Ohrid, North Macedonia (1)

On Sunday 16 June, we began our one-week holiday by travelling from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to Ohrid. The flight was delayed by approximately 45 minutes, and we arrived in Ohrid some 30 minutes late. TUI, the travel agency, had arranged for a transfer from the airport to the hotel, which all went without a hitch (for us).

Villa Jordan

Our room is quite nice, it has a double bed, an more than adequate bathroom, and a nice view. We don’t have a balcony, but we can open our doors completely and air the room.

Monday morning we slept in a bit, although we had to get to the breakfast buffet before 10am. The breakfast was simple, but good. All sorts of bread, cheeses, meats, local delicacies, yogurt, jams, etc. The coffee wasn’t great, and at moments like that I miss my own coffee machine…

After breakfast, we decided to go into the little town, just to have a look around. We had some time to kill before 2pm, when the TUI lady would have a welcome meeting (and of course sell us some excursions). The town was way busier than I had anticipated. There are also a lot of fellow Dutch folk in town.

Ohrid is situated at Lake Ohrid. 2/3s of the lake is Macedonian, and the other 1/3 is Albanian. (We can actually see the Albanian hills from our balcony.) It’s possible to travel to Albania on one of the excursions, but we decided to stay in Macedonia. Officially, I should call it North Macedonia, as Macedonia is a part of Greece (it’s sensitive in this area), but here in this country, everyone just says Macedonia.

Most locals speak a little bit of English or German. For instance, the owner of our hotel spoke to us in German, his English is very poor. The local currency is the North Macedonian Denar. The exchange rate is approx. 60 MKD for 1 EUR (or 40 MKD for 1 AUD).

The official script is Cyrillic, which we’re not very accustomed to. For instance, Ohrid is written as Охрид. I do see the challenge in being able to read what’s written on signs, etc., something I always do in certain countries (like Russia, Greece). It’s nice to get the hang of it after a few days.

Everything is quite cheap here. Tonight, we had a decent meal (pasta and pizza, and two drinks) for only 12 EUR (18 AUD).

Tomorrow, Tuesday, we’re still free to do whatever we want, and on Wednesday we’ll have our first excursion (which happens to involve pottery – don’t ask).

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