So I’m having a pint with Mike Delafield one evening and he starts telling me about a lake in Macedonia.
I forgot about it. Several months later, Nikki discusses an adventure holiday in Macedonia and it clicks.
Were going to Macedonia and we’re going to see “Mike’s” lake.
Back to the coach station as we head for Ohrid.
This is hardly luxury coach travel, but there are 2 areas where they succeed and the UK doesn’t always.
1. They are reliable. after spending quite a lot of time at the coach station, I’ve not seen a single one break down.
2. At every stop there’s somewhere to get some coffee or a soft drink and something to eat for a reasonable price.
Arriving in the town, we check into our accommodation (a very reasonably priced on suite room in someone’s house).
Unfortunately, the woman who lives there and looks after us, doesn’t speak a single word of English.
The owner, Phil, speaks perfect English, but he’s out of town.
Every time we need something like the wifi code, he’s called from the house phone and the phone is passed back and too.
We wander to the water front. Its disappointing as the weather that afternoon is pretty awful.
I suggest we find a nice pub on the front and relax indoors. Nikki thinks we should ignore the rain and go exploring.
We had a nice afternoon exploring.
It rained all afternoon but my spirits weren’t dampened (well actually they were, but I know well enough to keep my mouth shut).
The ancient theatre.
They do live performances here in the summer (which is pretty cool when you think that the theatre is 2200 years old).
We walk back through the town.
There’s actually quite a lot going on in the town including a market that sold practically everything.
After a while we find somewhere nice and get something to eat. Most of the food I ate in Macedonia was mediocre (I dont say that to be mean, it was rather bland, a bit like Cuba).
This place isn’t like that at all, a really tasty local stew.
Also like Cuba, they have a local beer. I wash it down with a bottle of Skopsko (Nikki has tried the local wine and decides its quite nice).
Next morning, the view along the water front is fantastic.
Out across the lake is even better, which is good as we’ve booked a boat trip.
One side of lake Ohrid is in Macedonia, the other in Albania.I’d originally asked if we could “sail” to Albania.
The boatman looked at us with shock and disgust and explained that it wasn’t possible.
Instead, were going to visit a monastery to called Sveti Naum and a few places along the way.
The monastery is right next to the border but I was advised not to try and cross it.
We got some breakfast and wandered over to our boat.
It’s a beautiful day so we found a seat on the top dock to enjoy the weather.
I’ve taken lots of water with me which turns out to be a good idea considering the heat.
The view back towards Ohrid.
A modern re-creation of a traditional reclaimed village on stilts in a place called the the Bay of Bones.
The huts and buildings were really authentic, made with sticks and clay.
The wooden platform the village was built on, was a feat of primitive engineering.
We disembark and head on our way.
Nikki and I decide to sit downstairs in the shade and relax.
We were having a really nice time.
Another view across the lake to the village of Peshtani.
I use the time to review my notes and guidebook (and have a cold can of Skopsko).
We’ve arrived at Sveti Naum 29k from Ohrid.
Its a bit touristy, and in the photo, is an expensive restaurant which we chose not to visit.
The Monastery itself has peacocks.
Even more entertaining was watching an American woman try to photograph one with an ipad 🙂
The actual Monastery itself which I really like.
Loads of people were selling tourist tat, but we just avoided them.
St Naum was apparently blessed with the ability to cure mental illness !.
Lake Ohrid is fed by the Crn Drim river.
There was a nice cafe, with tables out on pontoons.
I had some really nice fishcakes.
In the background of this picture, you can see boats that take you out to the source of the river.
The adventure over, we head back to our boat, for the relaxing ride back to Ohrid.
Dinner in the town, then some shut eye.
Following day, we explore the town in the sunshine.
In the background you can see one of the minarets of the Ali Pasha mosque.
Lunch by the lake in perfect sunshine.
With one afternoon left, its time for some hard core exploring in the afternoon.
The Church of Saint Sophia.
We also visit the church of St John. There were a lot of churches, I thought 2 was enough to be going on with.
The battlements of Samuil’s fort.
Our final evening in Ohrid, we have dinner by the lake and some nice local wine.
In the morning, we bid Ohrid farewell and back to the bus station.
W have coffee at this charming place called “Bake and Cake”.