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The Warp and Weft of the Rhodope Mountains

Posted on: Friday, May 10, 2013

Detail of a handloom weaving from the Smolyan region (photo by Abigail Doan)

Detail from the bottom of a wheat threshing board
on view at Villa Gella in Gela, Bulgaria  (photo by Abigail Doan)

Textile tools on view at Villa Gella in Gela, Bulgaria  (photo by Abigail Doan)

I just returned from several days in Bulgaria's Rhodope Mountains, and I am convinced more than ever, that this unique pocket of the world holds the cure for much of what ails us.


Gela hillsides at dawn (photo by Abigail Doan)

Describing the deep layers of space and perspective – all enveloped in the beauty of the Rhodope landscape, is a very difficult task. The micro and the macro play off each other like the local birdsongs that weave through stillness, leaving nubs of raw texture and soft accents on the undulating hillsides.

Ad hoc slate and tile work on a Gela rooftop (photo by Abigail Doan)

Handcrafted shed in Gela, Bulgaria (photo by Abigail Doan)

I wanted to share several images and details from my exploratory walks, prior to a more detailed story about the historic gems and cultural offerings of the region – Gela, specifically.


4th/5th century church face in Gela (photo by Abigail Doan)

I will be spending more time in the Rhodopes, as this region definitely strikes a chord in terms of ancient/future wisdom. One cannot over romanticize modern realities, though, as  local folks work hard to make a sustainable living and preserve their ways. We can observe what works, though, in the crafting of place and the slowing down and expansion of our own contemporary views.

A serene moment through Villa Gella's window (photo by Abigail Doan)

Gela and the Rhodope at dusk (photo by Abigail Doan)

3 comments:

Maria Petrova said...

Ah Abby, that was a waking dream.

Judy Martin said...

I would like to express my admiration of your ideas. These photos say a lot - especially the one of the church.

Best of luck and I shall return to read more and be inspired.

xx

Abigail Doan said...

Thank you so very much, Maria and Judy. I will be back in the Rhodope Mountains before the end of the month. More photos and stories to come ~ Abigail

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