From Estonia to Ohrid

In the beginning of February I went to Ohrid. Honestly my original idea was to go to Slovenia Bled but my health disagreed with me so I decided to stay in the same country where there are people that I know.

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I went out of the door in the morning whit open-minded because the decision to go was formed the one evening before. So only preparation I made was to book a hostel via hostel-world. Usually I use airbnb but this time I went for budget option and it was excellent choice.

On the way I enjoyed the magical bus ride through snowy mountains. I am from a flat country, Estonia, so this site never gets old to me. In the bus there was an old lady sitting beside me and she offered me 2 cookies which I received gratefully, while being amazed of her kindness. Through this trip I felt more kindness of random people. But now I am getting head of myself.

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I arrived to Ohrid around 12 so I had 2 hours time to check in to my hostel. I got a taxi to the place but discovered that door was closed so I decided to explore the old town and sat down at cafeteria to enjoy fresh pressed orange juice. I just sat there and felt the vibe. First thing that I fell in love in this place was the fact that time went by slowly. Town was clean and beautiful. After that I checked in to my hostel and met my roommate David from England, what a lovely chap. Then I went to explore the fort that looked stunning from the outside and inside was empty. I got the ticket and went up to take photo of mountains over the lake. Afterwards I checked out orthodox religious site. It looks lovely but it didn’t feel right to me to have religious site as a tourist magnet. I have the highest respect for these places considering that I am considering myself as Buddhist.

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I was really hungry since I skipped breakfast; all the people who know me know that I am not a morning person. I sat down in the restaurant opened up the menu and I discovered that there is no vegetarian option. I haven’t been vegetarian for at least 2 years and Macedonia is not the best place to become vegetarian again. After that I remembered that I haven’t found tickets for a concert where I wanted to attend with my companion. So I went out to find the ticket office and again all the beautiful Macedonian people surprised me with kindness and warm hearts. Especially I am thankful to the young couple that I asked directions for the ticket office and they actually went to that way to give me ride to the place. I was falling in love with this place; it’s like night and day comparing to my own home culture in Estonia where there are societies of social disconnection and unprovoked kindness is rare. For the cute couple that helped me, thank you from the bottom of my heart, you really made my day. Unfortunately the ticket office was closed, so I went to a cafeteria to have my cup of tea and observed Lake Ohrid in its beauty. I was traveling alone so I didn’t bother to run through all of the tourist spots. At the end of the day I return to hostel and spent the evening with the guys watching football, talking about life and philosophy and girls we have had loved and girls who had broken our hearts. Here I have to borrow my colleague’s Triine’s favorite saying: “Life is full of soul mates”.

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I was staying in a mixed dorm and my roommate David was really good and interesting conversation partner and we clicked so well. The next day me and David hanged around Ohrid, the fort and the religious site of old town. Then we went down at the lake side where he had his lunch and I had my ice cream and orange juice. For me as an Estonian country boy it was mind blowing moment to sit down at a lake at February with my jacket off, eating ice cream, listening waves crashing in the beach and looking at snowy mountain tops. What would your soul want more, than to sit there and enjoy it all? To think nothing, just observe. But honestly we both felt bit ill, so neither of us didn’t want to put too much effort into an urban exploring. He went back to hostel and I went to lake side convent to explore that. At the evening we swapped contacts and I went on the bus to get back to Skopje. That was an amazing weekend, in a lovely place under the sun of Macedonia.

Madis – Siim Kull

Photography: Madis – Siim Kull

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