FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Dodging the rain

Posted in Bulgaria, Kardzhali, Momchilgrad, Podkova by folkestonejack on May 16, 2016

Our train headed on from Spirka Zvezdelina at 3.43pm with stops at Kardzhali (4-4.10pm) and Momchilgrad (5-5.10pm) before reaching Podkova at 6.06pm.

Turning back the clock: Three steam locomotives at Momchilgrad

Turning back the clock: Three steam locomotives at Momchilgrad

You can’t help but consider Podkova an odd place for the line to end, with the line petering out just beyond the station confines on the outskirts of a small village in the Eastern Rhodopes. However, this makes more sense when you consider that the village lies just 15km from the Makaza Pass on the Bulgarian-Greek border. Politics dictated that the line would never be extended to the border but that was clearly the original intention.

Podkova has remained a sleepy spot with the southernmost railway station in Bulgaria for many years. However, what the railways failed to achieve has recently been rectified on the road network with the assistance of EU funding. A new border crossing at Makaza was opened on 9th September 2013 as part of the plans for a crucial Pan-European Transport Corridor that will link Romania and Greece through Central Bulgaria.

46.03 at Podkova

46.03 at Podkova

The conditions had been steadily deteriorating through the afternoon but the darkening clouds gave us ample warning of the storm brewing in the distance as we left Kardzhali and we spent the remaining hours of daylight just about staying one step ahead of the rain.

Heavy rain began to fall just after we got back to the hotel, accompanied by thunder and lightning, prompting the cancellation of the night shoot. The scene outside looked pretty miserable with rivers forming in the roads. As bad as this looked, it was nothing compared to the flooding which hit Varna, where whole neighbourhoods ended up under water at the height of the deluge.


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