It was about 2 PM and I had still been in the Motocamp...meanwhile Andreas told me that my next destination,
the "Spaceship" aka Buzludzha has just been cracked open.
FYI, the Buzludzha has been built and used for political party events by the former Jugoslavian Social Party
and had been vandalized by angry citizens after Jugoslavia broke apart and has since been permanently closed to public,
however, sometimes it's cracked open by urban exlporers,
much to the joy of people who want to take a closer look, such as me
Around 3 PM I finally decided to leave and head towards the Spaceship this day,
my GPS wanted to lead me over what looked like a freeway, but I wanted to check if there was a way
that yielded a bit more fun, so I headed for the mountains to check it out.
My GPS didn't show any of the paths which I was riding on, so I just kinda had to guess which way was gonna lead further.
The first one turned into some really narrow single track after a while,
let me tell you, it wasn't too much fun after I realized I should better turn around.
Bad news is that it was either downhill to the left or uphill to the right, but after some "lift the rear to turn" action I finally managed to get it turned around.
Supid Idea to begin with, following some single track in the middle of nowhere in Bulgaria witho no one around and no idea where it could lead.
Lesson learned, after I gave the bike some time to cool (the engine got very hot during my "turn around" maneuver)
I rode back to the last fork in the path and followed the other one.
A couple minutes later this one split up again, in a small village and I figured I'd be better off asking for directions,
so I pulled in what looked like a restaurant,
turned out the be a hotel, but again I was lucky, both of the guys I found on the back porch spoke english
Beforehand: I only wanted to ask for directions.
And stupid me left the camera on the bike, so no pictures for a while.
First of all the owner of the hotel asked me whether I wanted some homemade tea,
before I could even ask my question.
No way I could've said "No, thanks", even if I wanted,
on a side note he also offered me some homemade mushroom soup, which I had to reject,
as I had just had lunch right before I left.
After they gave me a chance to ask for directions, he directly led me to a big wall-map of Bulgaria and showed me some good routes to Kazanlak (which is close to the Buzludzha) and from there to Macedonia, where I'd be heading next.
He even offered to give me a map of Bulgaria, another gift had to politely decline, as all of those routes showed up on my GPS.
Once again, he asked me to sit down and wait for him to return.
Of course he returned with a soup plate
Don't get me wrong, the soup was the best mushroom soup I ever had,
I had simply been overwhelmed by fow friendly he was, even though he was not exactly in a good situation.
One of the first things I noticed about the hotel is that there were no guests.
While he was gone and warmed the soup up, I had a little chat about this with his friend,
it turned out that the hoteal had just been built a couple years ago, but due to the current economic climate,
he simply didn't have any guests.
Not now, not during the main season. Not a single guest in a whole year
After having the pleasure to meet those great guys, who turned my "5 minutes to ask for directions"-stop into a one hour break, I headed back to the previously described "Freeway",
as there was no better way through the mountains, the path I had followed ended a couple hundred meters later.
One a side note, I experienced such astonishing hospitality several times, alone on this trip,
one of the main reasons why I love eastern europe that much.
Back to the main topic - the Spaceship.
I finally arrived on site around 8, with the bonus of being the only one up there at that time.
The walkway seemed a lot shorter and more fun, so I took this one instead of the normal way up to the actualy building.
Obvious why it's been nicknamed Spaceship, huh?
Time to get the flashlight out and explore
It really is a very impressive place, not at last because of the acoustics,
if you stand in the middle of the assembly hall, everything you say is projected back to you, just a lot louder.
Bad news is that the light in there was pretty scarce, so the pictures I took to try and assemble a panorama didn't turn out all that good.
Because of this, here's a video (not mine) that captures it quite well:
The video was shot around the same time I'd been there, the starting point of the video is right where the current (or maybe former, by now?) entrance is located.
And a couple of my pictures to go along with it:
Both is visible, remains of the destruction and remains of the construction.
By the way, if you are in there during nightfall, it can get quite eerie, especially in the basement
After getting out of there, I pitched my tent nearby,
for the next day I planned to meet up with a couple friends from germany who had their bikes shipped to Greece and were riding back to germany from there.