Sunday, 1 September 2013

Snakes in a Lake

What Russell didn't mention in the previous post was that we had been getting really tired of travelling every few days, lugging round the backpacks searching for hostels with crappy directions. We had wanted to find somewhere to stay put and relax for ages, we did think maybe Montenegro could be that place but Montenegro use the euro so it can be expensive, there's nothing relaxing about worrying about what you're buying and how much the hostel costs.
Although Montenegro was lovely and I'm sure the rest of the country would have been gorgeous we had just had enough of being in expensive countries. It's really annoying paying £1.50 for a small bottle of water.

When booking Lake Ohrid we decided this is the place to rest so we booked 5 nights - boy we were so glad we did!

The place was so gorgeous I opened an Instagram account (you can probably tell by the pictures in the last post). I constantly had my camera out. But on top of this it is so cheap. A large beer you can get in nice a restaurant for £1.50. We had lunch one day - 2 large beers and 2 main courses and it was less than 6 quid. After feeling ripped off for 4 weeks in Italy this was the best feeling - being able to get a drink or food anywhere without looking at the menu to check the prices. 

We had a walk round to find out what there was to do and we found there was a boat trip to a monastery and there was a really weird plastic floating beach. We decided we would spend 1 day on the boat and 2 days on the beach. 

That didn't work out as the next 2 days the weather was crap so we just laid around the apartment watching tv, I actually enjoyed those 2 days. It was nice not to be walking around and looking at stuff, just doing nothing for 2 days after almost 7 weeks of constant tourism was really nice. Due to 2 days of crap weather we now only had 1 day left which meant we would have to choose between the boat trip or the plastic beach. We didn't fancy making that choice, the apartment was ace and cheap so we decided to book an extra day in Ohrid - ahh the freedom of not booking ahead.

Really low cloud after a day of rain

The most famous image of Lake Ohrid is of an old red brick church overlooking the lake. The church is Sveti Jovan Kaneo, or in English - St John of Kaneo. We went to find it and it was really close to our apartment. The church looks pretty nice but it is the view everyone goes there for. We kind of watched the sunset but it was cloudy so we saw half a sunset.

The weather picked up after 2 days so we put our alarm on and went for the boat trip. There are lot's of boats around the dock in Ohrid, 2 of them are large boats that do the same trip to Sveti Naum for the same price of £8, they sail every day at 10am and you get back at about 4.30pm. We chose the boat with the comfiest looking seats. Boat trips are something every tourist seems to do but after a lot of disappointing boat trips we kind of stay away from them now, it is surprising that it took us 7 weeks to get on a boat - and we were in Venice for 4 nights!

The boat trip was really good, we sat with our legs dangling over the side so we were getting splashed. We passed the President's summer house and a lot of hidden beaches and after 90 minutes we arrived at Sveti Naum. Sveti Naum is a monastery, we paid £1.40 to go inside, we took a few illegal photographs. It was tiny but inside was covered in ancient paintings. 

Hot dogs or legs?

We had 3 hours in Sveti Naum which was quite a long time but Russell spent what felt like 2 hours taking photographs of the peacocks that were everywhere. We even saw a Mum with a tiny chick. They had as many Rosemary shrubs as peacocks and Russell picked some to add to our tea that night (it was a good addition).

Picking Rosemary

When we were sat on the boat we saw a snake in the lake. A SNAKE!! We watched it twice come up for air. I was actually screaming. We googled it when we got back and yes, snakes do live in the lake. Russell found this video of snakes in Lake Ohrid - check out the link below. I am so not swimming in the lake now.

Our last day in Ohrid was spent on the 'beach'. So, up to now we've had pebble beach, crazy paving beach, gravel driveway beach and now - plastic floating beach! Whatever next? Is sand too much to ask for? I hate sand but I feel like I really want to see some. This plastic floating beach is hard to describe but it kinda looks like a load of plastic boxes attached to each other in the middle of the lake. It is constantly moving like you are on a boat. Strange but I liked it.

So that was our time in wonderful Ohrid. I'm not sure how easy it would be to get there from England but I promise it is worth the effort.

Oh and apparently the last post ended on a cliff hanger - Russell never said if we got coffee before checking in. We did, we had 2 cappuccinos each and some scrambled eggs.

There was usually a kid with a snorkel under these signs collecting the coins everyone dropped in.

On our first night we made paprikash & ate it on the balcony with a really nice bottle of wine

This was a mobile wood cutter - the saw was powered by the engine

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