Riding Mount Godless

Riding Mount Godless

SofiaEcho, Owain Llewellyn, 27.03.2006

“Owain, welcome to Bezbog mountain!” Iveta called out. Even the name sounded threatening. “It means “Godless” in Bulgarian!” The wind pulled a steady crest of snow that glowed like a halo around the peak in the sun. “There’s a lake up there, and there was a chalet too, but an avalanche pulled it into the lake. Anyway, we will only have time for one ride before the lift closes, so I suggest we walk up higher. What do you say?” “Sounds cool.” I looked up with a little trepidation at the peak brooding above, the empty snowfield punctured by a solitary line of tracks left by a previous snowboarder, and the space where the chalet once was. We were four people. Ivo, who stubbornly continues to ski though all his mates snowboard, Petyo, Iveta and myself. We followed Iveta upwards in single file until she announced it was time to start. We did up our bindings and paused to admire the view spread like a chequered blanket below us; the black of the pine forests and the white snow glowing in the afternoon sunlight. Iveta led the way down the snowfield. She was a great boarder, and definitely in charge. The guys called her ???shefche’ (little boss) when they asked her which route was next. We reached the tree line and dived through the forest. I followed Iveta into a tight bend among the trees and wiped out in a pile of snow. We were soon out of the sunlight, with evening settling on the forest. We’d stop and talk periodically; before this morning I hadn’t met any of the group. I’d chatted to Iveta about snowboarding on the internet, and we’d arranged to meet in Bansko. Our first face-to-face meeting had been by chance on the road from Sofia, when we’d both got stuck at the same time on an icy patch of road. That evening we went to one of the famous Bansko mehanas. It was great to be at a table with fourteen people who until that morning had been strangers, and to feel so welcome and at home. The shopska salad and Sache with Banski starets kept coming, the wine flowed and the conversation got louder. My attempts at Bulgarian, and any stumblings in their English just added to the merriment. At about 11pm, some more guys arrived from Sofia. I had heard about them earlier: “Real pros,” Iveta had confided, “forest riders”! I had visions of bearded men in camouflage riding through the trees, perhaps hunting bear. The next day I was to see this was not so far from reality, bar the bear hunting, of course. Later, a hardcore went out to Bansko’s one and only club, Oxygen. The devil on my left shoulder goaded me to join them, but this time the angel on the other shoulder, leaning on a white snowboard, prevailed. I went back to my room, though I might as well have stayed out; the sweet Bansko wine kept me awake much of the night, so when I woke up the next morning, my limbs ached and my head thumped with tiredness. I switched on my new mobile and it asked me for my pin. I didn’t have a clue what my pin number was. I was stuck on my own, incommunicado, in Bansko. Grumpily I went to the lift. I did a few lacklustre runs and had a solitary lunch. At about two o’clock I bumped into the others. Tired as I was, my spirits lifted. It was then I was introduced to “forest riding”. Off the lift, across the piste and straight in among the trees, tracing wide arcs and dodging low branches. We were about eight people spread out among the trees. Ivo skied among the snowboarders, to whose good-natured mockery he’d always have a riposte at the ready, such as “nice skateboard”. One minute someone would shoot in front of me, the next they would disappear and I would be all alone, until whooping or screaming would burst out from my left or right, and I’d glimpse a figure shooting through the trees. It was reminiscent of that scene in Star Wars with the chase through the trees on flying motorbike things.

     
  • Pepa From Madrid
    Sent on 24 August 2016
    Un citio presioso pero todo lo demas mentira.la comida,el personal muy mal.No lo recomiendo a nadie.Es una publicidad engañosa.Y de All inclusive nada.No se dejen engañar por las paginas web.Por desgracia en Bulgaria todavia el consumidor no es nadie.
  • Juglena Bankova From Bulgaria
    Sent on 13 May 2016
    Nie byakhme tam na Velikden i pisha malko kŭsno. No vpechatleniata sa ni poveche ot prekrasni! Velikolepna kuhnia (ne savetvat jenite na dieta, da hodiat za poveche ot tri dni, zashtoto yastiyata sa neustoimi, vkusni i ogromni)! Great stil! I mnogo priaten personal!(osobeno damata v restoranta) Pozdravleniya !
  • ger99 From turkey
    Sent on 01 March 2015
    We loved it. Had a perfect 2 bedroom apartment modern, clean new renovated With view to slope. Perfect location in pamporovo as central ski in ski out. Friendly staff, not ovr crowded relaxed athmosphere. our friends (group with total of 7 rooms) all very happy! It is away from city center but close to bowling and 2 nice reaturans.
  • ashley hensman From uk
    Sent on 01 March 2015
    Flora is a lovely hotel clean in a great location and the food was good just make sure you use the safes.
  • Enjoy ski From UK
    Sent on 27 February 2015
    Just came back from Sevlievo in Bulgaria. Drove up to Hotel Impulse in Uzana where I hired skis, boots and poles for myself and two children for just 17 levs for adult and 10 levs each child and used the hotel ski slope 5 levs each. Perfect for the kids first time as parking right at entrance to hotel and slope is 20m walk! Food in restaurant tasty and cheap. Perfect for beginners!
  • Charlotte Hennessy From england
    Sent on 23 February 2015
    WOW, thats all i can say about the previous week of my life. The snow conditions were amazing and the people were so friendly. The night life was always active and the rila hotel was especially fantastic. I loved the accommodation at the rila and i loved the way it is right on the slope. I wouldn't have changed a thing about the holiday and i would recommend this resort to everyone including beginners and experts. Overall, i had an amazing time!!!
  • Brian mcvey From Scotland
    Sent on 20 February 2015
    Going to borovets for 2nd time this time with my son. Had a great time 4 years ago, now with park I expect it to be a lot better now and it was brill last time round. 20 days and counting
  • Lasse WP From Denmark
    Sent on 15 February 2015
    We just had a wonderful trip to Pamporovo. We were a group of 10 adults, and 3 small children (1 to 3 years old), who stayed at the Castle complex, in 4 apartments, for a week (7 days stay, 6 days skiing) Everything at the Castle was great, and the staff was very forthcoming and helpful in every way. The apartments were very practical, and equipped with all necessities. Not luxurious, but really good and adequate in size and layout. You should note though, that towels are not changed every day. Towels are not needed to bring to the spa area and treatments. The food at the Excalibur restaurant was typical for the area, and well prepared. The staff at the restaurant is also great. The Castle complex is situated 2-3 km. from Ski center 2 (Malina). It is of course easiest if you are driving, but there are shuttles from the hotel to the ski center and lift. Ski in-/out is possible at the backside of the complex. We had booked ski- and snowboard packages, and that worked out perfectly as well. The snowboard instructor was a true professional. Patient and very focused on making sure that all of us learned the moves, at our own individual pace. Everyone had a great time, and learned a lot. The area was perfect for us, as we are all beginners on snowboards. Had we been on skies, I suspect the terrain would not be challenging enough for an entire week. We can definitely recommend Pamporovo, and the Castle complex, and will be back next year.
  • james From england
    Sent on 05 February 2015
    Lovely apartments bang on yasterbets slopes. Great spa and swimming pool and cheaper prices than borovets for food and beer. Best hotel and facilites in borovets
  • Jayne Gay From England
    Sent on 25 January 2015
    Just got back from Bansko what a fabulous week. A party of 6 which includes our daughter's aged 20-24 and the night life for them was great. No long queues, food good and we cannot wait for next year!
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