Ohrid – Macedonia

Before we head on to Lake Ohrid, we stay in Albania for the night at a place called Tirana. Tirana really was just a stopover and not a place where we did a lot of sight seeing. We arrived late and then we were up early to travel on. We all went for a short self guided walking tour, and decided that Tirana really didn’t have a lot to offer tourists, apart from a place to lay our heads.

And we are all off to discover a little of Tirana
And we are all off to discover a little of Tirana
A quick photo stop!
A quick photo stop!
We really only walked a block or two when it started to drizzle
We really only walked a block or two when it started to drizzle
A lot of places were in need of repair
A lot of places were in need of repair

And then it was back on the bus and time to move on to Macedonia. We went through a tunnel that saved us 45 minutes of driving via Elbasan. Its infrastructure was constructed by Chinese.

Tirana to Ohrid
Tirana to Ohrid

We also stopped to look at some of the bunkers that had been built along the roadside. I can’t imagine how they would keep people safe and how long people were expected to stay in them?

The hill behind Robin was scattered with bunkers. You can see a few of them.
The hill behind Robin was scattered with bunkers. You can see a few of them.

From Wikipedia

During the nearly forty-year leadership of Communist ruler Enver Hoxha of the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania, over 700,000 bunkers were built in the country – one for every four inhabitants. The bunkers are still a ubiquitous sight in Albania, with an average of 24 bunkers for every square kilometre of the country.

Hoxha’s programme of “bunkerisation” resulted in the construction of bunkers in every corner of Albania, from mountain passes to city streets. They had little military value and were never used for their intended purpose during the years of Communist rule (1945–1990). The cost of constructing them was a drain on Albania’s resources, diverting them away from more pressing needs, such as dealing with the country’s housing shortage and poor roads.

The bunkers were abandoned following the collapse of communism in 1990. Most are now derelict, though some have been reused for a variety of purposes including residential accommodation, cafΓ©s, storehouses and shelters for animals or the homeless. A few briefly saw use in the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s.

Another ridiculous decision and a total waste of money!

Our nights stay was at Ohrid at one of our not so flash hotels, but it was still a very pleasant place to stay.

We wandered through narrow paths between old but picturesque buildings
We wandered through narrow paths between old but picturesque buildings
Robin looking at the narrow streets ahead
Robin looking at the narrow streets ahead
We stopped at a handmade paper shop
We stopped at a handmade paper shop
And we watched the paper making process
And we watched the paper making process
We looked over the fence at a very old church
We looked over the fence at a very old church
The brick wall outside the church
The brick wall outside the church
And we wandered to the next church. Here is a model of it
And we wandered to the next church. Here is a model of it
And a photo of Robin at the church
And a photo of Robin at the church
It was a fabulous old building with a roof that needed to be photographed ;-)
It was a fabulous old building with a roof that needed to be photographed πŸ˜‰
Very old stonework!
Very old stonework!
We were sitting and listening to the guide talk about the church
We were sitting and listening to the guide talk about the church

After a walking tour with a local guide, we found our own way back to the Hotel and it was a lovely walk along the lakeside. Unfortunately we didn’t take any photos of the lake??? I really don’t know how that happened. It was quite lovely! Oh… I found one! Don’t laugh!

The lake view!
The lake view!

And another three. I told you it was quite nice… and I remembered why we didn’t take too many photos as when we arrived it was raining!

Looking towards the old town and restaurants with Lake Ohrid behind
Looking towards the old town and restaurants with Lake Ohrid behind
The other direction
The other direction
Our Hotel was around the bay a little walk away
Our Hotel was around the bay a little walk away

That evening we had a special tea with drink provided to thank those people among our tour that have travelled with ‘Insight Vacations’ many times. It was a pleasant evening with lots of laughter and shared stories. We were starting to get to know each other much better and were getting more relaxed. It was nice πŸ™‚

 

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