Friday, June 11, 2010
Ohrid, Sveti Naum, and Gostivar
Two weekends ago I was again in Ohrid, a town I love. It has all the character of an old European city on a lake - small cobblestone streets, little alley and stairways, ancient, historic sites, all on a beautiful lake. Ohrid is a spiritual place, and it is said it has 365 churches, one for every day of the year. The reason is that it was the center of the Orthodox religion before the Ottoman Empire conquered it, and its influence spread from Southern Russia through Greece. You live and breathe history there, and this time it was also teeming with flowers everywhere you looked. We spent a lot of time in the restaurant above, drinking a glass of wine and eating plashitsa, little baby trout that melted in your mouth. Life is good.
One day we meandered down and caught a boat down to Sveti Naum. The river Drim enters the lake there and travels the length intact before flowing out the other end in Struga. Sveti Naum is a monastery in a beautiful spot, cool, refreshing, and charming as well. It used to be in Albania, but was such a sacred spot to Macedonians that they bought it! The boat ride was gorgeous. I put in a picture of me so you can see how long my hair is! The big surprise when I grew my hair out was that it wasn't all white - in fact, once I was looking at it and couldn't figure out what I'd gotten in my hair, and then realized that what I was seeing was those few hairs that were still brown. It had been about 30 years since I'd seen them!
I talked a little last time about the shops I go to, and figured I tell you a bit more about shopping. Although big supermarkets are moving in, in Gostivar there still are all the small shops. I go to the meat shop to buy meat, and watch as they grind it up for me into hamburger, cut into pieces for goulash, or slice into rather tough little steaks for my petite BBQ. I go to the bread shop in the afternoons to visit my friend there and get my hot loaves of bread and sometimes a little treat as well. The loaves cost 20 MKD, or about 50 cents - food is very cheap here. I bought a kilo of tomatoes the other day for 50 cents and have been making tomato and cuke salads. The cheese store has cheeses from ricotta and mozarella to chocolate to sheep cheese. They also have the best yogurt. And I've already written about the bazaar for the fresh fruits and veggies - peaches are just starting to come in! There are also fruit and vegetable markets through out the town. There are very few canned goods, and there are may times I miss being able to go into the pantry to open up a can of something. But the food is fresh and good, and it makes me cook what I'm hungry for. I just finished a big pot of homemade baked beans - excellent beanies and wienies if I do say so myself. Good thing I live alone......
Posted by Candice Wiggum at 12:21 PM