What could be more exciting than spending a day way up in the mountains in a traditional Macedonian village? Suzi had made a friend, Jovana, a year or so ago, someone she just met on the sidewalk. They’ve stayed in touch ever since. We board a bus in Ohrid heading for Struga, located at the north end of Lake Ohrid.

bus to Struga

bus to Struga

OK so far. We de-board on the edge of town and walk a bit to where we would catch our transfer bus.

Good name for a bus line

Good name for a bus line

Bus stops are not well marked, or not marked at all, so after some waiting around for an hour with no bus coming, we ask others for directions (never take a single answer as definitive) and decide to try another spot. Within minutes our bus comes and it isn’t long before we are in snow covered Vevchani. Like all Macedonians, Jovana is blessed with patience, so what if she waits an extra hour in the bitter cold. We have a friendly introduction and set out to see the sights.

Jovana and Suzi

Jovana and Suzi

It’s a bit hard to get around on foot, what with all the ice and snow. Eva slips down a few times and I have two falls myself. No substantial injuries sustained, thank goodness.

Vevchani

Vevchani

Narrow streets

Narrow streets

Plenty of snow

Plenty of snow

Jovana and Suzi

Many unfinished houses, but no different from everywhere we were in the Balkans

We visit a lovely old church but they ask an admission charge, so we just peek inside. Lots of old icons cover the interior walls.

The village is a gateway to the forested mountains and numerous well-known springs. Several times we cross rushing streams flowing through the village. The water is clear and so refreshing.

Forested mountains behind the village

Forested mountains behind the village

Jovana raises purebred bull terriers.

Jovana raises purebred bull terriers.

Naturally, meal time comes around and Jovana knows just the place to take us. We enjoy local specialties.

A delightful setting

A delightful setting

Excellent meal

Excellent meal

Now we must say farewell and get ourselves home on busses. This becomes another venture because different bus lines run different routes at night and stop at different places. In the end, we do not freeze solid.

Another passenger is befriended.

Another passenger is befriended.

We gingerly shuffle our way home.

We gingerly shuffle our way home.

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