Balkan History. Balkan Heritage. Balkan Ethnicity. Montenegro, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Sofia, Serbia. Kosovo. Romania. Alpine Plants, Alpine Plant Hunters. Alpine Plant Hunting. Asphodel.
Rediscovering the Lost Balkans of the Nineteen-Thirties.
Discovering the Archive
Meet the Authors
Researching the Archive
The Archive Itself
The Participants.
The Photographer
Who was the photographer?
Plant Hunting & the Kew Connection
Adventures of the Travellers
Then & Now (locations). 1st Series.
1st Series
Then & Now (locations). 2nd Series.
2nd Series
Then & Now (locations), 3rd Series.
3rd Series
Then & Now (locations). 4th Series.
Unidentified Locations (1st Series)
Towns, Villages & People.
Unidentified Locations (2nd Series)
Mountains & Landscapes.
Costumes & Ethnicity
Bibliography & References
Acknowledgements & Credits
To Contact Us

Adventures of the Travellers

In this extraordinary pair of images above, we see, on the left, our expedition attempting the traverse of a mountain scarp, by car! One can only assume that this section of the road had run out, location unknown, or had been recently destroyed (see below). To the right we see local labourers attempting a cutting, or possibly a foot path, under a precipitous rocky ledge or overhang. In the two images below we see the path being cut, possibly  in 1927...and to the right, a remarkably similar scene showing a rocky overhung footpath along the side of the Matka Canyon, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia.
We believe this to be the same site location.
Photo credit:
Archive Image file refs: 03-43 & 03-15.

Because of the proximity of the two images above in the collection, we believe they relate to the same day's events in a remote area of Macedonia; a road blocked by a rockfall (above left) and then the enforced detour (above right).
Archive Image file refs: 03-64 & 03-43.


In these two images above, our photographer encounters a march by "Sokols". We quote:
"There was a great gathering of Sokols from all over Yugoslavia, and in the brilliant sunshine, a procession of groups from towns and districts".
H. P Thompson. "A Yugoslav Memory". Quarterly Bulletin of the Alpine Garden Society. Vol. 11. p.40. 1935.
Archive Image file refs: 02-65 & 02-68.

We learn that the Sokol movement (Czech: [ˈsokol], falcon) was/is an all-age gymnastics organization first founded in Prague in the Czech region of Austria-Hungary in 1862 by Miroslav Tyrš and Jindich Fügner. It was based upon the principle of "a strong mind in a sound body". The Sokol, through lectures, discussions, and group outings provided what Tyrš viewed as physical, moral, and intellectual training for the nation. This training extended to men of all ages and classes, and eventually to women. The movement also spread across all the regions populated by Slavic cultures: (Poland (SokóÅ‚), Slovene Lands, Serbia (SK Soko), Bulgaria, the Russian Empire (Poland, Ukraine, Belarus), and the rest of Austria-Hungary (i.e., present day Slovenia and Croatia). In many of these nations, the organization also served as an early precursor to the Scouting movements.

These two images above remain a real mystery. Our group appear to have encountered some sort of sizeable military gathering, on mounted horse and in a wooded area by a lake. The two military uniforms (right-hand image) may be the key identifier. In the right hand image, and from military reference data below, the soldier facing the camera appears to be wearing the WW1 Montenegran uniform of a Corporal of the Reserve.
Archive Image file refs: 01-20 & 01-25. 

The Rev. H. P. Thompson, was an experienced mountaineer, Alpine plant collector and the expedition photographer. Above and below, we show two scenes of possible interest to mountaineers and geologists, each ninety years apart and from the Bulgarian expedition undertaken by the party to Musala Peak in the Rila Mountains. Photo Credits: Google.
Archive Image file refs: 01-33, 01-35.

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