Lake Ohrid

Trip Start May 15, 2006
Trip End Sep 29, 2006

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Flag of Macedonia  ,
Thursday, August 17, 2006

What a difference 4 hours on a bus makes. We arrived yesterday in Lake Ohrid to find a beautiful lake and sleepy resort town. A resort town in Macedonia you say? Yes, they do exist. We took a busted up old bus on the four hour trip from Skopje but it did have AC which made it bearable. Of course, we had to stop numerous times because it kept stalling and the driver had to do some quick work to fix the engine. I guess stuff like this just reminds me we are in Macedonia.

We arrived in Lake Ohrid and were met by a very nice guy offering rooms. We didn't have a place and were relying on somebody to meet us and give us a place to stay. His rooms were about 10 minutes out of town but he had a brother who owned a place right in the heart of the old city. He warned us that it would cost probably twice as much in the city but we were OK with that. We took a taxi and he rode his bike and we met up with his brother. He lets out rooms in his apartment(ala George in Montpellier) and he charges the exhorbitant price of TEN EUROS a night per person. Wow, how will we afford this.

We then head straight to the bank and pull out some Macedonian currency(the Donar). I pull out 2500 bucks, about 50 bucks worth. It is so cool being in Macedonia because of how cheap it is. We stop for a burger at a little stand and it costs us a whole dollar. Fries were extra but we thought it would be ok to pay an extra 20 cents for fries. We are living like kings for 40 bucks a day. It is fun to throw money around like you are rich(which we are here) and not feel bad about it because it really doesn't cost you much. Today we are going to hire a boat and captain who is going to take us around cliff jumping on the lake and to a small hidden beach. It will cost us each 5 Euros...for the whole day.

Last night we went out and were blown away by the beautiful women again. What is even cooler about these girls though is that they never see Americans, so they all want to talk to you in their broken English. It is fun to go out and how tons of women approach you! And they LOVE AMERICANS in this town. I am sure they are all just looking for you to spend your money with them but they treat you so nice. The shop owners all attempt to ask where you are from and are so happy when you through out a little crazy Macedonian. You say Zdravo(hello) and Falla(thank you) and their faces light up like you just handed them the keys to a new car. It is so weird to go from all these places that are sick of tourists to a place like this that rarely has English speaking tourists.

This town is also beautiful. It is situated right on a lake with a town that climbs away from the lake right up a hill. It says in the book that Ohrid is a hidden jem of Easter Europe and I agree with them. It doesn't have any of the dirt and questionable that was in Skopje but it is still cheap as can be. You get the best of both worlds, a great place to stay that hardly costs you anything.

I need to get off and go cliff jumping now but I'll update more about Ohrid and post pictures(I hope) next time I am online. I think I will stop next door and get a croissant for breakfast, that should set me back about 10 cents. I may even spring for the 30 cent cappacino!
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