So, as mentioned here, you can combine a climbing trip to the cave God’s eyes with a day in the town of Pleven. It’s close to Prohodna – ca 60 km, and there’s much to see.
Pleven is where my mom is from, so I spent many of my summers as a kid over there at my grandparents’, so the emotional connection with it is strong for me 🙂 Pleven is quite beautiful with its downtown fountains and a well-kept main pedestrian street.
There’s many places to get something to eat, or just a coffee or a drink. The town has a great atmosphere and kind of a cosy feeling to it.
It’s full of memorabilia from the Russo-Turkish war, as one of the main battles for victory was fought for the liberation of Pleven. An epic story, totally worth a Hollywood blockbuster, unfortunately no one cares about Bulgarian history in the blockbustering circles..
The town’s largest museum is the Panorama, containing both memorabilia and a 360º reenactment of what the siege looked like.
To get to the Panorama, you will have to climb the stairs of the monument Mother Bulgaria – Майка България, who is breaking her chains (being liberated from Ottoman yoke). It’s a very epic place.
Pleven is also quite famous for the enormous park lying right outside its skirts – Kaylaka – Кайлъка. The park is twice as big as the town, rumour says, but even if not, it’s quite astonishing. Very beautiful, with both a ‘civilized’ part to it, as well as a wild one. Aaand, surprise, surprise, there’s also a great opportunity for climbing at the park rocks.
Admittedly, I have been to Kaylaka for climbing only once, but I can absolutely assure you that this is the best rock quality I have experienced so far. Very abrasive and easy to hold on to 🙂 Be careful, though, as Pleven is one of the hottest places in BG during summer, you should watch out for snakes.
Oh, and the climbing community of Pleven consists of the warmest (and some of the most hard-core) climbers I have ever met. A huge thanks to all of them for being so accommodating to us intruders 🙂
Pleven is a very historical and ancient place. Another thing you can visit is the Storgoziya fortress – крепост Сторгозия, which is inside the Kaylaka park and is cool to see as well.
A great idea for a two-day itinerary is to go to Pleven on Friday evening, spend the night, get to know the town on Saturday (alternatively climb, if that’s what you’re after) and drive to the cave Prohodna the next day for some more climbing or for a walk in it and have lunch at the National Caving Home admiring the view. From there, Sofia is not far, if that’s where you’ll be headed.