An afternoon in Ohrid

Sunday, October 17, 2010


You begin to realize shortly after getting here how much you consume and how unnecessary some of it is. One of the things that amuses me is how to invent uses for common things. For example, plastic water bottles. They are just starting to recycle plastic here, but it isn't widespread and you do have a work some to find plastic recycling bins in big cities - forget about villages. But you find plastic everywhere - Coke and other soda producers have definitely had a huge impact on Macedonian beverage selection. When I walk along the Vardar, there are places where the tree roots have reached out and caught islands of plastic bottles. Interestingly, the Roma are the big recyclers here - they do go around and gather bottles to make money. But anyway, I like to find a variety of ways to reuse plastic bottles. So far I use them to store water (we distill water here - Gostivar's water supply was breached last spring), for a hot water bottle (indispensable in the winter), a sprinkling bottle for ironing (who needs a spray bottle - just poke some holes in a bottle cap), an exercise ball (I developed plantar fasciitis and use the bottle with water in it instead of a tennis ball to exercise my foot), and, of course, a plant watering can. I never realized they were so golden!! Mail me your uses - I'm sure there are more I'm not thinking about.

It's pepper season here. Peppers are a huge staple for people in Macedonia. They roast them and can different recipes of slow cooked peppers. The main dish is called ajvar - the peppers are cooked over an outdoor bbq for hours. There are more kinds of peppers here than you can imagine - the bazaar is a red, green, yellow, pink rainbow of pepper colors and shapes. The main one, though is the red pepper above, which is also often dried for winter use. People use all kinds of nooks and crannies to hang their peppers, and it adds extra color to the city.

I also love the brooms they use here. The one above was being used by a street cleaner. Ah, twig technology - when you need a new one, just go out and collect twigs.

Finally I included a picture of the big hero of Albania - Shkenderbej - not sure of the correct spelling. Does he look like a big Viking or what?

Went to a week of seminars on tourism. It's interesting to hear about all the new trends - ecotourism, adventure tourism, rural tourism, agrotourism, and my favorite, integrated relational tourism. The last refers to tourism where you stay in a small venue, like a b&b or a family, and get to know the area, people and culture. Our lecturer was a professor from Malta, and now I'm dying to go to Malta and Sicily!


  1. i'm pained now by the thought of all the glass jars i recycled in the states - and how i would then go out and buy special containers for storing food. i think the way i consume & recycle will be a lot different when i get back to the states.

    and nice photo of skenderbeg...looks kinda familiar! i've seen his name spelled so many ways i've given up trying to figure out which one is "correct."

  2. Hi I am from malta, and be pleased to know who was the maltese professor and what the context of rural tourism in malta was.

  3. Oh the curse of the plastic bottle, now here comes the rant. Made me mad in Mexico to see those bottles everywhere. Go ahead and use them for whatever but don't reuse them for keeping your drinking water because the plastic leaches into the water. You need a special plastic bottle to do that,now everyone here is using stainless carry bottles. We have a small distiller in the house and I use it everyday, Becky uses hers everyday and I think RR does too. Why buy water??
    Twig brooms, I love, I had one for outside I used to buy them in Chinatown for about 2.00 bucks, boy, those were the good old days. I love them they are so quaint and they do a good job on cement.
    I think it would be good to join "Servais" it is a world wide organization of Peace, you can stay 2 nights for free in someone's home. You have to help them and spend time with them telling about your country and they tell you about theirs and they give you directions etc. They can ask you to stay longer if you are a good guest. If ever I get the house cleaned up to a dull roar I would like to do this. Great reading Candy. Miss ya Love b

  4. Eric, If you check back about Maltese tourism, the man who was here was David Pace who is a professor at the Institute of Tourism Studies in Malta.