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The idea of ​​H. E. Mrs. Andrea Wicke, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Austria to the Republic of Bulgaria, and Mrs. Ekaterina Pavlova, Editor-in-Chief of "Diplomatic Spectrum",

to invite the ambassadors accredited in our country to climb the highest peak in Bulgaria - Musala and to visit the Basic Environmental Observatory Moussala, was warmly supported by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Lachezar Georgiev, Director of the Institute for Nuclear Research and Nuclear Energy at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. The trip was realized on August 27th, with the assistance of Rila National Park and its director Mr. Krassimir Andonov.

The desire of H. E. Mrs. Andrea Wicke, patron of the event, and Mrs. Ekaterina Pavlova was to show the diplomats another wonderful piece of the incredibly beautiful nature of Bulgaria. The ambassadors were not afraid of the difficult passage and the preceding midnight thunderstorms and torrential rain over Sofia. The ambassadors who joined: of the Republic of India - H. E. Mr. Sanjay Rana, of the Republic of Korea - H. E. Mr. Hoshik Lee, of the Republic of Slovenia - H. E. Mr. Anžej Frangeš; as well as Mr. Konstantin Saupe, Deputy Head of the Austrian Embassy, Mr. Jurrien van der Horst, ​​Deputy Head of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Mr. Venzislav Wicke-Dermendjiev, husband of the Austrian Ambassador, and Ms. Aneta Peni, publisher of the Diplomatic Spectrum magazine.

Mrs. Nikolina Georgieva, chief expert at Rila National Park, was waiting for everyone at the entrance of the Yastrebets gondola lift. She told them about the visible and invisible treasures of Rila Mountain with great enthusiasm and competence during the 4-hour hike. The group stopped for a short time to treat themselves with mountain tea and coffee at the Musala hut and continued the cheerful climb. Everyone enjoyed the alternating enchanting mountain views, the cliffs and lakes, the flowers and the fragrant herbs. And Mount Musala greeted them with sunshine and beautiful landscapes to the Beli Iskar Dam, the Ice Lake and the peaks.

In front of the the Basic Environmental Observatory Moussala all guests were welcomed by Prof. Dr. Dimitar Tonev, Deputy Director of the Institute for Nuclear Research and Nuclear Energy of BAS. He showed them some of the sights that can be seen from the top, and then invited them to the observatory to talk and help themselves with hot and cold drinks and sweets. Prof. Dr. Dimitar Tonev presented each of the group with a special certificate certifying the conquest of the highest peak in Bulgaria and the Balkans, as well as a T-shirt and a hat with the brand of the Basic Environmental Observatory Moussala. He then told about the scientific activity of the Institute and about its relations with its respective homologues in their countries, took them around the base and showed them the scientific equipment and the research that is carried out with it.

The main activity carried out at the Basic Environmental Observatory Moussala is the complex monitoring of the environment. Its location - it is at the very top, favors the researches in this area and the monitoring of the processes taking place in the atmosphere, which play a crucial role in shaping the climate. Monitoring of greenhouse gas parameters, as well as complex aerosol and correlation studies with meteorological parameters make it possible to monitor transboundary transfers of trace amounts of air pollutants and to forecast trends in climate change, including global warming. In addition, ground-based measurements made at BEO Moussala can be used as a reference for the calibration of satellite measurements.

The diplomats were impressed by the work that the scientists from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences are doing for the benefit of the society, as well as by the fact that the data from the monitoring of Musala peak are spread in several worldwide networks online.

Everyone was extremely pleased with their visit to the base and the incredible beauty of the Rila Mountains, and when descending from the top they shared their desire to participate in other similar expeditions around our country.

The photos are provided by the Institute for Nuclear Research and Nuclear Energy of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and the participants in the trip.

Above: The group that conquered Mount Musala /2925.4 m above sea level/ on August 27th. First row /from left to right/: the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea – H. E. Mr. Hoshik Lee and Ms. Ekaterina Pavlova, Editor-in-Chief of Diplomatic Spectrum. Second row: Mr. Mr. Konstantin Saupe, Deputy Head of the Austrian Embassy, ​​the Ambassador of the Republic of India – H. E. Mr. Sanjay Rana, Prof. Dr. Dimitar Tonev, Deputy Director of the Institute for Nuclear Research and Nuclear Energy at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Mr. Venzislav Wicke-Dermendjiev, the Ambassador of Austria - H. E. Mrs. Andrea Wicke, the Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia - H. E. Mr. Anžej Frangeš, Mr. Jurrien van der Horst, Deputy Head of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and Ms. Aneta Peni, Publisher of the Diplomatic Spectrum magazine.

Below: moments from the climb to the top with Mrs. Nikolina Georgieva, chief expert in Rila National Park, and enchanting views from Rila Mountain