Friday afternoon, 10 people and full load. We just waved to Kristina and hit the road. Direction – Brajcino, small village near Prespa lake, located in Pelister National Park. For some of us it was the first visit in this part of Macedonia. Breathtaking landscapes, excellent weather, everything indicated that it’s going to be unforgettable weekend. We got to our destination in the evening. The host, “cicko Tode”, friend of Nikola, already waited for us with bonfire. Our stomachs were grumbling so we divided quickly the tasks to prepare dinner. After long way, the food tasted so delicious. When we were already full of sausages and salads, Nikola our leader, took us for night walk around the village. Brajcino is full of old houses, renovated, and unfortunately mostly closed. It changes during the summer when more locals and tourists come to the village. In the end of the day we had small celebration. Goran and Chloe played the guitar and sang which made the evening even more pleasant. From the distance we could hear the sound of river. Stars were shinning so brightly this night.
Next day welcomed us with clear sky and temperature above 20 degrees of Celsius. It was day for hiking and exploring nearest area. Two village dogs joined us on the way and we continued the journey together. We reached the top of Sveta. Bogorodica hill and from there we went to Sveta Petka monastery. In total we made around 9 kilometers! Pelister Mountains are perfect if you want to relax and feel harmony with nature. After hiking we went to local restaurant where we had big lunch with traditional Macedonian food. There were so many meals, pie with spinach and cheese, meat, beans, rice with onion, salads and apple pie for dessert. We did our best but simply we couldn’t eat it all. After that we went to Ljubojno village, just next to Brajcino. We helped there to clean a bit very old house which will be restored. During cleaning we found many retro objects and even magazines from 80s. Just before it got dark we went to beach on Prespa lake. Atmosphere of this place was magical. That was very intensive and interesting day, we slept like a babies after all. For the last day we went for one more walk around the village to visit the old houses. Local people were really open and without any problems they showed us their places.
Few years ago, VCS organized in Brajcino Youth Exchange. They made wooden spot where people can meet for drink or picnic. Participants also helped with renovation of building which became youth center (unfortunately now closed). They made big cleaning in the village as well and till now the residents keep the Brajcino tidy. What’s funny, we met some family from South Africa, who visited village, so our friend Chris was very happy about that. It only proves that world is really small place. Then was time to say goodbye to our lovely host and drive to Skopje.
The trip was also kind of goodbye for Aleksandra, volunteer from Poland who finishes her EVS in a few days. That was good occasion to spend more time together and get to know each other better. Looking forward for more trips like that. And I have this feeling that we will be back to Brajcino soon.