For the first time I visited Madzharovo in 1996, as a student, drown by the passion and interest in birdwatchig. Actually, Bulgaria is one of the richest places of differend bird species in Europe.
With the time my hobby of birdwathing became professional bird photographing. I was travelling to Madzharovo very often, to observe and photograph vultures. I don't know if you are aware but Madzharovo was the place where the only population of Griffon vulture was nesting. It was possible also to see the Egyptian vulture, which are migrating species.
So, I am in Madzharovo - a whole different unreal place. I was watching the rocks around - high and vertical, red on sunset light, cows climbing the rocks as goats. So different than anything I've ever seen. I fell in love with this place at the corner of Bulgaria. Until today, Madzharovo is my favourite place in Bulgaria and Europe.
And as I started, I was again in Madzharovo because of the Griffon vulture, back in 2018. I had some free time in the afternoons, so I took a walk in the Old Neighbourhood, walking by the many rock build houses with curved roofs, old oak beams, stone fences. A dog was barking somewhere, a little bit cold and foggy. It was not so welcoming. It came to my mind - I am coming here so often, why not to get a house in the town?! This tought stuck into my mind and stayed few months after that walk. It became an idea, it became a dream - I was imaging how I will revive an old house, how I will restore it and create a place for young nature lovers, creators, people with ideas and open minds.
At the time being I never did any building works, constructions and I had no idea what is coming.
I had no experience in any kind of renovation works - I was a photographer and designer, not a constructor.
But I had vision in my mind. And dreams!
In January I took the final decision, by the end of March I choosed and bought a house with a yard, with more than 200 years of history by the memory of the locals, the exact date of the initial construction was a mistery. For sure people were living in the house since Ottoman times. Actually the house was one, but separated on two, which was obvious by the "Chardak" (the terrace). Once before the house was inhabited by the family of the Ottoman ruler in the village - confirmed by the presence of two outdoor dome ovens and a barn - they made huge amounts of bread. House number one had 4 rooms on the second floor, on the first stable, basement and old barn, the second house had 3 rooms on the second floor, agricultural rooms on the first one and separate yard with another barn. This is the so called Kotlen style - on the first floors animals were living and on the second - the family. In the main yard there was a small building stuck between wild blackberry bushes - this was the barn where the family kept the grains.
All around the yard there were many old stuff and trash. It was hard to enter from the broken gate. The rooms were ruined. The whole athmosphere was repulsive and demotivating.
However, I was seeing in my mind how this house could look one day. My motto is "as harder, as better". No one was seeing the potential and the future of this house and anyone could easily go away when seeing this view. My only mental support was to break this impossible mission on many small targets - first starting with cleaning all the trash, then roof renovation, then working on the rooms one by one and somehow my dream could become a truth!
The total builded area of the two houses in around 300 sq.m., which I tought was enough for a house with 9 rooms, 9 bathrooms, main areas and service rooms. So, I rolled up my shleevs and dived deep - into the bushes :)