To Discover the Land of Orpheus, The Devil’s throat and Yagodinska caves.
27 kilometers away from Devin, not far from the border that separates Bulgaria and Greece, is situated the village of Trigrad.
Village houses have firmly stitched to the rocks of the Rodope Mountains and altogether form that small village.
The atmosphere is somehow elemental, as if Trigrad is separated from the rest of the world. Hens are wandering on the formerly solid road which is now full of holes and sand is scattered all over.
All of the mentioned above adds some sort of harsh beauty to the village. The village people are staring at us curiously. You can observe here, in their purest manner, two of the most characteristic features of the Bulgarians – to gossip and to keep close watch on their neighbors.
By the time we have arrived at the village, the rumour that someone turned up has already passed through the local people. A quick woman came to us before we have managed to orient in the situation and she turned up to be the housekeeper of the place we have rented.
The fellow-villagers have told her that unknown young people have arrived at the village and she came to meet us… at ‘the centre’. There are no hotels at the village that’s why we stayed at a house.
It’s a decent house, actually it’s even a cozy one. Everything is neat and tidy. The hosts have endeavored and not especially because of our presence. We really became friends with them during our two days stay. It turned out that the inhabitants are very friendly and talkative.
They were not in the least having signs of falseness or distance – only curiosity. As if you were talking with a small child that wants to know everything. Since there are no restaurants in Trigrad, only a ‘pub’, we had a dinner at the house.
Except being good-natured the local people can cook very nice as well. One can feel the difference when eating food prepared by home-made products and ingredients. That is impossible in the big city.
Everything here is natural and in conformity with nature. The whole life of the natives is like that – they exist in conformity with nature. Very few things grow on the rocks that have bent condescendingly over the village.
People depend on the good will of nature but because they show respect and treat it well, the nature returns the favour. The landscape is fabulous. The mountain itself reveals some kind of calmness.
There is a small church in the village as well. You can find the home coziness here at the family hotels and the private accommodations.
On our way to the village we passed through the picturesque gorge of Trigrad. The feeling is thrilling and amazing.
There are vertical cliffs all the way down the road and the river of Trigrad whispers nearby. Light and shade effects create pictures on the cliffs.
On some spots springs water from the mountain. You can see only a small stripe of the sky.
I stand on the edge of the vertical cliff. I am not sure how many meters I stand off the ground, I have never been good in measuring distances. But one thing is for sure – it’s high.
I look down… a few friends taste different kinds of honey on the road and shout with laughter. I look up…the sky is clear, only a few clouds are trying to make their way through. I close my eyes…what calmness, as if I am at the end of the world.
Actually I am close to the border that officially separates Bulgaria and Greece. I am at the Trigrad’s gorge.
Man looks so small when standing by those cliffs. But they are merciful and would not crush him.
|Entering the Devil’s Throat
The road cuts into the rock – a tunnel is engraved so that one can pass through. Nearby, except the Trigrad’s gorge, are situated two other sights – part of the Hundred National Tourist Sights – The Devil’s Throat (Dyavolsko garlo) cave and The Strawberry (Yagodinska) cave.
We pass by the second one. The Devil’s Throat is an abyss cave in which an underground waterfall is down streaming from a 60 meters height.
That beauty spot is situated around a kilometer far away from Trigrad. The waters of the Trigrad’s river form a few waterfalls in it and the biggest one is falling down from a 42 meters height to the so called ‘roaring hall’ of the cave.
|The Devil’s Throat
Actually it’s one of the biggest waterfalls in Europe as well. In order the cave to become approachable for visitors, in the rock is artificially digged through a tunnel with 150 meters length. As far as I entered inside I felt my heart beating intensively.
The tunnel is very narrow. I don’t have claustrophobia but the single thought that above me there are hundreds tons of a large mass of rocks makes me tremble. I felt once again great honour to nature. The air is cold and humid.
You can hear the mighty roar of water crashing furiously into the rocks. The rumble spreads all over the cave.
| Devil’s face
On one of the walls I see engraved ‘the face of the devil’. We continue walking. Everybody is silent as the words at that moment are not enough.
A sunbeam penetrates through an opening of the cave. As if an outside force gives its approval to get out of there. The mantle of the water flecks that are drifting in the air embraces us.
We start in a column to climb the steep stairs heading to the exit. It isn’t becoming lighter. I stopped shortly before the exit. The view is magnificent as a picture from the Bible. The darkness instantly disappears.
The exit is a white hole at the end of the tunnel and you have the feeling that you are getting out of Hell.
There is a legend for that cave which tells that Orpheus made his way through it in order to reach the underground kingdom of Hades and save his beloved Evridika.
Another legend tells that when Orpheus started to play music the wind faded away, the birds stopped singing and all living creatures froze at their places listening to his music. When Bacchante (mythical bull) tore him apart and threw him into the river, a flower called Silivryak had grown from every single drop of blood. Now that flower is scattered all over the mountain meadows.
Another natural beauty near Trigrad is the reserve called ‘The old forest’ (Starata gora). It represents 25 hectares protected territory with 200 years old beech forest. In the region near the village there are 150 caves.
|Yagodinska (Strawberry) cave
8 miles away from Trigrad is situated the longest cave in the Rhodope Mountains – The Strawberry (Yagodinska) cave.
It’s famous with its beauty and the abundance of stalactites and stalagmites.
It is considered that somewhere at the Rhodope hills is hidden the undiscovered sanctuary of Dionysus.
The small village Trigrad will capture you with its hospitality and magnificent view.
You can enjoy the calmness and the cozy home atmosphere at this place at the magnificent Rhodope Mountains arranged in a folk style.