As an experiment, this post will be about a recent weekend trip i did to a remote Bulgarian village that you have never heard of. Why? Because i can, AND because it took me weeks of research to find even vague info on it. PS: all photos are taken with my cell phone so imagine how cool they could be in high def.
Devetashka cave is one of the biggest caves in Bulgaria and it is also home to nearly 30,000 bats. The cave is massive and has seven different-sized holes in the ceiling, through which sunlight penetrates and illuminates the central hall and part of its two fields. Historians have found out that the Devetashka cave used to be inhabited (with some interruptions) during almost every historical era. The earliest traces of human presence date back to about 70,000 years BC. Just to give you an idea, the entrance of the cave is 35meters wide and 30m high and at the inside the ceiling is 60 m high. You can spend hours wandering around but make sure to bring sturdy shoes and a flashlight and not go when there might still be snow and ice.
Devetashka Peshtera, as it is called in Bulgarian is 18km from Lovech. The town is also worth a visit, it has a nice covered bridge, a huge statue of Vasil Levski and cheap pancakes…nom nom Vasil no i mean pancakes, yes pancakes with creamy mustaches.
The cave’s recent claim to fame was the movie “Expendables 2” that was shot there, here is a clip of Van Damme being bad ass in Bulgaria. If the cave is even in your guidebook, chances are the book is from before 2011 which means it won’t have a record of a huge bridge that they built for filming, making it obsolete to visit Devetaki village as the cave is reachable both by car and bus (on foot) from the main road. Don’t get scared though when your GPS brings you to the absolute middle of nowhere next to a straight long road with not even sheep around, you must be close to the cave.
Lovech has one bus station, ask for a bus to Letnitsa or Levski (both are villages in the same direction as the cave). As of March, 2013 they departed at 10.45 and 13.00 from Lovech and took 15 mins to get near to the cave. There is no stop by the cave, so ask the bus driver to let you off near the cave, he will drop you off 10 mins walking distance from it. Make sure to ask him to pick you up from the same spot, the bus back was at around 14.20, not sure about later one. Ticket for one way bus 2lev. Cave is free.