Meadows in the mountains was one of those weekends that seems just as surreal in reflection as it did in the moment. A collection of travellers, music fans, artists and bohemians in the Rhodopian Mountains dancing to the mountain peaks and becoming a family.
However whilst I was squished up in the back of a car on not nearly enough sleep, a severe hangover, valium withdrawal, sore stomach and a Bulgarian taxi driver blasting 80’s Euro-Rock… I maybe began to question whether or not the journey into the Mountains was going to be worth all the time spent travelling?
As we clambered into cars in order to make the last leg of our journey from the ancient city of Plovdiv to the festival site (a three hour drive), the sky turned grey and the clouds descended close. Warm, light rain started to steadily fall as we packed our kit into the safety of car boots; everyone’s minds drifted to the same thoughts ‘how can we pitch tents in the rain – surely that’s a pointless activity’ and ‘if it’s raining down here, surely it’ll be worse up there’?
But any doubts I had about attending Meadows soon vanished as our cars sped out of the urban city scape and into the mountain range. Even with a Gun’s n Roses classic music video distracting my eye from the dashboard, the dark luscious green of the ancient pines demanded attention. Heavy, thick clouds tumbled through the peaks, seeming to rise and fall around every corner we turned.
Occasionally we would pass through a collection of homes and locals would be sat by the road looking forward at the passing cars – uninterested by the passengers or by the cars destination, a complete parallel to my fascination with them, imaging a story for them in the romantic backdrop of the pines.
Before I’d even arrived at the festival – the journey had won me over. I was falling in lev with Bulgaria.
In the passenger seat the steady sounds of snoring suddenly stopped and a weary, some – what confused voice murmured ‘can you please pull over whenever it’s next possible; I really need a piss’. Both the cars in our convoy found a spot on the side of the road to pull in. We stretched our legs, looked down into the crevasse of the mountain side as some began to relieve themselves. A car sped around a corner and honked it’s horn at my fellow meadowers ‘noonie’ and took me back to reality of the situation.
No matter the beauty of the scenery, the mystery of the mountain, the euphoria of the music or the privilege of the situation… The company I keep are fellow reprobates.
And this is going to be fun.