Saturday, May 1, 2010

Gezuar 1 Maj to Me!

Today was just one of those perfect kind of days (with the exception of Steve having the flu, but for bragging purposes, let's just pretend that he felt grrrreat!), that I have to brag about publicly. As part of our "Bucket List" (goals of what we want to do before leaving Albania) we wanted to spend some quality time with our friends Paul and Albana and their son Hani by showing them around Ohrid, Macedonia.

Ohrid has long been our favorite place of retreat while we have been in the Balkans. It's close to Korce, relatively inexpensive, rich with history, has decent shopping, incredible scenery and most importantly, GREAT food...wait, hold, MOST importantly goes to delicious ice cream!!

Here are some of my favorite pics from today...

The above pictures are where we pulled over on the side of the road after Hani blew chunks. Normally, the smell of wretched sour milk should have ruined our high spirits, but with scenery like this, it was easily forgotten!

When we finally got to Ohrid, it dawned on us that it was a holiday in the Balkans, Labor Day!! There were thousands of people out celebrating, streamers lining the walkway, music blaring from the docks, and a contagious air of festivities. It felt like Ohrid had invited us to a surprise party!

For lunch, we ate at a BEAUTIFUL restaurant on the water, and I sorely regret not getting pictures of our delectable spread, which included a Macedonian salad of baked peppers and tomatoes, a shopska salad, six traditional and flavorful dips for our homemade bread, lots of fries, and yummy sausages. We all agreed, lunch was a huge highlight of the day...which says a lot, because the rest of the day looked like this...

Views from the city fortress

Shame that we're blocking the historic St. John's church behind us...sorry!

Hani's first time playing in a lake...he couldn't get enough of throwing rocks in the chilly water!

Whereas I was totally enthralled by the blossoms on these trees...Cotton-candy anyone?

To top the day off, the five of us had dinner (1 pizza, 1 salad, 2 uber-delicious sandwhiches, 4 drinks) for 10 Euro!

Finally, on our way back to the car, with that wonderful "I'm exhausted and way-too-sun-kissed" feeling...the sound of live music drew us into a cafe, where we sat under the stars, sipped cappuccinos, and let the band serenade us.

On no! I promised myself I'd finish this by 2:00 am, and I just saw that it's 2:13. I'll have to save the bonus pictures of the creepy kid mannequins for the next blog!

Dag-nabbit...I can't resist sharing one more thing! Steve, surprised me by treating me to a sweet little ring, with an Ohrid a memento of our wonderful times together there...and it made me blush. =)

Gezuar 1 Maj! Happy Labor Day!


Katie B said...

Oh NO! Poor Rai! Give her a hug for me, and I hope she feels better soon!

Katie B said...

oops I left my comment on the wrong blog! Oh well, sounds like you had a great time, wish I could have been ther with you!

Jenn said...

Sounds like a fantastic day, and it looks very pretty.
(Makes me look forward to my vacation.)

ajplays said...

What a beautiful day! Picture of the ring, please!

This blog made me hungry. No seriously, I think I have to eat before I finish commenting.