Photos and text: Slavena Shekerletova
Much has been written about this fabulous landmark near the City of the hills, and we have also dedicated an article to it. Today, however, we will take a slightly different approach. We want to tell you about a path in the mountain for a walk, which especially in spring and in autumn is extremely blessed with views and scents. Even if your goal is not to visit the fortress, the walk is worth it if you like being in nature.
The trail starts from the BachkovoMetoh or more precisely from the medieval church with stone walls "St. George Metoshki". You may also be able to reach it with navigation but whoever you ask when you enter the city will guide you because it is easy to reach and everyone knows where Metoha is. If you come from Plovdiv, take the road to Bachkovo and after passing the second roundabout from your entry into the city, then this is the time to ask where Metoha is. Once upon a time many years ago, there was an inn in addition to a church built during the time of Gregory Bakuriani (one of the founders of the Bachkovo Monastery). When you reach Metoha, pass behind the church and follow the first path parallel to and above the highway. It's short - going back and forth in about an hour if you walk very slowly. But it is worth it because it offers magnificent views of the Asen’s Fortress, the mountain and the river. As many photos as we can show, it's great to see in person. The path runs along the chapel of Saint Elijah.
You will probably notice that almost every hill near Asenovgrad has a chapel. This opens up an incredible view, which in the fall is colorful and extremely picturesque. From it, starts a steep path down the road to the fortress. But the suggestion here is to move forward, where you will reach a crossroads in a moment. Down (left) the path leads to the asphalt road to the Asen’s Fortress. You have three turns to get there. If you continue to the right, you will also reach the asphalt, but already slightly above the fortress. This path leads to another chapel "St. Dimitar ", and in order to reach it, after a few turns you have to go down one path in the forest again. In this direction are the villages Lyaskovo and Yavrovo. The trail is easy, at the beginning there is a more intense climb for about 10 minutes and then it is flat. On Saturday and Sunday, there are a lot of tourists going through it.
The other route to the Asen’s Fortress is known. The point is that most city guests prefer to pass it by car. So they miss walking two kilometers in one direction. The car can be parked at the beginning of the road. Just try walking, you might like it. There are many turns up the fort, benches, branches or paths to chapels and the river, as well as great views that just don’t deserve to be passed in seconds. Walking is not difficult, despite the slight incline. With very slow movement and time to breathe in the beauty around in both directions, it takes about an hour and a half.
Both walks are well worth it. But if you want to get a feel for the mountains and don't have much time for it, the first walkway literally gives you two minutes from the city to sneak in the trees and spend quiet time high, in the rustle of the leaves, bird songs and the scent of nature. Sometimes a roe deer appears along this path, probably only for the lucky ones.