On "Vacation"

Trip Start Aug 21, 2008
Trip End Sep 19, 2008

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Flag of Macedonia  ,
Monday, August 25, 2008

Day 2:
 Marija planned our vacaction at Ohrid Lake, so in the car we rode.  She had fascinating stops along the way. First stop we made was a place to eat breakfast. There I had a speciality of Macedonian villages called Bakrdan. Bakrdan is made up of cornmeal from corn flower and I had "sour milk" from sheep. I did not like it very well!! I was told that homemade, from her and her mom is better and they only use sour milk from cows. Yeah, that's what they are feeding me here!!!   Help! - No really it really wasn't all that bad, just not to my liking. From breakfast we headed ourselves up to a monastery. St. Jovan Bigorski ( John the Baptist) is the name of the monastery. I came prepared with a skirt to cover my knees, because Marija told me that they would not let me in unless it was so. They would've provided a skirt if I had none, but I seen them and they were not fashionable at the least! As we walked in we were surrounded by the beautiful scenery of the luscious landscaping and what looked like little apartments. Upon entering the monastery, you came upon the icons of John the Baptist on the right and the Mother Mary on the left. Moving forward through the archway, you became mesmerized by the chandelier hanging from the painted ceilings. Approaching the alter you noticed that it was carvings made of solid wood, representing the life of John the Baptist. Every detail was amazing! I could describe it all I want and would not even come close to doing it justice. Now, an alter here is different than I know. Here in the churches an alter is like a wall that separates you from the monarchs or priests. It usually tells the life story of the Saint the church is named after. I was blessed enough for one of the monarchs to explain to me about the monastery. I can not explain the whole experience, just being there, it made me want to cry.
            Back on the road again, we headed to a town called Debar. We were stopped and told that the bridge to Debar was under construction and we could not pass. So, instead we just headed to Mavrovo  Lake. Marija wanted to show me this lake and the uniqueness of it. This particular lake is man made, but there is a small church in the middle of it. They say because it was not washed away, that it is "Holy"!! The site of this lake and seeing the church was spectacular. Leaving Mavrovo, we passed a famous actor in Macedonia, but we didn't stop. On our way to Struga, where our hotel is, we stopped at a half way point town called Strazha. There we stopped to give Marija time to stretch and for her to buy me something called Mekica. It was good and reminded me of a funnel cake. She told me that it is usually made when a baby is born. Instead of guests bringing gifts they are given Mekica, usually with sugar or cheese on it. I didn't have anything on it because I was in Marija's car and she probably didn't want me to make a mess in it. I also learned that I tend to be rough with her car, by slamming the door too hard??!!  She says it makes her sad when I do it.... So I think I will do it some more!!! Only kidding.
We kept on heading to Struga! Along the way I noticed that they have "cow crossing" signs here. She mentioned that we have "deer crossing" signs- but really cow??!!!
I thought this funny til just a little later we were paused by a cow in the road. Yes a cow!!!  Now I am told that it is my cow. "It is Brandie's krava(cow)!!"   A few more treacherous curves and we finally arrived at our hotel in a little village called Kalishta in Struga.  
            Hotel Makpetrol is really nice, but they have no lifts(elevators). Of course we are on the 3rd floor too! The view is beautiful, off of our balcony we can see the pool area and leading down to the beach.  We decided to  head down to the pool area for some relaxation before Sashe and Suzana arrived. At first Marija didn't want to get into the pool, but she felt sorry for me because I didn't want to go in there by myself. We quickly dipped into the pool, laid out in the sun to dry and then we headed back to our room to shower and change. Just a little later, Sashe and Suzana arrived and I met Sashe for the first time! I had seen him pictures prior, so I already knew what he looked like.
 After greeting for a bit, we headed to a little village called Vevchani. Quaint little village, famous for it's carnival. The village provides the best drinking water supply around. We went to a restaurant at Vevchani Springs. This restaurant had the little creek running under the foundation, like many of the houses built on the this hill. They ordered for me things to try, which I don't mind, because I wouldn't now what to order without them. This time I ate Kebapi, which looks like sausage links only made from hamburger. Something called Komad, which I don't really know how to describe it.. it had onions! I also tried some of Marija's drink called Ouzo, which is Greek. It's something like a Brandy. It tasted like black liquorish. Not my style, but it was warm on the way down. Afterwards we walked up the hill some more to take in the site of the springs. Upon coming down from the hill someone noticed that on the very treetop was a Macedonian flag. I wondered how it got there?!  Back in the car we headed to our hotel to just visit some more, but we stopped at one more place to have  coffee, well they had coffee, me and Sasa had Coke.
I like watching people and observing them, this is what I noticed of Marija's mother tonight. She is very quiet, maybe that's just the language barrier. She organizes her money in her pocket book, it's cute! She also has a beautiful smile. She knows some English, but I am told that she knows all the bad words of the English language.... Tsk tsk.  I blame Marija for that!    
Sashe: What can I say? He is very quiet also. He is extremely nice and considerate. For what I have noticed of him, he takes good care of Marija. That is very important, because then he will have to answer to me if he didn't and I am not afraid that he is a cop. I learned when traveling to other countries and wanting to buy shoes to bring back.. always check inside the box to make sure the you have a left AND a right.  I have also learned that he is afraid of spiders!!! Spiders --- heebie jeebies!!!  But, despite his fear, he would kill not only 1 for you, but all 6 of them that are on the ceiling above your head. That ladies and gentlemen is a real Man!!!! And very sweet too!! 
           This is just the beginning of observations and experiences, but I must say goodnight til another day!               
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