Nearby Rozhen Monastery was our personal highlight in this area, so different from any monastery we have ever set foot in. Like all other Bulgarian monasteries it had been destroyed and rebuilt several times over the last 800 years. But most unique are the scenic vine-covered inner courtyard and the wooden walkways that line the walls of the L-shaped refectory. The ancient wooden planks creak with every step and the wooden stairways indeed looked centuries-old. The church contains beautiful 200 year old murals and stained-glass windows.
Rozhen village is a cluster of three or four cute houses and Hotel Rozhen, described in the Lonely Planet as simple but with comfortable room … That was back in 2007 when Bulgaria was last researched by a Lonely Planet team. Now it featured a new annex, tiny shaded terraces and a large dark-blue pool. We were so thrilled by the quiet setting, the fantastic view of more cliffs and the promising cooling off that we moved here immediately. The place is run by a family, more precisely by the son / son in law who never stopped moving.
Our enthusiasm for this peaceful place was briefly interrupted when our healthy slumber in the fresh mountain air was cut short at 03:30 am when the stereo at the pool went on full blast. With nobody around we had to climb over the fenced off counter to stop the nuisance.