Bulgarian speleologists in love with Albanian caves

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 31, 2015 10:11

bulgTIRANA, July 30 – While Albanian boast hundreds of ancient caves, it is little known that Bulgarian speleologists are among the most interested in them and have been conducting research for the past 25 years after the collapse of communism.

A team of Bulgarian speleologists has just concluded its 40th expedition in Albania led by Alexey Zhalov, the President of the Balkan Speleological Union.

“This was the fourth expedition organized by the “Heliktit” club. In fact it is the 40th for Bulgarian speleologists. In 1991 I was among the first to study objects in Albania and I am very happy for this special anniversary trip,” says Zhalov as quoted by Radio Bulgaria in the Albanian version.

The latest expedition was conducted in the Lura area whose upper part is composed of icy lakes.

Zhalev has recently published his latest book Bulgarian Speleological Studies 1991-2013, featuring 269 discovers caves in Albania.

Alexey says that Albania is his big cave passion. He visited Albania back in 1991 for a first time. He also feels the warm attitude of people there. On July 4 – 11 this year he participated in another research, when two caves where explored and mapped in the eastern part of the country.

The first reconnaissance expedition was carried out in Albanian Alps in November 1991, when the first five caves were explored by A. Jalov, N. Gladnishki and N. Landjev. The most impressive cave is Shpella Gjolave, near to Bratosh village, Shkodra district.

The main explored territory covers an area of approx. 320 km2 and is located in southern and central part of the Albanian Alps. Some explorations have been carried out also in Mt. Dejes and Mt. Gollobordes and in South Albania in Mali i Thate Mt. and its surroundings.

The most important vertical caves are: BB-30 (-610 m); Shpella Cilicokave (-505 m) and B33 (-205 m). 14 other caves are deeper than 100 m. The most important horizontal cave is Shpella e Majes te Arapit with total length 840 m. The largest cave chamber is in Shpella e Gjolave with an area of 8875 m 2 and volume 443 750 m3. The deepest and longest explored karst spring is Syni i Sheganit (160m long, 52 m deep).

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 31, 2015 10:11