Bus-ing Round the Balkans travel blog



So, I have a day in sleepy Ohrid to do as I please. A 'quick' wander out to the bus station to check the timetables for tomorrow (and make sure I can find it - and then work out a more direct route there than the circuitous one I took) and then the day is mine.

Since I'm staying in an apartment in Ohrid I decide to head back there for lunch, which ends up taking a couple of hours for some reason. It was only sandwiches. I think I just like having a balcony where I can sit out in the sun. Undisturbed. Nobody staring at the blue in my hair (apparently staring and pointing isn't rude here).

There are a few sights in Ohrid I want to visit while I'm here, so I eventually drag myself back outside and start walking. The mountain setting is beautiful, but it can be hard going on the legs! The blazing sun overhead doesn't much help matters.

A few more churches under my belt, along with a classical amphitheatre, and I continue uphill to the 10th century Car Samoil's Castle. My legs are protesting, and I'm not enjoying the heat, but I eventually make it to the top.

I pay the 30 denar (MKD) entrance fee, the man in the office scrabbling to find change for my 50MKD note. 30MKD is less than 50p, and I don't have anything smaller. In fact I had been quite pleased to have a note as small as that! Oh well. He finds the change and I start climbing the steep stone steps up to the castle ramparts.

You might think I'd be a bit bored of hilltop fortresses and castles by now. You wouldn't be entirely wrong either - 3 in a row is a bit much - but it's the views down to Lake Ohrid that I'm interested in today. And they're totally worth the uphill slog.

I conclude my loop of the ramparts and climb up the turret furthest from the entrance gate, which contains a raised wooden viewing platform. I perch on the edge of it and sit gazing out over the lake and mountains, lost in thought. The swallows continue swooping and arcing through the sky in front of me. I start planning my return visit to Ohrid.

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