Ohrid, North Macedonia (2)

On Wednesday, we went on our first excursion. We were picked up from the hotel at around 8.30am by the tour guide. After we picked up a few more people, including a Dutch-speaking guide (who was there to experience the excursion), we started the 1.5 hour trip to our first stop.

Our first stop was with a Macedonian family who make their living through pottery. They make all sorts of different items, some of which are sold to, for instance, restaurants in the city. Marco gave us a demonstration of his work, after which we could have a go (if we wanted). Quite a few people made a nice little item from the clay under Marco’s supervision, but I opted in stead to just drink my Turkish coffee.

The family offered some refreshments (including the Turkish coffee), and had lots of pottery for sale. Most people bought a few items (I got myself a little espresso cup) or a piece of clay. The clay can be used as a skin mask, and it leaves the skin very soft after applying.

Turkish coffee

After the pottery “class”, we continued our tour. We traveled for another half hour or so to Пештера Пешна, or Pesha Cave. It was described as one of the most impressive sites in all of Macedonia, but it wasn’t all that fantastic. (For comparison: one of the caves we saw in the Blue Mountains was at least 8 times bigger, and more impressive.) The nature surrounding the cave, however, was incredibly beautiful. In no way was it a wasted trip.

After the trip, we took the bus to our final destination: a restaurant where we had lunch, which was very good. Cheese is an important part of the Macedonian diet, and it’s very tasty. One of the best and most tasteful dishes is the ‘Shopska salad’ (Шопска салата), consisting of tomatoes (very tasty tomatoes), cucumber, onion, sometimes capsicum, and white cheese. Because it’s so good, we had a Shopska Salad almost every day with our meals.

On Thursday, we had a day off. In the evening, we had TUI’s dinner, which is a replacement for a missing lunch in one of the excursions. We shared our table with two other couples, one we’d met on the first excursion, the other we didn’t know. We soon learnt they were from Weert (in the South of the Netherlands).

On Friday, we were supposed to go on our second excursions, but unfortunately, I wasn’t feeling too well. After trying to eat breakfast and failing, I decided to stay in the hotel room. I spend most of the morning in bed, sleeping on and off, and fortunately I felt much better in the early afternoon. It was a hot day, and I was glad I hadn’t tried to “soldier on” against better judgment.

On Saturday, we had a quiet day. We started the day with breakfast in the hotel, then walked into Ohrid’s city center for a coffee (we discovered the frappe – cold coffee with a dash of chocolate sauce). We also noticed that they’re not the same everywhere. In the afternoon, I had a little bit of a siesta.

Tomorrow, Sunday, is our last day in Macedonia. We’ll go on a boat trip, which will be our last excursion, obviously. So far, our impression of Macedonia is very positive. It’s a beautiful country, the people are usually very friendly, and most things are incredibly cheap.

Read the final post here: https://www.sandyman.net/ohrid-north-macedonia-3/

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