The weekend before last three friends and I joined an Albanian tour group that traveled to Lake Ohrid, Macedonia. Randy and I spent time in Skopje, Macedonia last summer but I wanted to return to Macedonia to visit the beautiful lakeside cities of Ohrid, Struga and Pogadrec, Albania. We were not disappointed with the beauty of the area.
We left Tirana at 6:00 AM just in time to see the sunrise. Randy is not traveling with me because he is in the States for hunting season.
We arrived at Lake Ohrid after about three hours of driving.
The first thing we did was take a 30 minute boat tour. We saw a church and castle (from a distance) that we would visit later in the day.
On our walk up to the castle…
Do you see the trellis growing in front of the house on the left? It produces kiwis which you can see in the close up on the right. Kiwis are widely available in Macedonia and Albania. This is the first time I have ever seen how they are grown.
Views from in and around the castle.
After visiting the castle we shopped for some Ohrid Pearls which have been popular (even in the royal family) for the last 80 years. The pearls are made from ground shells formed into the shape of pearls and then painted several times over with layers of emulsion made from the scales of Lake Ohrid fish.
We then got back on the bus and drove to another lakeside village called Struga where we explored the beach, city center and several bridges.
Dana found a friend on our early morning run the next day.
Another gorgeous monastery, St. Naum.
Headed out on a 30 minute boat ride around the lake.
Look how crystal clear the water is! The lake had a white sand bottom, no mud, and was full of various green plants. Beautiful!
Can you see the white sand bubbling in this video? The lake is spring fed and the bubbling sand is where fresh water enters the lake.
This was a lovely spot for lunch in Pogradec, Albania on our way back to Tirana. My Albanian assistant from school had her wedding pictures taken here last year.
As always, thanks for reading my blog. Next up is a four day weekend to Bari, Alberobello and Matera. Looking forward to visiting these relatively small towns in southern Italy.
Happy Thanksgiving to family and friends. I am so very grateful to have each of you in my life.