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Elenino lake
Miroslava Dermendjieva

Elenino lake

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Elenino lake - small, but infinitely beautiful.

It’s humbly nestled below Orlovets Peak and his “older brothers” - Maliovitsa, Golyam Kupen and Popova kappa Peaks in Rila. The waters are so calm and clear that they create overall the impression of a large mirror. The mountain jewel was named after a girl from a local story of love and courage.

Legend has it that a young and pretty girl named Elena was given by the local landlords to Selim Pasha to redeem their fortunes. The girl managed to escape and ran into the woods, where she met Malyo’s haiduts (i.e. traditional bandits who lived in the mountains and robbed from the Ottomans.) She settled down with them and fell in love with the flag-bearer who wasn’t indifferent to her either. Their love grew stronger; however, they were both afraid to admit their feelings. Their leader passed away an his place had to be taken by one of the other members - the one with the best aim. That happened to be Elena.

Years later, she managed to have her revenge on the pasha who dishonored her and violated her youth and innocence. Not long after she was cut down by an enemy’s bullet. The men took her body to the lake, high into the mountains, so that it wouldn’t be desecrated. At last, on her deathbed, Elena confessed her love. Her beloved buried her near the banks of the beautiful lake that shall bear her name and invoke memories of her beauty and courage forever.

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