Oh, Lake Ohrid. You are damn pretty.
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When I think back on my time in Macedonia, Ohrid stands out in my mind.
In truth, most of my memories involve eating far too much cheese and drinking far too much rakija. I suppose I should be glad I have any intact memories at all.
After having an absolutely glorious time in Romania, I spent a week going through Serbia and Kosovo. Since I didn’t really enjoy my time in those places (and didn’t capture many photos while I was there), I decided to tell you about Macedonia instead.
I only spent one day in the capital city of Skopje. I met some other travelers who suggested heading down to Lake Ohrid and staying at the Robinson Guest House.*
The guest house was a little bit out of town, but the taxi fare was cheap and the accommodations were lovely. I was traveling with two friends I met on the road, and we were all eager to enjoy a few days of rest and relaxation at the lake.
Our first night was very low-key. We ate dinner at the guest house, had some beers with a few locals, and went to bed early.
We organized a hike for the next day and set out after breakfast to explore an abandoned village on the mountain.
I huffed and puffed my way up the mountain, thinking that when I return home I should consider spending less time eating and more time exercising.
The only thing slower than me on that hillside was this little guy:
As expected, the view from the top of the hillside was spectacular.
Our guide from the guesthouse brought a few tomato plants in his backpack to give as a gift to the last remaining residents of the village. The couple lived in cottage perched on the hillside overlooking the lake.
The wife welcomed us with open arms (and a kiss on the mouth) before setting out a plate of fresh sheep’s cheese.
Now, when I say fresh, I really mean it. This stuff tasted like sucking on a sheep. I had a hard time eating it without pulling a face.
Luckily, a bottle of rakija, the only thing in the world with a stronger flavor than that cheese, soon appeared on the table.
Somehow, the pungency of the rakija offset the pungency of the cheese.
I happily snacked and sipped while our hosts smiled merrily and talked with our guide.
With the tomato plants safely in the ground, we set off to explore the village.
The village was abandoned years ago when the nearby spring dried up and cut off the water supply. The dilapidated buildings are now the dominion of a few rogue dogs and donkeys.
After our hike we decided to head into town for dinner, drinks, and a night out at Discotheque Park dance club.
For a small town, Ohrid sure knows how to party. I don’t have any photos of the club, but someone did take a video of me dancing and it was tragic.
The next morning, I quickly put aside all ideas of kayaking, biking, and doing other good-for-me things that day.
Instead, we explored the fortress and church (this is Europe, after all).
There was a lovely path from the church back to Ohrid that runs through a little fishing village.
Feeling satisfied with our three-day adventure in Ohrid, we packed our things and caught yet another bus out of town.
If you’re visiting Macedonia or Albania, I highly recommend taking the time to visit Lake Ohrid!