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Seven Rila lakes | The turquoise jewelry of Rila mountain

Have you ever heard of Rila Mountain? In Bulgaria, we call it the "water mountain" due to the many lakes and rivers that make it a paradise for animals and biodiversity. Not only do the animals enjoy the beauty of it, but tourists also come from all over the world to see the beautiful turquoise waters, wild nature, green valleys, and the intimidating peaks of Rila.

The legend

The legend says that thousands of years ago when there were still no people on earth, two giants lived in the Rila mountains. Their home was so wonderful and magical, filled with love and passion. Their garden was full of trees and plants, making it a paradise for them and everybody around them. But the fairytale came to an end as the evil spirits became envious of their magical land and decided to destroy it. After a few days of big fights, the giant did everything to protect even the smallest tree branch and flower, but the evil spirits were stronger. After the giant died, there was not much left. Only his wife, filled with tears, sobbed after her love and home. Her tears filled the lakes with crystal clear water.

Nowadays, as you walk up, before you pass Babreka (The Kidney), in the direction of Salzata (The Teardrop), you can spot a stone, looking like a man and a woman. The legend says it’s the giants who will forever keep their home safe.

The lakes

I am sure you already guessed that there are seven lakes.

Starting from bottom to top, they are: Dolnoto ezero ( The lower lake), Ribnoto (The fish lake), Trilistnika (The Shamrock), Bliznaka (The twin), Babreka (The Kidney),

Okoto (The Eye), Salzata (The Teardrop).

All of the lakes are glacial ponds, and they were formed by the last glaciation during the last glacial periglacial period about one million years ago. The concaves were formed from the pression, or at least that’s what I read. However, somehow I want to believe more in the story of the legend.

The Salzata (Eye Drop) is the uppest lake, and from it, through all the others, reaching to the lowest Dolnoto (the lower lake), a small stream goes. During the hike, after Babreka (The Kidney), there is a small bridge on which you can refill your water bottle with fresh, tasty, cold mountain water.