October 27, 2017
(click on the log entry photos(s) below for more photos and the rest of the story)
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Journey to Ohrid, Macedonia.

After an early morning walk in Tirana, Albania, and another hardy breakfast at the swanky Rogner Hotel, it was back on the bus to Macedonia. There were more narrow roads through rural villages and over twisting mountain passes, before an extended stop at the border crossing… for Basil and Fanis to present our passports and assure the border authorities that the American passengers were no threat to their country. Of particular note was my role in this process. Fanis, our driver, asked me to sit in the driver's seat and which button to push to close the doors of the bus when he and Basil left to 'negotiate' our passage across the border. With a new-found sense of importance to the success of our trip AND the protection of my fellow passengers (who found my new station quite entertaining), I manned the driver's seat and the door button until our driver and tour leader returned.

Our local Macedonian guide's name was Daniel. We had picked him up at the border crossing. During our drive into the town of Ohrid, Daniel regaled us with Ohrid facts, like Ohrid being one of the oldest cities in Europe, and currency exchange rates, like 50 deners to one American dollar and 60 deners to one Euro. Over lunch, I had an interesting and enlightening conversation with Daniel about a rift that exists between Greece and Macedonia. Long story short, Greece calls Macedonia "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", which Macedonians find offensive, wanting their country to be referred and just the Republic of Maeedonia. It all has to do with alignment of borders arranged about a hundred years ago.

Ohrid sits on the shores of Lake Ohrid, the fourth largest natural lake on the planet. Was also told by Daniel that the lake is clean enough to drink. There were even a couple of men bathing in the water as we walked along the Ohrid Promenade. Oh, and a spectacular sunset from our 2nd story balcony.

Quick Photo Links: Border Crossing from Albania to Macedonia | Ohrid and Lake Ohrid | Lake Ohrid Sunset

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Log entries... Greece: day 1-2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 ||| Albania: day 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 ||| Macedonia: day 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25