (1979).
The first section was built in 11th century; the second extension was built in 13th century; the last (third) section was built in 19th century.
We can see the period clearly from the side of church.
The door to enter into church is made by wood (surface) and steel (inner) in 14th century though the building was built in 19th century.
The entrance is small to make us naturally humble to bow before entering.
Boyana Church became famous because of frescoes – so emotional.
It is very unfortunate that I won’t be able to share how beautiful these frescos are.
This was the last sightseeing spot of the day.
We returned hotel for dinner.
We enjoyed buffet dinner at the terrace.
After good laughs, time to hit bed!