Friday, September 10, 2010

It's good to be brown

Here we are in lovely Ohrid, Macedonia. We arrived at about 5 am after leaving Kotor at about 8pm yesterday evening. We were happy to leave, because we sort of ran out of things to do in Montenegro. But it was beautiful and relaxing, so those were two pluses. We crashed for a few hours upon arrival, and then were up to go to Sveti Naum, which is the spiritual heart of Macedonia with a Serbian couple who were staying in the same guesthouse. It was a beautiful drive, and the monastery and its grounds were lovely, as they are situated right on the lake. It also abuts the border with Albania, which we drove through last night (but they didn't give us a stamp! :( )

I stopped at one of the many vendors that lines the road out of the monastery, and the man started speaking to us in Macedonian. Lauren and I were clearly speaking English, but he kept on in Macedonian. Finally he asked me a question, and I just stared at him and was like, "I don't understand." He looked surprised and said, "English?!" "Yes!", we said. "I thought you were Macedonian. Maybe Macedonian who lived in America." Me: "Do we look Macedonian?" Man pointing to Lauren, "That one, no. You...maybe, yes. Yes you look Macedonian. Usually I can tell Americans a kilometer down the road, but you could be Macedonian." I was pleased, and got a good deal. :)

When we came back to Ohrid, our taxi man drove us to the top of the hill for no extra charge (which was awesome of him!) and we poked around the old city, which is also a UNESCO site. There was a fortress to conquer, and another self-guided church tour which lead to a great church/ruins pointed out to us by the taxi man. He had the knowledge. There was more wandering and lake time, and sampling the local street food, which was very delicious.

Our biggest quandary now is where to go from here. Straight to Greece, or back through Albania? It seems that it is hard to get in and out of the country, and that their public transportation system is a little, um, spotty. But Greece is so expensive! We'll see where the buses are running tomorrow.

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