Only approximately 40 minutes away from Sofia is the picturesque little village of Bosnek – Боснек, also known as the “lungs of Pernik” – a miner town back during communist days, which by the way is home of the famous Surva festival, an event which I can highly recommend.
This neat little village houses several sights worth the short drive from Sofia – one is a 600-year-old oak, a truly interesting view to behold, another one is the longest cave in Bulgaria – Duhlata – Духлата, which is only accessible with speleological gear and is not an easy challenge with its 18 km length. The sight I want to tell you about, is a lovely ecopath leading to a natural water spring called the Live Water of Bosnek. Right next to it is the Live Water cave which is also worth a short visit.
The path starts at the end of the Live Water street in Bosnek and is a very easy walk, about 2 hours both ways. We were lucky and there were barely any people to meet in spite of the fantastic weather. The nature is versatile, there’s plenty of bird species to be observed, as well as game, apparently – a sign for this was the blood trail that ran along the path almost the entire way until the water source. This was a bit stressful for me, as I imagined wounded wolves, bears and all kinds of forest monsters stalking us from the trees, but even if there were any, none of them showed their faces, thank God!
All the more, we had our border collie with us, and a cute little beagle bitch from the last house in Bosnek decided to join us, so with these hunting beasts alongside us, my worries subsided.
The weather was fine, we saw different birds and as the path presented us with a very chill walk, the mood was excellent. The path turned into an icy creek at one point because of the melting snow, but it was still passable.
This easy walk though was about to get somewhat strange: all of a sudden, the dogs which were running ahead, stopped at a turn and barked, obviously startled by something. We hurried after the to see what scared them and saw a man, carrying a hunting rifle and a big yellow bag full of something (poached game?). The man was scrambling to get away from us and into the trees, away from the path. Together with the blood trail, this creeped me out even more, I kind of felt like in the beginning scenes of a horror movie, but my husband laughed my worries off and called me a scaredycat as he usually does..(once he was dead-wrong, though, when a bear growled at us and made his pants turn brown after having called me a coward imagining things again :D). The man must have been a simple run of the mill poacher, as we met him once again on the way back and he again hastily hid into the forest before we could say anything to him.
Soon we reached the Live Water Source, which is supposed to look like a dragon, but to me it’s just a plain crocodile 🙂 Right next to it is a small shelter with a fireplace one could use in the summer for some nice barbecues in the forest shade. We took some pictures and continued on for about 300 meters to reach the little cave above the source. A small altar is inside, and I think one can advance in the cave, as there is a narrow corridor disappearing in the dark right corner.
We didn’t linger, as it was chilly among the trees and we hurriedly went back to the sunny path. Took us somewhat less than an hour to return to the beginning of the eco path. There were about 15 horses peacefully grazing next to our car. I think Buck frightened them, as they all of a sudden galloped behind the houses in order to reach a little hill far away from our “killer” dog. They were a beautiful sight.
On the way back we stopped at the giant oak for a while, but my phone had died, so I didn’t take any pictures of it. But hey, here’s your reason to go see this beautiful path for yourself 🙂