Travels inspired by the Wombles

Thursday, 17 September 2009

The road to Hell...

One of the highlights (or lowlights?) of our Bulgaria trip was to see the Devil's Throat. This is a cave near the village of Trigrad. It claims - like a few other places - to be the place where Orpheus entered the underworld to beg for the return of his dead wife Eurydice. Somehow he persuaded the gods to return her, on condition that he didn't look at her before they got into the open air. He turned round and looked, and she faded away.

Oscar Wilde was not completely right. The path to Hell may be paved with good intentions, but the start of it has two large piles of crates which were once full of Amstel beer and Coca-Cola. Once you get onto the path, there are steps down into the cave and then 288 more steps up to the exit. Hell hath no handrails, though, which is why I didn't make it down into the cave.

The whole health and safety thing seems to have passed some parts of Bulgaria by. Across the road from the cave, a flimsy zip wire was giving mugs, sorry the adventurous, the chance to fly across a gorge, through the air, with the greatest of ease. The operator's right wrist was heavily bandaged, which did not seem a good sign...

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