Pobiti kamani area
Pobitite kamani is a desert? Did you know that Europe has deserts? Well apparently it does. One in Spain called Tabernas Desert and one in Bulgaria called Pobiti Kamani. Literary translated the latter means imbedded stones. The desert consists primarily of groups of natural rock formations and sand dunes on a total area of 3-4 km wide and 8 km long. The formations are mainly stone columns between 5 and 7 meters high and from 0.3 to 3 meters thick. The columns do not have solid foundations, but are instead hollow and filled with sand. The place is not only a well known European tourist attraction due to its desert like habitat, but it is one of few places in which desert type vegetation such as cactus is known to grow. It is also the only desert in Europe in which desert reptilians and other desert type animalia are found to thrive.
There isn’t much literature about the origin of this stony forest but here is a post in Bulgarian only. In summary the author suggests that the structures have been formed around natural gas springs as a result of natural attachment of micro sand particles. This must have happened around 50 million years ago at the sea bottom which is now a few km away.
With a group of friends we were on our way to the North Black sea coast of Bulgaria when we decided to pull out to the “desert”. I thought I had visited it before but from another end. Once we arrived it looked nothing like I had seen before so apparently neither of us had been here. It was wonderful. We were coming from the mountains still with our mountaineering gear and stepped right into the “desert”. It was rather awesome. The light wind had painted superb variety of forms on the sand dunes that were attracting. It was a bit challenging to find the right composition but there were endless opportunities. We couldn’t wait for the sunset but it was still pretty amazing.
See some of my images here: