Ohri - St Naum Monastery

18 JUL

KORCE-MACEDONIA-OHRI-GREECE

It was an early rise at Aleks’ apartment in KorçëBreakfast once again at the Konti Hotel next door. Cheese, eggs, toast (if you can call it that – more like hot bread). This time we were joined for coffee by the Shaholli boys, whom we were with last night. We reminisced about the funny events of the night before. Guzwar!!

We soon drove off toward Ohri (Ohrid) to see the 9th century Saint Naum Monastery. The journey was hot, humid and not so squeezy, one side with Anisa and other with Bashkim in the back seat, Rohan and Alek in front. On route we stopped at Enver Hoxha‘s private communist party lakeside resort – on the Albanian side of Lake Ohri. The lake was cool and refreshing. The lake beach was full of litter.

We crossed the Macedonian border on a fine 24deg day, heading past the Castle of OhriMacedonia seemed more economically sound, well kept streets.

Once we arrived in Ohri Rohan, Anisa and I walked through the central plaza area. We were hungry and overwhelmed by the smells of meat cooking. We decided to eat along the lake shore beside the large statue of Saint George.

Rohan and I had the seafood pasta (Spaghetti marinara) that had barely any seafood in it at all! After complaining, then replacing our meals with another, we went for a safe option, a hamburger, which had no burger bun, french fries that were steamed potatoes with herbs – which now I realize is a Mediterranean way of making fries, but still, no Buns! The waiters were so impatient. Not a good start! No tip either!

We then drove on to St Naum Church to view the magnificent groundsiconoclast and frescoes. The cold springs and views were incredible. We were rushed as time was short, as always. Nonetheless we experienced the splendor of this prized attraction.

We drove straight back to Korçë, squashed in the back seat again, but with a fun and visually delightful experience under my belt.

We picked up our luggage and drove straight to Dion Travel to wait for our 2 drivers. Two young lads (brothers) Ledion and Genci picked us up in their very comfortable Audi.

We said our goodbyes to everyone and were off and running, headed for the SE Greek border to take the super highway along (parallel to) the Albanian border. It was night. Rohan and I wrote in our diaries and played some AC/DC for the lads – who knew and loved them already.

Eventually went through the border then stopped for Gyros (again with chips inside) in some Greek town. We kept heading toward SW Greek border so we could cross back into Albania. We arrived at the border approximately 1am, only to find gate wasn’t open until 6am. So we had to wait in the Audi, 4 grown sweaty men in a medium sized car, too hot to close the windows, to many mozzies to leave open the windows. Farged if we did, farged if we didn’t! Not much sleep at all!