FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Express through the Eastern Rhodopes

Posted in Bulgaria, Kardzhali, Most by folkestonejack on May 16, 2016

After departing Kardzhali at 9.15am our express continued to the bridge across the river at Sedlovina. The railway bridge here runs parallel to a small causeway and is also a popular fishing spot, providing some additional interest and local colour to the scene.

03.12 crosses the bridge at Sedlovina

03.12 crosses the bridge at Sedlovina

A second runpast offered us the chance to climb higher for a better perspective of the scene but as this required a sure footed balancing act I opted not to go all the way up – with a cliff to one side I really didn’t want to go missing in action. As it was, with barely a third of the group at the top it already looked like an attempt to see how many railway photographers you could fit onto a pinhead!

The rocky hillsides between tunnel portals a little farther on provided some more great vantage points over the railway, though I decided to take a less treacherous route up that brought me out at a higher spot for the first two runpasts then followed the rest of the group along the track to a spot above the tunnel portal that afforded a great view of the lake and the mountainside.

03.12 passes the rock niches at Sredna Arda

03.12 passes the rock niches at Sredna Arda

Our next stop delivered us at Sredna Arda where we tried a variety of shots, including one through the rock cutting and a false departure from the station. An unusual feature of this spot is the presence of a series of rectangular niches carved into the rockface by the ancient Thracians, generally believed to be associated with cult rituals in some way.

No further photo stops were possible after our departure at 11.15am as we had to reach Most on time to allow a diesel pathed through here to pass. Our loco struggled on the final stretch, stopping at a couple of spots out of steam, then slipping as she got going again. We eventually made it to Most at 12.15pm.

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