Saturday, June 18, 2016

Our Treasure, MS TREASURES

Finally we hit the High the Danube River

Waking on the river is a special experience.  River boats float and move very comfortably; the river has a current and motion, but the ship glides without alerting us to its presence on a moving body of water.  We slept deeply and awoke refreshed. Becky provided us with our en suite breakfast;


We can hear water gently lapping on the sides of the ship.  We watch barges and birds as we move along the river and stop -- almost without noticing -- at Ruse (roo-say).  We crossed silently into Bulgaria (like the spies we are -- hehehe); the official border is the passage under the Bridge of Friendship, the only land passage between Romania and Bulgaria (okay, for the particular reader, the bridge is not 'land' but crossing it doesn't require navigating water.)


A lot of gathering and decision making and lining up....


Hop on the bus, Gus.  Again. Always.  

First we take a drive thru Ruse.  Charming town with a mixture of pre-revolution Stalin-design apartments and more modern buildings.



Now we head inland to see the Rock-hewn churches of Ivanovo, Bulgaria.  A UNESCO World Heritage Sight, these churches are carved out of a mountain.  They date to the 11th century, with paintings and frescos from the 14th century.  

After 100+ steps up a twisting path we arrive at the small crevice that leads to the interior.  The floor is very rough stone; the walls and ceilings all carry remnants of the artwork. The tour guide identified the spaces:  narthex, nave, altar.  It won't show in the pictures but the entrance would have been thru a hole in the side of the mountain that seemed completely inaccessible.  It reminded me of that scene in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade when Indy is working his way thru the trials and clues of the mystery as transcribed by his injured historian dad.  During one scene he's standing at the edge of a very high mountain cave with no way to cross to the other side.  That's what this church entrance looked like.

 Indiana Jones entrance

Ivanovo Entrance 

Thanks Angie for the photo

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