Marrying the Old with the New

We feel incredibly lucky to have found our little piece of heaven in the Eastern Rhodope Mountains, a small but strong community village, frozen in a bygone era, and have embraced the old ways of living for health and happiness. Living a more rural way of life has many benefits but we’re glad we could bring…

Redressing the balance

At first glance, the view from our back garden is breathtaking. At second glance it’s still amazing but the heavy snowfall over 2 years ago caused lots of damage and is continuing to have an effect on this untouched area of outstanding natural beauty. The large patches of brown are not the Autumn colours of…

Responsible Forestry

The lack of human interference in these mountains is a charming quality. Wild animals make tracks us humans can use to explore the undisturbed scenery. The flora and fauna is rich in this biodiverse area, with many wild flowers, butterflies, birds, mushrooms, reptiles and animals. Before the car age, these mountains were inhabited by lots…

Winter Wonderland

After a very wet 2014 and not much snowfall by end of February 2015, we were beginning to think we’d got off lightly this time and winter was over when suddenly a huge snowfall occurred. Overnight 60cm of snow fell and kept falling for the next 3 days adding up to over 1 meter and over 1.5…

The Wizard of Wicked Mountain

Since our first visit to Bulgaria in 2006, there have been so many occasions where help and assistance is freely offered, often by complete strangers who refuse any recompense for their time given. The generosity of the people and strong community spirit helped us move here from UK in 2011 and since then, we have nothing but…

Animal Instincts

On the road to self-sufficiency we have acquired a few animals, each species being entertaining in different ways and each bringing a different dimension to our life in a rural mountain retreat. I’ve learned so much this year, starting with my bee colony which, though not seeming interactive at first, play their part in pollinating…

Interesting Wildlife at Melanya Mountain Retreat

Our relatively short time in the Rhodope Mountains has been wonderful, discovering nature that is different to our experiences in England yet very familiar. The countryside is very similar to the UK with the four distinct seasons and the same species of trees including Oak, Walnut and Silver Birch. From our very first visit 6…

Wild Mushrooms

This year has been very dry with no rainfall for 3 months, a very hot summer and only 2 days rain since October. Winter came early and we had 2 days of snow in mid-October but they were just brief and it warmed up again but it still hasn’t rained. Luckily the morning dew has…

Mother Nature’s Gifts

I’m extremely lucky to have an organic garden that is brimming with produce that costs a lot to buy from shops. Fruit trees are all around me and I’ve never seen so many different kinds of plum, from small and round to large and oval, and all one colour per tree, either yellow, orange, red,…

The Sound of Silence

I spend many hours in my Mountain Retreat organic garden, planting vegetables, weeding, hoeing, tending plants, harvesting, and as the garden is big most jobs take a lot of time. It’s lovely being outdoors everyday in the unpolluted fresh air, sun shining brightly in the intense blue sky with majestic scenery of surrounding mountain peeks…

Doctor Dolittle

Up in our village in an environmental location, being so far from industrialisation, pesticides and pollution, I am constantly discovering new flora and fauna. Many species are exactly the same as in the UK but there are so many more varieties and I’m able to study them more. A lot of this is due to…

Life in the Mountains

We’ve only been back here a week but it feels like ages as so much has happened. The villagers have once again made us very welcome with fresh milk from their cows, eggs from their chickens and big juicy strawberries which I have for breakfast. We both are still trying to be on holiday and resist the…