After checking out of our lodging, we headed to the metro train, picking up some quick breakfast on the way.
Check out the movie poster for, you guessed it, "Top Gun : Maverick", starring Tom Cruise - we saw this poster into the metro train.
The metro took us back to Sofia Int'l Airport, where we picked up our rental car that'll take us around Bulgaria, as well as Romania. We then headed to Sapareva Banya, our lodging town for the night. But before checking in, we grabbed some lunch in town, that had some fine cafetaria-style foods, before we headed up for our trekking on the mountain.
The trek today involves riding up a ski lift, that as many ski area do around the world, operates to support summertime activities. We were hoping to be able to hike till late in the afternoon, but learned the lift stops at 430pm. Doing the entire Seven Rila Lakes trekking tour will be a long shot.
At the top - these chair lifts do not slow down at the get-off-point, so without skis to leap off with, we have to hit the platform running so as to not get whacked by the departing chair - fun.
Figuring out what/where we can do with a trek, and make it back to the chairlift by 430pm.
We head along on the trail towards the lakes - the trail gets obscured by the lingering snow pack, but is not hard to follow.
The hard part is picking our way along soggy trails...
...to the next snow field.
We make it to the first lake, and unfortunately the last we can make it to today. As it turned out, lack of time was not the real issue, the trail is so swampy from the melt that we would not have been able to continue anyways.
Wow, looking further up, you can see the melt-off stream running under the snow pack.
So, we turned back for the ski lift. A shortened hike, but the scenery does not disappoint.
Rock hopping along crossing the stream.
These trail markers have helped to guide us, and are about a 1/4 mile apart.
Late Spring scenery, Bulgaria style.
A chalet supporting the Wintertime skiing season.
Gerri crests the last hill climb of the day, with an audience.
One last look of the high mountain ridges - skiing must be awesome here.
Onto the lift, about a mile and third down, descending about 1/3 of a mile in altitude.