Seasons come and go, and we, wrapped in our everyday lives, seem to have lost contact with nature. We accumulate cares, years, frustration weighing heavy on us. If we can only tear ourselves away for a day, if we just heed the song of nature, we can find peace.
Up in the mountain, where time seems to stand still, there is peace to be found.
“That is true of practically all towns and villages in the Rhodopes,” says Alexandra Georgieva from Kosovo village and adds: “In the village of Kosovo (some 50 kms. to the South of Plovdiv) we have a National Revival-time village, i.e. the houses rise as they once stood, during the time of the National Revival, as it is practically deserted – there are 5-10 people living here permanently, according to the voter list. There are many places in Bulgaria where hamlets have been preserved as they were when there was bustling life in them. In the village of Kosovo that was two centuries ago, that is why it looks as if it has stepped out of a 19th century painting. The old stone houses have been preserved with their roof slates."
"The streets are perfect, as they once were, and there is only one asphalt road. All the rest are covered in cobblestones, overgrown with grass, and, in places, in-between houses there are green footways. The village itself is scattered over the hillocks all around, locked in by four crossing rivers, whose burble pervades the entire village. The scattered houses are in full harmony with nature. The village spills over into the surrounding woodland, and the trees spill over into the village. Peace and quiet is all around.”
This idyllic picture is what brings visitors back over and over again, including many guests from abroad:
“In summer almost 50 percent of the visitors coming here are foreigners. Many Bulgarians living abroad come here every summer, some have bought houses and have started restoring them. Of course, they always try to keep the Revival-time spirit alive, not to put up modern buildings. There is one such family who intend to settle here permanently.”
The place itself favours all kinds of artistic expression.
“We have many and different, unorthodox events, including vacations with artistic elements or healthy eating. The food offered here is local, from the region, and that means that many of the things we make ourselves. The herbs and mushrooms are picked in the environs of the village, the bread is baked in the neighbouring village Hvoina. In summer when the shepherds come with their flocks, we buy the milk directly from them and curdle it. If you want healthy eating, this is the place to go. Many yoga and physical exercise camps are organized here.”
Depending on how much time one has, the region around Kosovo offers trips back into the cultural and historical past of the Rhodopes. Bachkovo Monastery and Asenova Krepost (Asen’s fortress) are just a stone’s throw away, and Krustova Gora (Cross Forest) is about an hour and a half’s drive from the village, not to mention the Chudnite Mostove (Wondrous Bridges) rock phenomenon (about 30 kms. away), the warm springs of the Narechenski Bani (Narechen Baths, 6-7 kms. away). The climate is also aggregable – cool in summer, relatively mild in winter. Extreme cold or blizzards are a rare occurrence, that is why it is an all-the-year-round destination.
English version: Milena DaynovaPhotos: selokosovo.com