Small but spectacular, Kaya Bunar near Hotnitsa charms visitors from home and abroad
Issue 68, May 2012
by Bozhidara Georgieva; photography by Anthony Georgieff
Travellers don't expect to find a waterfall in the middle of the rolling hills of the Danube Valley, and yet, surprisingly, it is there – hidden amid karst crevices and known only to a handful of people.
The waterfall in the village of Hotnitsa is one of these unexpected sights. In fact, it is one of the two reasons for the relative fame of this village in the Veliko Tarnovo region. The other is the large colony of British expats, which accounts for some 10 percent of the Hotnitsa population.
Kaya Bunar, or the Hotnitsa Waterfall, forms where the Bohot River leaves the embrace of a karst canyon and falls 30 metres, forming a small pool with stunningly blue water. The place has been a popular day trip destination since the Socialist era. Back in those days, there was a restaurant near the waterfall, and the food there used to be so renowned that many people went solely to have a meal, rather than to enjoy the delights of the waterfall.
Today the eatery is a ruin overgrown with weeds, but this has its upside: the smell of grilling meat won't distract you as you enjoy the sound of the falling water, and the sunlight sparkling on the rippling surface of the pool.
A couple of years ago an eco path was constructed near the waterfall. It is 1.5 km long. Some sections of it are not suitable for those afraid of heights or narrow spaces, but those who brave it will be richly rewarded. Before throwing itself over the cliff, the Bohot meanders along among picturesque rock formations, forming several quiet pools overhung with lush greenery.
70 years ago, on 10 March 1943, Bulgaria's pro-Nazi government decided to defy Berlin and halt the deportation of Bulgaria's 50.000 Jews. This was down to the actions of one man - Dimitar Peshev. Just two years later he faced Communist justice and found himself on trial for his life. His niece Kaluda Kiradjieva remembers