Pirin – from dusk till dawn

Discover winter mountain of Bulgaria
Discover Pirin Mountains during winter
The incredible views of Pirin Mountains

Photo Winter in the Bulgarian Mountains

Story and images by Emil Danailov

Polezhan - the highest granite peak in the Pirin Mountains

Spending the night on Mount Polezhan, even during the winter, is not a big challenge. Some do it at 6, 7 and even 8,000 meters altitude in far harsher meteorological conditions. With its 2.851 m above sea level, Polezhan is minuscule according the Himalayan standards, being although one of the highest peaks in Bulgaria. Yet from the snowcap of its graceful pyramid a dream view reveals!

Polezhan - the highest granite peak in the Pirin Mountains

If through the day the mountain leaps to the eyes with its wedding dress, by sunset Pirin undergoes the most fascinating metamorphosis nature can offer. The severe monochromatic dress code is abandoned and white following its playful foppery, tries on all colors of the rainbow in a hurry. From perky yellow to burning red, and from tender blue to deep purple in the obscure shadows. But when sun vanishes, the mountain slowly downcasts, like changing its outfit again – this time to an evening dress.

Polezhan - the highest granite peak in the Pirin Mountains

The night is time of ruthless revelations. The sky becomes fathomless and under its cold light the well-known cozy world turns into a lifeless wilderness.  This is a moment when one realizes not only how small a human is in the cosmic scale of universe, but how vulnerable and helpless he is amidst the hostile eternity, deprived from the reassuring corrective of our views for good and evil. Life indeed is a miracle!

Polezhan - the highest granite peak in the Pirin Mountains

Sunrise is far for now, but darkness anticipates it’s unpreventable end and gently settles down into the mountain folds. Skylights up and Pirin becomes taw again. But it is sleepy still. Yet sun did not splashed into its eyes. This is the perfect time for taking photographs. Contrast is low, halftones are rich and fine nuances softly shade over the mountain slopes and peaks in the short moments between the kingdoms of black and white.

Here it is! Finally! After a long and freezing night its beams disperse so quickly all disconsolate thoughts. Fanfares of light reverberate. And their shiny sounds start flickering around the mountain like a spectacular, sweeping Ode to Joy.

Polezhan - the highest granite peak in the Pirin Mountains

This is the day-to-day resurrection. Life keeps going on. Yet difficult is to forget the night, in which one felt like ephemeral spark into the icy maw of eternity.

Polezhan - the highest granite peak in the Pirin Mountains
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