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to observe them from here, and quite another to observe them from Mussala or Botev. Each peak is different”, Vlado explains. All the measurements in the high-altitude observatories (as well as in all other meteorological stations) are made in compliance with the recommendations of the World Meteorological Organization – which means eight times a day, using Greenwich Mean Time. The idea is for the measurements to be comparable across the world. The data is coded and sent via telegraph to the telecommunications center at the National Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology, which distributes it to all the countries in the region (Bulgaria is a regional center for Southeast Europe). In short, the observer has to wake up every three hours. “People in the city think we’re nuts”, Mitaka Ralev adds. But he cannot imagine abandoning the freedom, silence and beauty of the mountain for life in the city.

After all, the first thing he sees through his window when he wakes up is not streets, cars, parking lots and people, but an endless, fixed and eternal sea of peaks. The world is at his feet. The only thing he absolutely has to do when he wakes up is take the measurements. And fly. Literally and metaphorically.


One Magazine ­ Summer 2010  

One Magazine is an independent Bulgarian quarterly publication