The mountains of the Galicica National park rise to the southeast, separating Lake Ohrid from Lake Prespa.

Walking Lake Ohrid: Information for the Intrepid

Hatching The Plan… “Is it possible to walk around Lake Ohrid?” I asked. I was in Southern Albania in a Girokaster coffee shop talking with Chris, an American who spends part of each year in Albania. Chris looked a little taken aback by my question. “Walk?!” he paused. “You could bike it no problem,” he paused again, his eyebrows furrowed into a puzzled expression. I read his silence to mean that walking either wasn’t desirable,[…]

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A Balkans Bucket-List for the New Year

From Greece to Serbia, Slovenia to Albania, I’ve come to understand that the countries that make up the Balkan Peninsula offer exceptional scenery, great food, a complex and fascinating history, and wonderfully hospitable people. As I look forward to the coming year, here is my Balkans Bucket-List for 2015 (in the arbitrarily chosen order of South to North). My 2015 Balkan Bucket-List 1. Hike the Vikos Gorge (Greece) Some Polish travelers who stayed with me[…]

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The Town Hall Christmas Tree, decorated with painted cups and bottles in Ljubljana Slovenia

How do you say Merry Christmas?

Merry Christmas from the road! I am spending Christmas in beautiful Zagreb as I travel down the Balkan peninsula back to Tirana. Here’s how the different Balkan countries say Merry Christmas: in Albanian: Gëzuar Krishtlindjet In Bosnian: Cestit Bozic in Bulgarian: Весела Коледа (Vesela Koleda) In Croatian: Sretan Božić in Macedonian: Среќен Божик (sreken Bozheek) or Христос се роди! (Hristoc se rodi!) – Christ is born. In Montenegrin: (Hristos se rodi) – Christ is Born, although[…]

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Skopje as seen from the Ottoman Fortress

Macedonia: My Skopje Top 10

Skopje, Macedonia has a lot to offer the visitor.  Nature is at the city’s doorstep. Culture in the form of brand new museums and performance venues is everywhere.  The main difficulty will be in deciding how to spend your time in that city. Here is a list of my top 10 favorite spots in the city of Skopje and why I think they are worth a visit.   My Skopje Top 10 1. Museum of[…]

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The Stone Bridge in Skopje, Macedonia

Macedonia: Falling in Love with Skopje

Falling in love is sweetest when unexpected. Skopje was just a stop – a short layover on the bus trip from Tirana to Sofia. That’s how it all started. Of course, that isn’t how it ends, but there is no other way to tell this particular love story than the way it happened, so here we go: First I fell in love with Vodno Mountain Vodno mountain is the one with the huge cross on[…]

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Men fishing at Sunset

Camping Around Lake Ohrid

Lake Ohrid, situated on the border beteween Macedonia (FYROM) and Albania, has the distinction of being the one of Europe’s oldest lakes – formed between 4 and 10 million years ago. It also carries the distinction of being the deepest lake in the Balkans (288 meters at its deepest point), and one of the few lakes fed primarily through spring water.  Because of its ancient tectonic origins, the lake has a large number of endemic[…]

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