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Travel to the famous Devil’s Canyon

Observing how one exceptional site has evolved in exactly three years is fascinating, enlightening, and humbling.

The Devil’s Canyon, or “Sheytan Dere,” as we call it in Bulgarian (these are actually Turkish words), is a natural stone formations phenomenon on the Arda River, one of the largest and curviest rivers in South Bulgaria, at the end of the beautiful “Studen Kladenets” dam, which translates to “Cold Well,” which sounds pretty cool in the hot summer, doesn’t it? 🙂

Another intriguing element is that on my second trip there, I observed a lot of new items. Some of them are fantastic, but others irritate me greatly.

The majority of Bulgaria’s dams were built decades ago to capture the power of water and convert it into electricity using water power plants. Some argue that this is one of the cleanest and most environmentally friendly methods of “harvesting” electrical energy. I tend to disagree because I hold a master’s degree in that discipline. There are numerous detrimental effects on nature, such as severing water fauna’s routes, noise, and vibrations. I could go on, but that isn’t the point of my narrative right now. My first visit to Devil’s Canyon – I had limited time and was awestruck by Mother Nature’s creativity, so the massive electrical poles, wires, and human footprint didn’t bother me as much.

They do three years later. Quite a bit! I’m curious as to who decided to “install” those massive poles so close to that wonderful location. In fact, there isn’t a single angle where a pole, a wire, or a service facility can’t be seen… And the dam wall is massive. You may see for yourself and envision the influence on the environment.

To illustrate my points, I’ve included two panoramic views:

The riverbed is nearly empty, as you can see. The decreasing water level has allowed some algae and moss to “blacken” the lovely boulders along the river’s stream even more than before.

The last time, these black “layers” were not present. Unfortunately, I’ve discovered other signs of human activity, including a large amount of trash. That’s something else I’m completely perplexed by. Why are you dumping trash here? Apart from stupidity and short-sightedness, I can’t think of any other reason. Please excuse my pessimism!

Anyway, allow me to add a few more lovely photographs and observations.

There were some fresh stone formations, most likely as a result of earthquakes, highlighting the volcanic nature of the area even more. I adore those “nuclear” sci-fi shapes 🙂

Some new and larger trees, bushes, and blooming plants have been planted. It’s nice to see Mother Nature reclaim her domain 🙂

This location could easily be classified as “extraterrestrial” if it weren’t for the presence of human footprints. It looks like a scene from a science fiction film 🙂

I am confident that I will visit this location again.

I also hope that we, as a society, will become more sensible and respectful of our environment. At the very least, don’t cut the tree branch we’re sitting on. As we used to say, hope dies last.

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