Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Tues 19 Jul 2016. Around Lake Ohrid and Galicica National Park

Tues 19 Jul 2016. Around Lake Ohrid and Galicica National Park
Wind continued to blow fiercely through night, one branch down, someone's toilet roll freely unravelled through camp! Sun crested mountain top, people suddenly appeared, rugged up.  Didn't fancy using the "amenities" provided so parked at back of grounds to reduce the impact of wind. Heated up the kettle outside for a cuppa, breakfast (new crunchy muesli and bananas) in lee of truck. Watched gardener scything grass by hand. No signs, so BoyRob followed another camper carrying his toilet cassette to the men's toilet to also empty ours. Showered; digging out long pants, and heavier T-shirt (so novel!)

Entrance to campground has seen better days...

One to revere....
One to protect....

Set off to explore coast around lake, came across Bay of Bones, and a reconstruction of a prehistoric village on poles on lake’s edge. Paid €4 entry, and substituted euros at entrance at rate of 1=500 local currency. Spent an interesting hour wandering site, and one-room museum displaying artefacts found on bottom of lake, including weights for rush looms.

Antlers as tools
I'd happily wear these earrings today!

Spotted Common Wall Lizard, unfortunately not one of the Park’s listed endangered species GirlRob hoped to see.  The serenity disappeared when a boatload of tourists appeared; time to move on.

Parked on outskirts of Ohrid, smaller town than expected. Disappointed no cafes or restaurants were offering traditional Macedonian food, so had to settle for burgers instead. Found exchange rate was 1:600 (grr...) Given meal was cheap, came away with much of our money still in our pockets. 

Church of St John the Theologian

Walked 2kms of promenade, through the citadel gates and up into Old Town (past pretty municipal gardens and lots of statues of saints). Some interesting shopping, found a small brass hanging of Alexander the Great (to add to our Xmas ornament collection per country). 

Lower Gate of the Citadel

Pretty sure that's real hair...

Continued uphill trudge, lingering at Hagia Sophia, with its architecture from Middle Ages.

Reached Macedonian Orthodox church of St John the Theologian (viz St John the Apostle) built early 1400s at Kaneo (before rise of Ottoman Empire), perched on its rocky cliff edge. Small inside, frescoes of Christ Pantocrator up in the dome, dark ones surrounding altar were hard to make out. 

Artist has painted face of infant as a small man

The "holiness" of both St Sophia's and St John's was somewhat diminished by tourism/ commercialism - stalls, umbrellas obscuring churches; sunbathers on pontoons projecting into clear green waters. 

On exiting approached by guy to hire his water taxi, and when he wouldn't supply a price to go across to other point of bay, agreed on €5 trip back to centre of town. It was a pleasant ride but the guy must have changed his mind and went a little further to the point, and then demanded double the money on landing! Refused, he argued, emptied pockets and only came up with 25c more in local currency which he accepted with bad grace.

The afternoon was advancing as we drove on to find campsite. First one was as rundown as last night and they wanted 27 - more expensive in Balkans than Europe; no way! Drove further to a new-looking small place, not on GPS or either of camping apps, pulled up to look and young manager came running across road, "10, power, shower/hot water, toilet, on lake, free drink when you come in, free coffee in morning when you leave"! Sunshine Camping - you have a deal!! Especially liking green grass and planted flowerbeds. BoyRob extra happy to find almost ripe raspberries growing behind our site - we'll add to our breakfast muesli. 
A little ray of sunshine, has come into the world....

Raspberries! Free!

Walked to lake, decided it was too cool for a swim, read/blogged, soup and toast for dinner. A vehicle came in with 6 people who proceeded to use all the hot water. BoyRob took a cold shower, GirlRob opted to wait for tomorrow...

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