Rila national hiking tour under the slogan 'I love Rila, I walk' - 12-16 August 2009

Jul 14, 2009
Rila national hiking tour under the slogan 'I love Rila, I walk' - 12-16 August 2009
Initiator of the tour is the coalition “Let Nature remain in Bulgaria” consisting of over 30 NGOs and civil society groups, and one of its members “Citizens for Rila” - founded about 2 years ago as an informal group of people committed to the problem of development of mass tourism in a very unique and beautiful region of Bulgaria. Unfortunately, mass tourism in Bulgaria has shown that it can not be sustainable. The exccessive construction and commercialization of the Bulgarian mountains is a problem that does not pass by the area of Northwest and the Seven Rila Lakes. This causes sharp reaction from the citizens.

In the last two years the culmination of the civil campaign for the protection of Bulgarian mountains is the fight to stop the project “Kabul – The Lakes – Panichishte”, known as “Super Panichishte”, which plans the construction of a ski resort, which envisages 80% of its area to be situated within Rila National Park. This project will highly commercialize and urbanize the area of the Seven Lakes. It will irreparably damage one of the main water sources of Bulgaria - the northwestern part of Rila.

More about the legal violations in Rila here: [url">

Please sign the petition calling for the dismantling of the illegal ski lift in Panichishte and for respect for law in Rila National Park: [url">

We would be glad if you support the hiking tour in defense of Rila's nature by participating in it. We want to make it a beautiful and funny event, full of humor and songs. We would like to meet more young mountaineers and tourists -"veterans" from the different organisations. Indeed we are happy to spend time together!

The dates for the excusrion are:
August 12, 2009 (Wednesday) - departure from Aleko hut, Vitosha (time of gathering - 9.00, time of departure - 10.00);
August 14 afternoon (Friday) - Arrival at the lawn around the peak Zekiritsa in Lakatishka Rila, where we will build a camp near the border of Rila National Park, but outside it;
August 15 (Saturday) 10.00 – at the Pionerska hut all people from the excusrion will gather togather. These are friends of Rila who came only for Saturday and Sunday. You can join only for this final stage of the excusrion. On this day we will go up the Lakes on foot, we will make the classical walk and in the evening we will go down to the camp Zekiritsa. If you decide to go home that evening you can do so, or you can join the main group the next day towards Sapareva bania;
August 16, 2009 (Sunday) - end of the excursion.

Overnight stays will be entirely in tents, because of three reasons:
- On the E4 route between Vitosha and Rila there are no huts;
- In this period Rila huts are full because of the gatherings of the White brotherhood;
- Skakavitsa, The Lakes, Hunting and Pionerska huts are taken by the offshore company Rila Sport ", a major investor of the project" Super Panichishte ", which has very unclear origin of its capital.

Technical details:
There is no fee for participation. Everyone should bring their own food, the accommodation is in tents. There are many opportunities for transport to and from Aleko and Rila. Information about it will be given later.
Equipment for camping are also provided by participants or clubs in which they are members. Camping sites near water sources will be determined two weeks before the date of departure.

For organisational purposes, please confirm your participation on the following address: In the "subject" area please write "National excusrion to Rila mountain". We are interested in: how many people from which organisation will participate and for which stage of the tour (from the beginning on 12.08 or from 15.08) .

Contact and questions:
Mihail Mihov (Tel. 0889 620 483), Vera Petkantchin (Tel. 0899 38 58 59)
Citizens for Rila

Video Workshop announcement for participants in the hiking tour

This video workshop is adressed to young people wanting to develop skills in environmental filming and scenario making, and wanting to get in touch with french young activits. The results of the workshop will be diffused through video installations (3 universities in Paris, France), and on a collaborative platform online where young people from different countries are invited to exchange and build joined projects.

The idea of this video workshop is to offer to the participants a global view of the needs and desires of the differents stakeholders composing an audiovisual project. The participants will play simultaneously the role of the cameraman, sound recorder, scenario writer, interviewer, and actor. The participants will be autonomous by the end of the workshop on semi professional equipment.

For whom: max 16 participants in the hiking tour “I love Rila, I walk”, please register for the tour and the workshop at, if you have not registered for the tour you cannot register for the workshop
When: August 11, 2009
Where: Sofia, office of Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation (Banishora, bl.54, entr.Д, fl.2, ap.86)
Starting time: 10.30 am – 18.00 pm