Ohrid, Macedonia

we spent the better part of today wandering through the hilly, old part of Ohrid. and boy did it not disappoint. set on Lake Ohrid, this town has really retained an old town feel without selling out to high rise condos or hotels like other towns we have been through have. while there were some main cobblestone streets to follow, we often found ourselves trekking through narrow alleys and paths between the houses receiving pleasant nods from the locals along the way. throughout the neighborhood, people were selling trinkets, kids were on a class trip through an old amphitheater, the architecture was stunning, and people had the coolest old cars.

we were told there were about 20 churches scattered throughout the area, but we were only able to find four. (well three and the really small one shown above) but the three large ones we did find were great, so again, no disappointment. the best of the lot, Holy Mary Peribleptos, came at the top of the hill near Samuel’s Fortress, a pretty cool castle that sits atop the largest hill in the city. while the church itself was beautiful inside with walls filled with 13th century paintings, what i found most interesting was an archeological dig going on around the grounds of the church. we couldn’t get much info on the project as nobody spoke much English, but it was neat to see.

after a quick snack from a small market stand, we hiked up to the castle, had a quick look around, and walked down towards the water where we found another church. there, we chatted with a local gentleman who offers people boat rides and spends the rest of his time fishing. he spoke little English, but you could tell he was a really neat man that probably had the best stories to tell.

we returned back to our place, stashed our cameras, and headed back to the main downtown area to grab a bite to eat. i ordered a four cheese pasta dish that was wonderful. bob’s seafood pizza turned out to be a bust, which is really no surprise seeing it had all that flesh on it. it’s not rocket science people!!! we’re now back in the irish pub we were in last night were i ordered the worst meal EVER! those of you that know me well know that grilled cheese sandwiches are in my top three favorite foods. Jen, you know this well. so you can imagine my excitement when looking through the menu i find grilled cheese with fries. YES!!! i felt like i hit the jackpot. i was starving, had a headache from not eating much all day, and the drive had me a bit stressed. when the meal arrived, through, my excitement came crashing down as i witnessed the horror on my plate. my “grilled cheese” turned out to be two 3″ x 5″ x 0.5″ thick hunks of who knows what kind of cheese, grilled, laying on my plate in a greasy mess. I#(#&@&FJ##)$(##!!! but i’m over it now – i swear.

i’ll leave you with a picture i made from the base of the hill of the old town area where all of the pictures in the post were taken. while it doesn’t replace being here, it should at least give you an idea of the wonderful old time feel. we’re off to either northern Macedonia or possibly Kosovo tomorrow, so check back then and see where we end up.

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