The beginnings of organized caving in Bulgaria were laid on 18 March, 1920. Since 1975 speleologists in this country have been entering information into a data base of Bulgarian caves – at this time it includes information and maps of more than 600 explored caves.
“Caught up in the coronavirus pandemic we seem to have forgotten the date on which organized caving began in this country, but let us take a look back in time, because it didn’t all start with us,” write the speleologists from the Bulgarian Caving Society on their website, and go on to describe “how sweet it is to gaze at the unearthly subterranean beauty of caves”. But they go on to add there is more to caving than meets the eye.
To this day there still exist uncharted caves inside which no human has ever set foot. For the people with an adventurous spirit speleology is a field where discoveries can still be made.
In our day the caving movement in Bulgaria is the fastest growing on the Balkan Peninsula. The country plays a significant role in cave rescue.
“In some areas Bulgarian speleology is at the forefront in the region, but also in the world,” says Assoc. Prof. Yavor Shopov, chairman of the Bulgarian Federation of Speleology.
Speleologists say they are a breed apart, their love of the rugged beauty of caves knows no bounds.
Read what Dimitar Paunov, a speleologist with many years of practice and former member of the Aleko Konstantinov speleology club has to say about caving HERE.
Photos: Bulgarian Federation of Speleology and Assoc. Prof. Yavor Shopov