North Macedonia



From Tirana we caught a bus to Ohrid, although that nearly didn’t happen as the driver didn’t come into the bus station as expected. Fortunately another passenger went to check in an office and the driver was called to return and collect his passenger. If you imagine Alexei Salye on speed you basically have our driver. Nuts. We eventually hove into Ohrid and found our accommodation, a beautiful room in a house with a terrace outside overlooking Lake Ohrid. After a quick explore we settled in for a quiet night on our terrace with wine. Not to be as some of the other rooms were occupied by party-hungry Poles so the evening became a bit more wild than anticipated. At one point the landlady came over and said quietly “Don’t worry they are leaving tomorrow…”. 

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We took the obligatory boat trip around the lake which included a stop at St Naum for a look at the beautiful church. Lake Ohrid has the unusual feature of being filled with snakes, of which we saw plenty. All small but slightly disconcerting if you are paddling.

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From Ohrid we headed to Skopje, a rather strange capital city where massive architecture was the passion of a former president, so there are huge examples of things he basically copied from other countries. Large arches, bridges and statues. The city also has a huge issue with stray dogs that form packs and hunt people down. 

© Paul Hyland 2012