After the all you can eat breakfast of toast, coffee, deciding when to go to the bus stop and just downright laziness; Kevin, 2 Dutch guys and myself head off to the bus station. Crammed in to a small 4 door hatchback with backpacks squishing us into the thing. We get ripped off by the cabbie (charged us 500 instead of the 200 it cost to get there – but hey its only like 5 euros). At the bus stop, we discover there are two bus companies that take you to Ohrid – One is cheaper and the other is faster. So we decide to go with the faster option.
The bus only takes about 3 hours – but the seats are so closed together it would make a ryanair flight seem luxurious. At the halfway stop – we go buy to buy some Burek, the problem is its just a big bit of something resembling french toast. Its not long til we arrive in Ohrid on the shores of the Lake that shares the same name. ‘
Kevin and myself stand there for about 20 minutes laughing at the scene that stands in front of us – the 2 dutch guys are copping it from about 5 ladies all offering there spare rooms to them. It was quite hilarious hearing the things – I have a pretty daughter that speaks english. To which another lady would retort “Her daughter is ugly, my daughter is much prettier”. One of the daughters even came down to try to persuade them. It was a good scene. We copped a bit – but we had a reservation at the Sunny Lake hostel.
We grab a cab and head to the hostel. Which seems to up a huge friggen hill – but isn’t. After check in we set off to find some grub to eat. But don’t really know and wander the streets for a bit. We do eventually find a place that is right on the water. We are soon joined by a few other travellers and enjoying some wonderful Macedonian cuisine – its the typical Balkan food; very starchy with lots of meat.
Its a bit of a chilled night on the patio of the hostel over a few beers with other guests. I go to bed fairly early to catch up on some reading. I vaguely remember waking up during the night as someone left the light on and getting pretty shitty at that. But thats travel – shit happens.
The next morning its another laze about again, with a bit of breakfast up top and a few others deciding to get on a boat. I decide to head into town and find a cheap bakery or somewhere for lunch as breakfast wasn’t the best. I end up back at the restaurant from last night.
I go on a bit of a walk around the nearby sights – which are mainly churches and a castle. But its quite picturesque here. And has made quite the impression. I head up to the North gate before stopping at the ampitheatre.
Though I ditch this and decide to head towards the coast and a few of the churches for which Ohrid is known for.
I stumble down some streets and basically follow people who seem to know where they are going. Its not long til I come across a pretty splendid looking church the Sveti Kliment i Pantelejmon. Itsa 4th and5th century church that overlooks some of Lake Ohrid and has some mosaics inside. Though the outside is being dug up like there is no tomorrow and its extremely dusty. I am a bit off put by the constant tradition of devotees kissing images of religion.
I set off for the most iconic view and church of Ohrid at Kaneo. Its not long before the road ends and you are taking a path to the Sveti Jovan at Kaneo. Its a more newer church – 13th century and has a touch of Armenian archictecture. Truth be told – I don’t care much about the architecture. But the view and setting of this church is absolutely amazing. I’d go as far to say picture postcard perfect – and its one of the images your bound to see plastered over Macedonian/Ohrid tourism posters.
I set off back to go chill in town and read a book. I set up shop outside the Sveta Sofia with a coffee and my new book from the last hostel exchange (HST’s Kingdom of Fear – one of the better books I’ve found in a hostels book exchange).
After lazing back and people watching, I go to explore the frescoes of the Sveta Sofia – an 11th century church. But I budge handing over money to see a frescoe that probably won’t be good and end up on the shore of the lake instead soaking up the rays and a few dips of course.
Back at Sunny Lake hostel – there’s always a few 2L bottles of beer and wine being drunk on the terrace in the evening time. It might not be the best nightlife that Ohrid has to answer for but it money is tight.
The next morning, I wake up realising I haven’t really made any plans to do anything. So I decide to stay another night. Its just pleasant here and its not bad at all. The day is pretty much spent lazing about, soaking up some rays, a swim and a bit of food to be downed.
That night, on top of the terrace once again, theres a few of us (Aleesha, Caitlin, Jenna and an old English Chap – sorry girls I forgot his name). Anyway, someone starts with the Irish stuff and next thing you know its Potato cropping time and Jenna and the English man are full pitch singing Irish lullabies to the whole of Ohrid. Though it was rather enjoyable to say the least – I’m sure a few bottles of beer were consumed.