Friday 15 July, 2011
Today was a day for visiting some churches (and the Icon Gallery). I did not quite manage to see the whole 365 though. The most picturesque was the church of Saint John the Theologian at Kaneo, on a cliff overlooking the lake. I had lunch at the terrace cafe next door – a plate of the little Ohrid fish plashnitsa they make the pearls from.
I have decided to leave tomorrow morning to go back to Albania and see some places I missed seeing the first time, such as Tirana, the capital. My plan is to catch a minibus to Sveti Naum (the place I went to by boat yesterday). It is only 2km from there to the border post (and I think the bus stops there too). The alternative is to catch a taxi. I have about 1000 Macedonian denars to use up anyway (about 15 euro). It is about a 30km trip. The taxi should cost about 10 euro (600-700 denars). The Albanian town over the border is Pogradec (about 4km away) also on Lake Ohrid. I think there will be taxis waiting there, otherwise I will walk. Taxi to Pogradec should only cost about 300 lek (about 2 euro). I still have some lek left over from last time. Then I will have to decide how to get to Tirana. A minibus would be quickest (maybe 3 hours I think). But I believe there is a once a day Pogradec-Tirana train, which would be more “adventurous”, but much slower, maybe 6-7 hours. It would also be ridiculously cheap (I believe 295 lek or about 2 euro or A$3). But that’s not the point. The first part of the route (my research reveals) is very scenic, along the lake, across high viaducts, through tunnels. Locals laugh when you mention travelling by train in Albania. They would never dream of it if they could afford the bus fare. But I think it might be a unique experience. The departure time seems to be 12.50pm from what I can glean from the internet. The train station is a few km the other side of Pogradec, so another short taxi ride might be a good idea. I will see if I can swing the whole Ohrid-Tirana journey tomorrow. If I encounter hitches I might have to sleep overnight in Pogradec. Who knows?