Today we had a tour of Vitosha Nature Park by the Director and an expert botanist called Toni. A massive pick-up truck transported us 2000 metres up within sight of the Black Peak.
The plants (and the views) were wonderful- rare species endemic to Bulgaria I’d never seen before, flowers I’d only ever seen grown as garden varieties and some familiar from our hedgerows.
1489 plants have been recorded at Vitosha – about half of the native Bulgarian flora and one third more than the whole of the U.K. flora.
Ten occur only in Bulgaria; many more are Balkan endemics. 59 of these mountain plants are in the country’s endangered Red Book.
Even at the highest point it was still hot but up there, the land was boggy, disguising the ever-diminishing reserves of peat. Small blue butterflies and big orange ones, bees and crickets were busy feeding on the nectar. We saw a couple of incredibly graceful kestrel practically floating in the enormous blue sky.
I have problems with scale in places like this, ricocheting between a focus on the miniature and expanding to fill the space, paradoxically leaving no room for familiar thought processes.
It’s not a problem untilI try to articulate my experience and find it impossible – words inadequate, the wrong medium. Birdsong might do it or some Scandinavian yoiking. All I know is when we came down my ears were full up and the city appeared too soon, also full, intoxicated with its own cacophony.