Saturday, October 7, 2017

Macedonia and Kosovo

There is no direct route to Lake Ohrid, Macedonia from Tirana so we took a bus to a town just over the border and got a taxi to the lake - turned out to be easier than I thought. After our challenging hotel experience in Tirana it was nice to stay at a wonderful guest house complete with a terrace overlooking an 11th century church and the lake. The weather wasn't great so we skipped the boat ride and explored the town. Lots of interesting streets and churches to explore and a great dinner of freshly caught fish - a beautiful place to spend a couple of days.
Church of Sveti Jovan at Kaneo - everybody takes this picture

 View from Jovanovic Guesthouse
Then it was off to Skopje, which thanks to the Skopje 2014 project, has tons of over-the-top statues, plazas, fountains, newly constructed building facades, etc. It is difficult to explain or show in photographs. We had to do the very long but very fun walking tour in order to begin to understand it all.

The official name of this statue is "Warrior on a Horse"

"Father of Warrior on a Horse"
Kosovo was always on our itinerary but after reading this article
we decided to visit both monasteries and skip the day trip to Prizren. We were able to take a taxi to Gracanica and we took two buses (and walked a total of two miles) to get to Visoki Decani. Both monasteries lived up to expectations. The frescos were amazing (no pictures allowed inside) and the settings were spectacular.


Visoki Decani
Visoki Decani

We spent our last morning in Kosovo at the Jewish Cemetery and then caught a bus back to Skopje for one more night and one more delicious meal.

Things I Learned:
  • It is pronounced "Sko-pee-a"
  • The official name of Macedonia is  the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
  • The unofficial names of "Warrior on a Horse" and "Father of Warrior on a Horse".
  • I want to move to Peja, Kosovo.
  • Another term for sequins is sparkling elements (I actually learned that in Albania.)
  • Ajvar is really good.

Peppers for making ajvar

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